Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Standing Up

A story has been making the rounds of Facebook and other places lately about a teenage boy who stood up to his father on behalf of his little brother. Apparently the three were out shopping for video games, and the younger boy, a pre-teen, wanted something the father believed was too "girly." The father went off on his son, ranting at him to be a man and so on.

The older boy, a teenager, said, "I'm the one buying the game for him, and if that's what he wants, he can have it." And he bought his brother what he wanted.

The overly analytical part of me wonders what happened after those boys and their father got home. Did the older brother get in trouble for "talking back"? Did the younger boy actually get to play his game?

The aftermath would probably make a good story--I'm an author, lots of things make good stories in my head. But the actions that were seen make a good point. This teenage boy didn't care that his younger brother wanted something "girly." He didn't care if his father got angry. His only goal was to make his brother happy and to make sure their father understood that nothing else should matter.

Too many people--including within families--let things like that go. They watch one family member bash another, figuratively or literally, because they don't dare to speak up or because they figure it's none of their business. It didn't happen so much in my family, because it was just me and my parents and no aunts, uncles, or cousins, but I remember very well watching members of my ex-husband's family rant about or at each other, and no one ever put a stop to it no matter how bad it was. And no matter whether it was another adult or a child on the receiving end.

It can be harder to stand up to a family member than to a friend or stranger. You have to live with family. They aren't going away. You're related to them until the day you die. But sometimes they're the ones who most need to be stood up to. I truly admire the boy in that story that's making the rounds, and I'm sure his little brother will remember that someone stood up for him.

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