Sib Ethics



We are born...we open our eyes and see a loving woman who feeds us, bathes us, dresses us...loves us – it’s mom. Then we see a man who looks at mom with lascivious eyes, but who also loves us – it’s dad. They raise us…some time later they decide to augment the family…by bringing to the midst of it a younger being who will alter our harmony forever.

Or

We are born…we open our eyes to see a loving woman nourishing us, bathing us, dressing us…loving us – mom. Then we see a man looking at mom with concupiscent eyes, but who also loves us – dad. Then we look around and see a bunch of other creatures (or one creature, it depends) to whom we vow to turn their lives into a living hell for the rest of their existence.

A lot of sibling relationships go sour for X or Y reasons, which is quite unfortunate. This article intends to discuss the following question:

Is it ethical to turn one’s back to its sibling when he’s in dire straits?

My personal answer to this is a big round “No”. But, please, feel free to disagree.

Brothers and sisters share the same blood and DNA, which implies a huge responsibility. It is not by mere chance that sibs are born into the same family (I’m sure many have asked themselves “why did I have X for a brother/sister instead of having, my friend, Y”), it is because God decided that that group of siblings had a special task to fulfil within a certain family, be it to make their parents laugh (or cry – even this bears some purpose), to take care of them; to take care of the most fragile brother/sister, to be each other’s angels (in diverse situations); to experience what it is to have responsibilities etc, etc...

But what to do when a sib has acted up so much that you can’t even stand to look at his face; that you can’t even stand being around that person anymore? The ethical answer to this is: set aside your grievances, your pettiness, your hard feelings and be there for your sibling no matter what, because this is your blood we’re talking about here.
Not to mention the fact that neglecting your brother/sister is the same as neglecting your parents (whose role is an extension of God’s role as a Parent), which in turn is the same as turning your back to the Creator.

Siblings can be annoying, irritating, unconsidered, forgetful, embarrassing, addicts, squealers; they can have serious psychological issues, karmic traumas, they may not even know you at all...nevertheless they are your blood, your responsibility, your ID.

Saint Exupéry said that we are responsible for those we captivate. If we are willing to open ourselves to strangers (i.e. extra-familia), be there for them and be responsible for them...why not rise above ourselves, make prove of our humanity and be there for our own flesh and blood?


Image: Philosopher in Meditation by Rembrandt

Comments

  1. great post max! i totally agree with you, family is family no matter what. my sister and i have been through a lot of fights when we were younger. a week or two would pass that we won't speak to each other but once one of us makes a move, everything is back to normal, no need to say sorry.

    this post makes me miss her so much, lol. she's in the US right now. whenever we talk to each other, we always end up saying i miss you and i love you, which we never said to each other when she was still here.

    btw, im feeling a lot better now. and i have something for you
    http://mlizcochico.blogspot.com/2008/08/very-special-award-of-friendship.html

    cheers!

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  2. Hey Liza! :D

    "great post max!" - thank you ever so much *bowing*!

    "i totally agree with you, family is family no matter what. my sister and i have been through a lot of fights when we were younger. a week or two would pass that we won't speak to each other but once one of us makes a move, everything is back to normal, no need to say sorry." - that is beautiful!! And it goes to show that you and your sister are generous beings *bowing*!

    "this post makes me miss her so much, lol. she's in the US right now. whenever we talk to each other, we always end up saying i miss you and i love you, which we never said to each other when she was still here." - *tender face*...ooh darling *hug*! Distance does that to people...we often realise how precious the other person really is...it's natural :)!

    "btw, im feeling a lot better now. and i have something for you" - that is excellent news :D!!! Something for me? I will be at your place in a jiffy; thanks :D!

    Liza, dear; thank you so much for having shared your sibling experience and ethics ;D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  3. A family is a mini-laboratory for life. Our siblings teach us how to solve conflicts, how to live with someone who gets on our nerves, and how to cooperate. There may be those that go off the deep end and mess up their life, but that too is a learning experience for us. How do we deal with those who live in ways we disapprove? Our siblings teach us how.

    Thankfully, I have great relationships with my siblings. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Max,

    Happy Maxday!

    Provocative post.

    "Is it ethical to turn one’s back to its sibling when he’s in dire straits?"

    It depends on the situation. If the sibling is always in dire straits, then whatever we do to "help" them won't help them. We are just enabling them. They have to hit rock bottom and get up by themselves. Once they pick themselves up, we can offer to help them stand.

