Thursday, May 10, 2007

A love letter

Dear Little Brother,

We had another one of our excruciating chats last night. Each time we talk I can't help but feel both despair and hope. I ask about your plans for school, whether you'll finally pursue your studies like we planned before I left. You said yes, and I am hopeful. But then you had enrolled last January and dropped again after the first week.

What will I do with you, I wonder. You asked me how I was, and I told you I made it to the Dean's list. You cursed. Your reaction, I sensed, was a mix of envy and admiration. Is that how its always been? Do you see me as the epitome of what you are not? You've told me, in one of our soap-operatic arguments from years before, that I was the golden child, that I was the one who could do no wrong, the bar with which you were always compared. I don't know what our parents told you. I don't know if they'd made unfair comparisons. But you know I've always believed in you. You know I believe you're brilliant, that you have all the potentials if you but focus. FOCUS.

I am not perfection. I struggle with myself as you do. I have learned, in all these years, that I am my worst enemy. I am not brilliant, as you said. But for lack of natural talent I make up for with discipline and hard work. I keep telling you, there's no such thing as luck. We create our own destiny. We make our own luck.

I can teach you a foreign language. I can teach you the rudiments of global politics. I can teach you hifalutin' philosophical concepts. But those aren't what you need to learn. How do I teach you discipline and responsibility? How do I teach you commitment? How do I make you veer away from temptations of just letting yourself go? How do I teach you to listen to yourself, to value yourself, to believe in yourself? How do I make you stop hurting?

Your failures are mine. Your struggles are mine. Your faults are mine. I pray it won't always be like this. I can only hope, that by example, I am helping. In the end, it is your life. But I am here. And I will carry you as long as needed.

I love you dearly.

Yours truly,


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