This is a conundrum that I have been working on rattling out of my head. I am looking for dialog even debate on this blog. Thank you for reading:
Am I my Brothers Keeper:
Its a question just short of being as old as the story of Adam and Eve. A Question of when and how we should be aware of the what and where we are responsible in the accountability of others. The answer, while not quite as complex as the chicken or the egg, can pose a just as convoluted conundrum.
Who are our brothers:
Does this mean that we are responsible for every Tom, Dick, Mary and Sally? I sure hope not. I take this to mean those within my Circle whether that is by blood, bond or beliefs. Our natural family members obviously speak for themselves. Outside of our natural blood bonded family those we include comes from those we feel some connection to one way or another. Ones we share a common knowledge or lifestyle by either leadership or expertise.
In our everyday vanilla life, a brother (outside of blood relations) could be seen as a coworker working and holding each other accountable to getting a job done. A neighbor could be a brother in the sense of community watching out and peaceful existence. Higher education its seen in the fraternity and sorority system. We see them in other groupings (police, bikers and military) holding of a line, a creed or order.
They are our friends and confidants.
In the world and realm of what we do here most identify "Brothers" as one in tribe packs, families, or houses. Those are the obvious ones either due to out right label/title or by deduction of the dynamic they live. Their circle or family. Dont confuse this to mean its limited to a type (poly, primal, tribe). It can also bleed (no pun intended) into those we are members of a group or share a skilled talent (Rope, fire, etc) or even just are familiar within our local gatherings.
This is where, within the purpose of this writing, the main conundrum stems. Who exactly do we see as our brothers and why the hell should we be their keeper?
For me, My brethren are those within my community that by one way or another I have ties. The ones with whom I have laid, played, or simply broken bread. The ones whose advise I have given or sought. The ones who now or in my past have traveled within my path. Some closer than others. To those that are closer that means held to a higher standard or reguard; not to be confused with giving undue respect or idealization.
Merriam Webster describes as follows:
Definition of brother
1: a male who has the same parents as another or one parent in common with another
2: one related to another by common ties or interests
3: a fellow member —used as a title for ministers in some evangelical denominations
4: one of a type similar to another
*Other than definition 1. A brother is gender neutral. But if you prefer please substitute with sister, being, it, their or whatever fits your individual preference or reference.
Am I their Keeper:
Who am I to be seen and expected to be anothers keeper? To answer that depends on the depth of both the interaction with said individual as well as the community in which both delve. The saying goes you are the company you keep. If the company we keep is then a reflection on our own character it stands to reason that by extension I am my brother and my brethren are me; I am the keeper of the extension of my own reflection.
What is a Keeper:
Dictionary.com describes as follows:
1. a person who guards or watches, as at a prison or gate.
2. a person who assumes responsibility for another's behavior: He refused to be his brother's keeper.
3. a person who owns or operates a business (usually used in combination)
4. a person who is responsible for the maintenance of something (often used in combination):a zookeeper; a
5. a person charged with responsibility for the preservation and conservation of something valuable, as a curator orgame warden.
6. a person who conforms to or abides by a requirement:a keeper of his word
For purpose of this writing I am going to touch briefly on all of the above areas. How these areas answer (for me personally) the importance of being aware and holding accountable to the keeping of the well being as well as interactions of my brethren.
1. When I am seen to be familiar with someone either by relationship, association or locale. Think of it as you are "guilty by association". If ones character is affected by another's action; one may want to "Keep" guard of their brethren's influence.
2. I am a Keeper of the sanctity of my circle. Those within whom I interact to watch out for and either guide or follow. To have the foresight and gull to speak up and firm when needed. Unapologetically and without bias "Keeping" the behavior of my brothers. Another would be to in turn speak up for my brother against unwarranted accusations.
3. Leaders of Groups and clubs as Keepers we do have responsibility to hold not only ourselves but those in like to the higher standard. We need to "keep" counsel and be aware to protect those who would blindly trust or follow. To not only make the guidelines but adhere to them without excuse or exception. To call out and hold accountable to our fellow brethren that fall short in a manner that allows for correction or guidance. To show those new to the fold that no brother is above approach or exception.
4. To Keep the purity of a Skill or Craft those seen as Experts or Masters of them need to be "Keepers" of those who stray or short cut the safety of those areas. To hold those claiming said craft to being knowledgable having the skills they purport. Again Keeping not only self but other brothers, either by reputation or association, accountable for their influence and actions toward others.
5. To "Keep" to and hold fast to the basic creeds of the lifestyle. No there is no "True" way but there are basic tried and true foundations proven by those brethren that have come before us. To be the preservers of those and task ourselves with keeping the progression inline with them. From Consent and Risk awareness to balancing protecting anonymity while preventing abuse.
6. To be a Keeper of my word through my actions and character. To become the brother that others can embrace and rely onto to be their keeper. A keeper of their confidence, trust and respect. One they know who will not only have their back when needed but call them out and guide them as well if or when required.
Recently, I have found that to be a Brother's keeper means admitting my own short comings. It also means standing up when it would be easier to sit silent. It means taking the time to view from all sides and without bias.
I would hope that if needed someone would be willing to be my keeper. Either to guide me or in my defense. So yes, I am willing to do and be the same.
So am I my Brother's Keeper?