We can choose friends. We can choose acquaintances. But we cannot choose our relatives. And yet, there is a greater meaning behind it all.

I have two younger brothers, one three years behind me, and the youngest, a good six years behind me. They are all grown men, and my youngest brother is a proud father too.

I have rather fond memories of when all of us were young kids. As the eldest brother, it always fell on my lap to look out for them, whenever those situations arose.

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There was one time when my younger brother and I were lost in a mall. I quickly rose to the occasion to soothe his frayed nerves, and of course, we were reunited with my parents in no time.

I was cleaning my office desk recently, and found an old envelope with faded photographic prints of my brothers and I. Suddenly, despite those faded colors, the prints brought back many memories of our childhood. The adorable moments of my brothers when they were such young kids, somehow changed many gray hazy memories back to psychedelic and animated footages in my head. Those challenging times throughout our lives suddenly faded into the background and at least momentarily, were supplanted by such pleasant thoughts instead.

The age difference between two siblings can never be breached. The older sibling will always walk ahead in time, and in turn, as Divine Will has it, will always have to be the one to hold the hands of the younger sibling throughout life. To some, it may seem like an obligation, but perhaps that is exactly how familial bonds are honed and forged by a constant chasm of years, forever binding the two siblings to a time difference, allowing the older one to forever lead as long as he is able, and the younger one perhaps lending strength to the older one when strength departs from later years.

There would not be pleasant journeys all the time, even with siblings from the same line. We are after all, distinct creations with our own thoughts and feelings. The diversity is what makes this world such a beautiful place. Things always straighten themselves out over time, usually such short time too. The same familial blood that flows through our veins resonate many things too, despite whatever trivial differences we tend to exaggerate.

It is always a journey shared by siblings, to walk till the very end. No matter what storms or distance attempt to separate the siblings, the bonds are forged before our foray into this world.

So, enjoy our journeys, with siblings, with families, and perhaps, as the wisdom of our African brethren would say, “Ubuntu”, which basically means we are human only because of our bond with other human beings. We are not subjugated to one another, but we are of equal intrinsic value, to each other too. It is up to us to uncover these gems beneath each of our surfaces, to gift others with what we hope too, that who we are, they are too, and what they are, we may become too.