The word, “bro” suggests a loving family bond. Often jealousy and rivalry is polluting the blood line. How dangerous is sibling rivalry? Nature provides some dramatic examples of sibling rivalry. In the shark world within the mother shark’s womb during gestation sometimes the strongest baby shark devours the weaker before birth. In order to get all the food that the mother eagle brings back to the nest, the first born eaglet will at times push the other eaglets out of the nest as they come out of their eggs.
How is a sibling supposed to survive in a family where the brother or sister is aggressive? In Hanging in the Stars, Andrew must grow up in the shadow of Ally, a scholar athlete on the fast track for a scholarship to an Ivy League school. Their micro managing mother has invested her dreams into molding Ally’s future. Yet Andrew seems to accept and love Ally though she is clearly more gifted than him. Is Andrew’s love stronger than his jealousy or is he just realistic about the differences in his sister’s abilities and his own? Does living with a more powerful or more successful sibling prepare you for life’s competition or does it harm your self image?
What about forgiveness between siblings? Andrew involves Ally in a dangerous situation that results in Ally losing her chance at a soccer scholarship? The question can and should Ally forgive Andrew remains. Can Andrew forgive himself for hurting his sister?
In raising my own two sons, who are four years apart, for the most part, they seemed to like each other. Inside our home I tried to create a loving atmosphere by avoiding comparisons of my sons. When they fought, I would encourage them to forgive each other, by saying,” Oh make up now. He’s your brother.” Was that good parenting or does that add guilt to a sibling who has been wronged?
What are the limits to forgiveness among siblings? In the novel Maya is almost beaten to death by her controlling brother. She has to flee for her life. Can she or should she forgive her brother’s physical and mental abuse. How much do you owe your brother and sister? How much do they owe you?