    We are all Soul and Souls travel in groups, be it in family groups, work groups, friend groups, etc. We have individual karma and then we have group karma. It is all preordained. Though we share the same DNA, we don't share the same spiritual DNA, goals, accomplishments, heartaches, losses, etc.

    I am the fourth of six children. We are all different, but I would venture to say that I am the most different because I am not a sheep and don't believe in the status quo.

    "But what to do when a sib has acted up so much that you can’t even stand to look at his face; that you can’t even stand being around that person anymore?"

    Ask yourself if you are judging the situation of the sib? Is the sib doing something that hurts someone or is it just an annoying habit? Is the sib doing anything illegal or heading that way? Is the sib putting your life in danger, etc.?

    "The ethical answer to this is: set aside your grievances, your pettiness, your hard feelings and be there for your sibling no matter what, because this is your blood we’re talking about here."

    You can't always do that. Even though it is your family, sometimes you have to walk away, otherwise there wouldn't be so many homeless people; their families would continue to take them in until they get on their feet.

    "Not to mention the fact that neglecting your brother/sister is the same as neglecting your parents (whose role is an extension of God’s role as a Parent), which in turn is the same as turning your back to the Creator."

    I don't think it is the same of turning your back on God. The test could be, how long will it take you to walk away and regain your sanity? You can't look at it as turning your back, look at stepping through the situation.

    "Siblings can be annoying, irritating, unconsidered, forgetful, embarrassing, addicts, squealers; they can have serious psychological issues, karmic traumas, they may not even know you at all...nevertheless they are your blood, your responsibility, your ID."

    My siblings don't define me and I don't define them. We are individuals. They are nice people, but we don't really have anything in common. My only ID is that which is God. I heard a Sufi quote once, "I want to be somebody, then nobody." (Paraphrased)

    "Saint Exupéry said that we are responsible for those we captivate. If we are willing to open ourselves to strangers (i.e. extra-familia), be there for them and be responsible for them...why not rise above ourselves, make prove of our humanity and be there for our own flesh and blood?"

    We can be enthralled by those we captivate, but each person has to take their own responsibility. We can't take responsibility for them because we don't know what God has in store for them. Just because we are made from the same cloth does not mean we are made from the same thread.

    Max, my dear, I loved reading this post. It was certainly stimulating.
    Thanks. Take a bow. Applause!

    Sister Cheers

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  5. interesting thoughts here. i enjoyed reading it.
    "they are your blood...your ID." true. a hefty thought!

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  6. Hi! Family life with brothers and sisters certainly has its ups and downs. It’s a mix of the good times, the bad times and the ugly times.

    But perhaps not getting on with them at times, prepares us better for an adult life full of mystery, intrigue and backstabbing.

    When things go wrong, it’s time for time away from the things that trouble us.

    But never wanting to carry a grudge, it’s good to make up and move on. I think that's called, "Closure".

    Take Care,
    Peter

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  7. Powerful post, Max!

    I don't know what I'd do if I had a bad relationship with my brother. Fortunately for me, we've been close to each other ever since we were little. :-))) I'm HAPPY and GLAD and PROUD to have a brother like him. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!

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  8. Hey Delirious!

    "A family is a mini-laboratory for life." - no doubt about that! I used to tell my mom that if I would ever win an Oscarette for Life performance I would thank God, my family and specially my brother for having taught me how to fight and cope with irritation lol.

    "Our siblings teach us how to solve conflicts, how to live with someone who gets on our nerves, and how to cooperate." - absolutely!

    "There may be those that go off the deep end and mess up their life, but that too is a learning experience for us. How do we deal with those who live in ways we disapprove? Our siblings teach us how." - I agree.

    "Thankfully, I have great relationships with my siblings. :)" - Halleluiah for that, D :D!

    Darling, thank you so much for your input *bowing*!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello Alexys!!

    "Happy Maxday!" - Happy Maxday, darling :D!

    "Provocative post." - when is it not? ;)

    "It depends on the situation. If the sibling is always in dire straits, then whatever we do to "help" them won't help them. We are just enabling them. They have to hit rock bottom and get up by themselves. Once they pick themselves up, we can offer to help them stand." - this is one way to view it, indeed. And it might be very effective for some cases, yes. But it is ethical to let them hit rock bottom? Is it ethical to be unethical in order to help somebody?

