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Monday, November 06, 2006

There is no brotherhood without pain.

The concept of brotherhood generates emotions of strong belongingness in many of us. Fraternal orders, military Esprit De Corps, unspoken lifelong commitments between individuals beckon to our inner most desire of gaining acceptance and validation. Coaches try and build it into teams, executives try and create it in the corporate environment, and we long for it within our family structures. But how we obtain such noble and honorable thing as brotherhood? This bond, once established, is stronger than any other bond on the face of the Earth. It will transcend race, religion, gender, age and even time itself. This concept appears to have origins in the ancients' world. When small bands of warrior tribes came together to accomplish extraordinary feats.

Why is this high level of acceptance so coveted and yet so elusive? I think it is because it dwells in our emotional paradigms. A place that we fiercely guard and dare not to venture into, unless, we are thrust into a situation that creates tremendous internal conflict. Warriors often display such unity. Those who have ventured way past their zone of comfort often find themselves sharing such emotional ties with those they ventured with. To face great odds and prevail as the victors seems to consistently create such brotherhoods. Some might say that pain, discomfort, and out right fear are the fiery ingredients found in the forge of brotherhood; I would tend to agree with them. Maybe adventure risk takers push themselves so hard in an effort to prove themselves worthy of such brotherhoods.

Unfortunately, most organizations train for missions that are never realized nor created. And this prevents many from earning their rightful place in the band of brotherhood. Their metal remains untested and unfired in the fiery forge. The Apostles were excellent models of such adventures. They faced unthinkable adversities and accomplished missions, even in their deaths. Today we struggle to find such worthy and noble efforts, so we create adventure risk sports to prove ourselves. We search for character definition in the morally benign efforts of sports. Martyrdom is elevated to heroism. Heroes have been redefined as successful gang members and drug dealers. The concept of one risking everything for the greater good of the masses, proving their worth in the historic pages of brotherhood, is all but faded into the journals of history and the pages of yesteryear. Today's heroes are all about risking the greater good of the masses for the benefit of one. There is no true brotherhood found in today's heroes.

The safer we make life the more elusive true brotherhood will become. As for me, I prefer the risky opportunities found in the pursuit of self-validation and acceptance of the brotherhoods of my forefathers.

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