My Invincible Brother ~ The Consummate Professional

business suit brother
Photo by Ben Rosett on Unsplash

Ahhh… The paradox that our lives present; and that includes my brother’s life. Most of us have a fun and whacky side, then a more serious business oriented side. Well, my brother was no different. Yes. I said was. I’ve written before about my brother that passed away a few years back. (You can read that nostalgic post here.)

Like most of us, we live and learn. And our two sides, the funny and the professional, each overlap and teach the other side valuable life lessons. Thinking of this phenomenon, along with thoughts of my brother this past week (it was his birthday a few days back), I thought of a funny story from our high school days and how it might’ve impacted him. It has to do with my brother hitting that proverbial “invincible” stage as a teenager. Doesn’t every teenage boy go through that stage? Lol

Well, I can tell you where some valuable life lessons may have come to light from the events that played out at the time. So, in honor of my late brother, I thought I’d share this story of his testosterone driven “invincibility” with you today.

My Invincible Brother

I remember my brother taunting my dad occasionally that he could “take him” in a fight. But, wouldn’t because he didn’t want to “hurt his old man”. My dad always said, “When you think you’re man enough, then go for it.”

Now to give you a bit of a perspective, my dad was about 5’10”, and weighed in around 145 lbs soaking wet. (Yep. My dad’s side of the family definitely carried the “petite” and “skinny” genes. Lol) Regardless, my dad was also a diesel mechanic. (He worked primarily on 18-wheeler rig engines.) As such, he definitely had some good lean muscles from working with his hands and torqueing wrenches and such on a daily basis.

On the other hand, my brother was somewhere around 16, and a popular jock in high school that took part in multiple sports yearly. He was about 5’11” and weighed in around 175 lbs. His build was lean and muscular, but still on the thin side. I’m sure he felt the odds were in his forever in his favor. After all our dad was around 40 at the time. But still, my brother’s athletic based muscular build was significantly more pronounced than Dad’s was. So, again, I’m sure my brother figured he had our dad beat in the strength department.

So the taunting continued off and on for several months. I figured it would stay that way forever, just a bragging taunt. And that’s where it stood until one day I guess my brother thought he was indeed “man enough”. Uh oh. Lol

Yet, my brother taunted, once again. My dad just laughed him off, saying “ready when you are”. And so on, back and forth for most of the afternoon. Until finally my dad asked my brother if he was actually a “wimp making empty threats”. Yep! That did it!

At that point, my brother said something like “ok. Come on, old man. I’ll try not to hurt you.” To which my dad replied along the lines of, “Likewise.” Then my dad assumed a “stance”; feet spread shoulder width apart, knees bent, hands open and relaxed but held up in front of his chest. He was relaxed and ready; not moving. Just waiting.

My brother assumed and “boxing” stance. Fists up and in front, bouncing lightly back and forth on his feet which were shoulder width apart as well. Dad just calmly watched his “moves”. My brother bounced, and kept running his mouth. My dad just watched.

Meanwhile, I kept my distance off to the side. We were outdoors. And my dad had wisely “taken it” to the grass and away from the driveway. The tension was high. And my brother kept taunting. Dad stayed quiet. My brother kept bouncing. My dad stayed still, silently watching.

Then, suddenly my brother lunged forward to make his move. And my dad responded lightening quick. I’m not sure what move my brother was performing. I’m not really sure if he even completed it or what the heck happened next. But, within moments, my brother was flat on his back on the grass and our dad was standing over him. Wait. What?!

My brother just laid there looking a bit shell shocked. Lol! I was a bit shell shocked too! My dad just stood there looking down at him and calmly said, “What? You done already???” My brother barely shifted then sheepishly replied that he was “hurt”. Oh, geez. Yep. Apparently, when my dad flipped him onto his back he tweaked a muscle. Therefore, my dad knelt beside him to reach underneath my brother’s back to massage his tweaked muscle. Then helped him up.

The Consummate Professional ~ Lessons Learned And Professionally Applied

My brother evidently had his pride hurt that day. But, he also learned a valuable lesson in choosing your battles wisely. You may not actually know your opponent as well as you think you do. My brother had obviously forgotten about our dad’s military background. A background that undoubtedly included a bit of hand to hand combat training. Lol!

Additionally, size does not necessarily mean the bigger person will automatically win in a physical confrontation. There are skills and agility which are required in many fighting techniques. This is something my brother learned the hard way. And, it’s a lesson he never forgot, which served him well throughout his life. Likewise, a person’s appearance does not tell their full story. You must still learn your opponent’s skill, knowledge, and abilities, as well as your own in comparison.

Furthermore, you cannot be short-sighted and quick to react. You must “slow your roll” and take the time to properly assess the situation fully. The old saying “Only fools rush in” is totally accurate. Be wise. Take your time. Then, when you’ve had time to understand all the players and their positions, then make your move. Like a game of chess, each move changes the playing field layout. At which forethought is then required before you proceed once again.

I’m sure there are many more life lessons than can be gleaned from a poorly thought out confrontation. But, you get the gist. And, if you didn’t know the aforementioned lessons, then you can learn them from my brother’s experience.

(It’s a great deal easier to learn through other people’s mistakes. Right?! Lol)

Nevertheless, my brother learned his lesson and quit taunting my dad after that little tussle. And I can’t help but believe that the lessons learned that day helped him achieve his many accomplishments throughout his career. As we all know consummate professionals, like my brother, are better off when they learn from their mistakes and use them as building blocks as they move forward.

Knowledge rests
not upon truth alone,
but upon error also.

~ Carl Jung ~

All knowledge is connected
to all other knowledge.
The fun is in making the connections.

~ Arthur C. Aufderheide


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