    "Though we share the same DNA, we don't share the same spiritual DNA, goals, accomplishments, heartaches, losses, etc." - I know of cases where people share the same spiritual DNA, people who were already family in past lives, and came back as family again; sharing the same goals and accomplishments, pain, cry etc...because they have not fulfilled their task as a family, and so they came back to finish what they started. Does it make sense to you?

    "I am the fourth of six children. We are all different, but I would venture to say that I am the most different because I am not a sheep and don't believe in the status quo." - I know what you mean; I am the first of two, and we are deadly different. I am reading you....

    "Ask yourself if you are judging the situation of the sib? Is the sib doing something that hurts someone or is it just an annoying habit? Is the sib doing anything illegal or heading that way? Is the sib putting your life in danger, etc.?" - and what happens if after asking these questions the ethical side of you tells you to be there for him, no matter the illegality, the danger or whatever?

    "You can't always do that. Even though it is your family, sometimes you have to walk away, otherwise there wouldn't be so many homeless people; their families would continue to take them in until they get on their feet." - so you are saying that ethics can't always be applied to life? Aaah, that issue is for another article...it is a very complex one, I must confess.

    "I don't think it is the same of turning your back on God. The test could be, how long will it take you to walk away and regain your sanity? You can't look at it as turning your back, look at stepping through the situation." - the family is a test already. Dealing with God is very hard, because even though He is merciful and loving, He constantly tests our faith in Him. Now, if a family on earth is the equivalent to the big Divine family up there; turning your back on a sib could be translated into a loss of faith in the Divine family (i.e. God, the Unity). Would it be ethical for a person to do whatever she can to help strangers (even when they don't want it, and still she insists) but "stepping through the situation" with a sibling?

    "My siblings don't define me and I don't define them. We are individuals. They are nice people, but we don't really have anything in common. My only ID is that which is God. I heard a Sufi quote once, "I want to be somebody, then nobody." (Paraphrased)" - but not having anything in common, does not obliterate the fact that they are your blood. If your ID is God (He IS our essence), and He designated your sibs to your family; then your sibs are your ID as well; yes?
    We are somebody indeed, yet we are nothing compared with the Greatness of the Divine. I suppose this quote is a reference to modesty, resignation, emptiness...loved it; thank you for sharing :)!

    "We can be enthralled by those we captivate, but each person has to take their own responsibility. We can't take responsibility for them because we don't know what God has in store for them." - does Love comprise responsibility? If one Loves somebody one is responsible for that person. Mother Theresa Loved people, and because she did she felt responsible for them.

    "Max, my dear, I loved reading this post. It was certainly stimulating." - thank you, darling! :D

    "Thanks. Take a bow. Applause!" - don't mention it! *bowing*! Thank you, thank you *throwing a flower at you!

    Lady A, thanks for your most brilliant comment, it made me think and awoke the dormant philosopher in me *bowing*!

    Sister Cheers

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  10. Hey Abigail!

    Welcome to the MAX :D!

    Thank you, I am glad that you enjoyed it *bowing*!

    Thanks for having dropped by :D!
    Feel free to return and join us :D!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi Peter!

    "Family life with brothers and sisters certainly has its ups and downs. It’s a mix of the good times, the bad times and the ugly times." - I have to agree with you on this one, mate!

    "But perhaps not getting on with them at times, prepares us better for an adult life full of mystery, intrigue and backstabbing." - absolutely! Absolutely!

    "When things go wrong, it’s time for time away from the things that trouble us." - pausing...you mean?

    "But never wanting to carry a grudge, it’s good to make up and move on. I think that's called, "Closure"." - yes!

    Peter, thank you so much for this fantastic comment *bowing*! I didn't even have much to say here...

    Always a pleasure to see you here!

    Cheers

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  12. Hi Amelia!!

    "Powerful post, Max!" - thank you so much, gorgeous *bowing*!

    "I don't know what I'd do if I had a bad relationship with my brother. Fortunately for me, we've been close to each other ever since we were little. :-))) I'm HAPPY and GLAD and PROUD to have a brother like him. I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!" - that is so beautiful, darling!! You are truly blessed and I am so happy for you :D!!!

    Gorgeous, thank you for your input: you have brought joy with you :D!

    Cheers

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  13. Max,

    "Provocative post." - when is it not? ;)"

    True, it is always provocative to say the least.

    "But it is ethical to let them hit rock bottom? Is it ethical to be unethical in order to help somebody?"

