Yet some of the most important people who shape our lives are those with whom we grow up every day.
Today, April 10, is National Siblings Day. It celebrates the impact our brothers and sisters had or have on us and how much we appreciate them.
The day was founded by Claudia A. Evart through a non-profit charity, Siblings Day Foundation, in 1998, to honor the memory of her late sister and brother who died in accidents at an early age.
Siblings are our closest family members, other than our parents, with whom we grew up with every day; the bonds we share with them last forever.
Siblings are unique in our family life because, for the most part, they are more than just family - they are peers.
In our siblings, we see our future or our past reflected in the familiar face of someone who shares our genes, cultural beliefs and, most importantly, family context.
That idea of context is an important one. We often attribute the success or failings of friends, cousins or strangers to their particular set of conditions. Luck of circumstance or, in some cases, a lack thereof, is how we justify our differing fortunes from those of our other peers.
Siblings, however, don’t afford us that opportunity.
It is for this reason we learn so much from our brothers and sisters - how to succeed, how to overcome adversity, how not to waste our talents – these are examples of the learnings and teachings that are shared daily among siblings all over the world.
Sometimes we learn the most important life lessons from our brothers or sisters. Sometimes it’s as simple as how to skim a rock on a lake or how to draw a tree. It doesn’t matter. The point is that shared experience makes those lessons some of the most valuable and longest held lessons in our lives.