The Story of Two Brothers
This is a true story of two brothers. The older brother did not have any formal education while younger brother had some formal education. The older brother had to assume responsibility early on and thus having a more difficult childhood. The younger brother had more freedom to venture out into the world.
Two brothers, from the same nest, produced very different fruits, their children. As the saying goes, the fruit does not fall very far from the tree. The differences in experiences and thinking by these two brothers influenced the way they raised their children leaving a different ripple effect for generations to come.
They choices made by each brother were very different and those choices made all the difference in the lives of their children and grandchildren. The differences became evident 50 years later when some of their children were already becoming grandparents.
Here are 7 contrasting choices made by each brother:
1. Vision. The older brother was a visionary and made sure his children knew what vision was. The older brother’s thinking led him to move the family towards that vision he created. The younger brother was always looking for easy ways to make a living, choosing the easy path early in life and never developing his own vision and a clear vision for his children.
2. Work. The older brother taught his children work ethic by having them work side by side. Boys learned manly things and girls learned womanly things. The children spent plenty of time with the parents while they were young. All his children started working and contributing to the family enterprise at age seven. The younger brother made sure his children spent as much time playing and having fun well into their teen years.
3. Pray. The older brother prayed with his children asking God to give him wisdom to educate his children to go on and live a moral life. The children learned the difference between right and wrong. The younger brother did not transfer to his children the value of faith and prayers in a person’s life.
4. Provide. The older brother provided his children with opportunity to work, to learn, and to be self-sufficient. He created them opportunities but allowed them to struggle through the early stages of life. He encouraged his children to endure and to do their best expecting better days were ahead. The younger brother did not allow his children to struggle and bailed them out when they got in trouble. The younger brother believed he had to give what his father had not given him. When his children got in trouble he would bail them out.
5. Money. The older brother taught his children the value of money, the importance of saving the hard earned money and investing it into assets. The younger brother served as a banker for his children; money seemed to come easy so money was available. He handed out freely without them having to earn their own money.
6. Teach. The older brother taught his children the value of character (integrity and courage), the value honoring and delivering on what one promises. He taught his children the value of being in community and the value of helping those in need. When his children got in trouble in school he made sure they paid the price at home as well. The younger brother did not choose to hold his children accountable. When his children got in trouble he would go to the teachers and principle and demand a special treatment for his children. He would bail them out of their troubles.
7. Example. The older brother served as the example, staying in one profession and mastering the craft. His children followed the example. The younger brother changed professions several times without mastering any. His children also followed the father example.
The stories we tell ourselves matter a great deal. What we go through in life is not as important as the stories we internalize from those experiences.
You are free to share these nuggets with others. We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. Be a giver in a world of takers.
Be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)