Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
The concept of Mystical Brotherhood has become synonymous with the religious lifestyle. The word “Brother” is used to address, identify, and describe people viewed by the user as someone close to them.
In the truest sense of the word a brother is a male sibling from the same mother. It is irrevocable and undeniable, regardless of the actual relationship between the siblings.
Like many men, who do not have any genetic brothers. Some only siblings are their sister. That said, I have had the privilege of close relationships with some men whom I view as brothers.
The reasons why I view these men as brothers are as diverse as the individuals themselves. But they all share the common attribute of trustworthiness. I can count on the truth from them, regardless, of the consequences. Being a trustworthy individual will take you farther down the road of a life –well- lived than any other quality.
From these men I learned the value of honesty and candor. I learned that even serious differences, and big mistakes, can be overcome with straight honest talk.
From these men I learned tolerance. There is no sin in being different. Everyone has quirks and idiosyncrasies. True brothers are almost never the same. It costs you nothing to let the other guy have his opinion, even if it differs from yours. Tolerance is the gateway to compassion.
From these men I learned charity. Give what you can. There is always someone who needs it more than you do. The rewards of giving can’t be described in mere words, but can be felt in the depths of your heart.
From these men I learned courage. It is never easy to stand up for what you believe, but it is infinitely more painful to surrender to fear. You can’t get past the stigma of cowardice, in your own mind or in the minds of others.
From these men I learned respect. I learned how to show respect and how to earn respect. I learned the difference between respect and patronizing.
These are all life lessons which I learned by being lucky enough to know men who exemplified these behaviours. Interestingly most of them were not Christians and know nothing of the Christian culture. They are family, friends, and men I came to know during my professional life and in social pursuits. Men with whom I was lucky enough to have a close and spiritual relationship and whose example had a major influence on me. I don’t have to name them, they know who they are.
Brotherhood is a bond between individuals that is formed in the shared experiences of mutual circumstances and forged in the intense atmosphere of adversity. It is only possible when the best qualities of the individuals are brought to bear for the benefit of their cohorts. The bonds of brotherhood can be forged over a long period of time or in an instant.
Brotherhood is not friendship. Brotherhood is unconditional and has no options. The bond between brothers transcends the boundaries of friendship because even disagreement takes a back seat to the loyalty of brotherhood.
Men who share the commonalities of church, clubs, wearing the same title are not brothers until they are bonded by circumstances which are usually outside of their control, or a result of a shared commitment/mutual experience that did not start out with a bond between individuals.
In the Christian world respect is gold. It isn’t necessary to call everyone brother to be respectful. It is disingenuous to call a stranger brother. There are acquaintances and friends, and then there are brothers.
It is much harder to achieve brotherhood than it is to earn a title.
In the Christian world I have many friends and a few brothers.