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Monday, August 31, 2015

Big Brother vs Brotherhood

Would you rather be a big brother, or have a big brother? Why? Who served as a "big brother" in your life? Was he the kind of big brother that teased and tormented you? Or the kind that defended and rescued you? (Serendipity Bible Fourth Edition, page 92).


Big Brother, personification of the power of the state in 1984 (1949) by George Orwell
a :  the leader of an authoritarian state or movement
b :  an all-powerful government or organization monitoring and directing people's actions

In everyday discourse it is clear that "big brother" has come to have a negative connotation.  It is someone who is domineering and controlling. A Big Brother enjoys coming across as a self-centered bully.  The term has lost the meaning of "defender and protector" for that of "tormentor." I can have a kind and considerate "older brother," but must beware if I have a brother who acts like a "big brother." The ideal relationship is surely to be simply "a brother" (an equal).

In international affairs countries need intentionally seek to mitigate an urge to be unrelievedly dominate--a stance too often conceived as an unassailable indicator of strength.  Much as in the home, a big brother aspect can demand the attention that bullies always get; but lack the respect, even affection, that underlies long-term steady and coherent relationships.

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