    I believe it is ethical to let them hit rock bottom. It is not ethical to be unethical period, however I don't see it as being unethical by not helping someone because we will never let them help themselves. I am all for assisting people where I can and helping them ease the burden of their lives, but then again, I can't keep carrying their burden because they won't know what it feels like. (If that makes sense.) I do understand your point though and I have taken it to heart.

    "I know of cases where people share the same spiritual DNA, people who were already family in past lives, and came back as family again; sharing the same goals and accomplishments, pain, cry etc...because they have not fulfilled their task as a family, and so they came back to finish what they started. Does it make sense to you?"

    I understand that. It makes sense. Let's take it further and examine spiritual DNA as if it were a fingerprint. No one has the same fingerprint because we are all individuals. Though we share some traits in our spiritual DNA, we don't share them all. I know a family can reincarnate to work our their karma, but it doesn't mean that it has to be worked out in a lifetime. It can take several lifetimes.

    "I am reading you...."

    As I am reading you.

    "...what happens if after asking these questions the ethical side of you tells you to be there for him..."

    Then you have to follow your heart and be there, but if it is an illegal situation, you can not conspire with that party to participate. People will only go as far as their ethics take them. If their ethics don't go as far as yours, you can not compromise your ethics. Think of the big picture. It's like a family that harbors their relative who is a fugitive. They may hide him in the basement, but they are only postponing the inevitable.

    "...so you are saying that ethics can't always be applied to life? Aaah, that issue is for another article...it is a very complex one, I must confess."

    Yes. I am saying that ethics can't always be applied to life because life is not always black and white, there are too many gray areas. It is another idea for a post.

    "...if a family on earth is the equivalent to the big Divine family up there; turning your back on a sib could be translated into a loss of faith in the Divine family (i.e. God, the Unity)."

    I don't think our earthly families are the equivalent to our Divine family. We are here on earth to purify ourselves into divinity.

    "Would it be ethical for a person to do whatever she can to help strangers (even when they don't want it, and still she insists) but "stepping through the situation" with a sibling?"

    I never understood why people help strangers before helping their family. Charity begins at home. We can't help people who don't want it, even siblings.

    "...but not having anything in common, does not obliterate the fact that they are your blood. If your ID is God (He IS our essence), and He designated your sibs to your family; then your sibs are your ID as well; yes?"

    I don't believe that they are. We share the model, but not the serial number. That's not to say that they are still cool people.

    "Mother Theresa Loved people, and because she did she felt responsible for them."

    She loved them and felt a human responsibility for their well being, but she was also placed in that position to give them a spiritual love that they didn't get from anyone else. She was a coworker with God. In that way, she as God's child felt responsible for everyone.

    Very good questions. I hope that I offered another view for you to examine. Debate is a wonderful way to open up our mind. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Thanks for the lovely flower.

    Mother & Sister Teresa Cheers

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  14. Lol, "see a creature to whom we vow to turn their lives into a living hell for the rest of their existence".

    Now having 2 daughters that have as opposite personalities at the Sun to the Moon, I hear ya.

    I remember one day many moons ago where my oldest was away at a friends for a few days, I was watching from a distance my youngest riding on a swing by herself, she just stopped for a moment and said aloud Amanda, the oldest daughters name, in a sad voice, even though they fought a lot, they still were apart of each other and deep inside loved each other.

    Now as far as the sibling doing and acting in away that you can't stand being around them, it is still your responsibility to forgive and love your own, suck it up, blood is thicker then water.

    It is our duty no matter what to stand behind family, it has to begin at home, in the bigger sense, we are all brothers and sisters and should treat everyone as such, after all God forgave us greater sins and will always be there for us.

    It's a long long road
    from which there is no return
    while we're on the way to there
    why not share
    and the load
    doesn't weigh me down at all
    he ain't heavy, he's my brother.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Alexys,

    "True, it is always provocative to say the least." - *bowing*....

    "I am all for assisting people where I can and helping them ease the burden of their lives, but then again, I can't keep carrying their burden because they won't know what it feels like. (If that makes sense.)" - I understand what your position is, darling :)!

    "Let's take it further and examine spiritual DNA as if it were a fingerprint. No one has the same fingerprint because we are all individuals. Though we share some traits in our spiritual DNA, we don't share them all. I know a family can reincarnate to work our their karma, but it doesn't mean that it has to be worked out in a lifetime. It can take several lifetimes." - several lifetimes the same family, the same issue, God doesn't let them quit even though they may be tired of coming all together, and to work out the same issues every time...

    "Then you have to follow your heart and be there, but if it is an illegal situation, you can not conspire with that party to participate. People will only go as far as their ethics take them. If their ethics don't go as far as yours, you can not compromise your ethics. Think of the big picture. It's like a family that harbors their relative who is a fugitive. They may hide him in the basement, but they are only postponing the inevitable." - I hear you!

    "Yes. I am saying that ethics can't always be applied to life because life is not always black and white, there are too many gray areas. It is another idea for a post." - indeed it is *High 5*!

    "I don't think our earthly families are the equivalent to our Divine family. We are here on earth to purify ourselves into divinity." - we are here on earth to fulfil a mission. Does the fulfilment of the mission (be it bad or good) purify us?

    "I never understood why people help strangers before helping their family. Charity begins at home." - I agree.

    "We can't help people who don't want it, even siblings" - I hear you.

    "I don't believe that they are. We share the model, but not the serial number. That's not to say that they are still cool people." - I see what you mean...

    "She loved them and felt a human responsibility for their well being, but she was also placed in that position to give them a spiritual love that they didn't get from anyone else. She was a coworker with God. In that way, she as God's child felt responsible for everyone." - I always thought we were all God's children, and therefore responsible for those within our reach to take care of.

    "Very good questions. I hope that I offered another view for you to examine. Debate is a wonderful way to open up our mind. Thank you for the opportunity." - thank you *bowing*! You did, darling, you sure did; and i thank you for it :D! Yes, and that is why I love it so much! You are most welcome, Lady A :D!

    "Thanks for the lovely flower." - you deserve them all!!

    Sunny Cheers

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  16. Hey Bob!

    "Now having 2 daughters that have as opposite personalities at the Sun to the Moon, I hear ya." - lol I know what you mean!

    I" remember one day many moons ago where my oldest was away at a friends for a few days, I was watching from a distance my youngest riding on a swing by herself, she just stopped for a moment and said aloud Amanda, the oldest daughters name, in a sad voice, even though they fought a lot, they still were apart of each other and deep inside loved each other." - oooh, that is so sweet. It reminded me and my brother...we would fight, but we couldn't stay away from each other!

    "Now as far as the sibling doing and acting in away that you can't stand being around them, it is still your responsibility to forgive and love your own, suck it up, blood is thicker then water." - Hear! Hear! I utterly agree with you!

    "It is our duty no matter what to stand behind family, it has to begin at home, in the bigger sense, we are all brothers and sisters and should treat everyone as such, after all God forgave us greater sins and will always be there for us." - Amen to that, brother!

    Bob, thanks for this quote! And thank you so much for your comment *bowing*!

    Cheers

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  17. Hey Max, :-) you do stimulate the mind to do what it ought to do, lol.

    I have a younger bro, the only sibling I have, as far as I know.;-)

    Opposite personalities collide most of the time, especially when provoked by reactions and impressions. Such stimuli creates frictions that could make ond hate the other, or close to it. I mean, it can't be helped sometimes that the one is well-loved and popular, while the other is viewed as the opposite. Comparison creates rift between siblings. Nevertheless, siblings are binded by love. In the end, love will always win.:-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey Drippingmind :D!

    "you do stimulate the mind to do what it ought to do, lol." - lol thank you, darling *bowing*!

    "I have a younger bro, the only sibling I have, as far as I know.;-)" - lol I hear you ;)!

    "Opposite personalities collide most of the time, especially when provoked by reactions and impressions. Such stimuli creates frictions that could make ond hate the other, or close to it." - I understand what you mean...

    "I mean, it can't be helped sometimes that the one is well-loved and popular, while the other is viewed as the opposite. Comparison creates rift between siblings." - people are different and so they should not be compared *nodding*...

    "Nevertheless, siblings are binded by love. In the end, love will always win.:-)" - I agree with you, dear! I couldn't agree more :D!

    Drippingmind, thank you so much for your incredible input, I feel honoured *bowing*!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm a family person, which may sound weird considering I live on another continent than mine family, but trust me on that one.

    Family can be irritating at times but ultimately, they love you with unconditional love. I like the idea of being part of a family, even if I don't get along fine with all of them.

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  20. Hey Zhu!

    Girl, welcome back :D! I gather you had an excellent trip back home!!

    There is nothing more precious than family; allors je te comprends parfaitement!!

    Cherie, thanks for this awesome comment; you rock *bowing*!

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete

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