They burst out laughing as we came out. “Little faggies!” they yelled us with a mocking laughter. I was just eight years old by that time and I was still innocent enough to not feel ashamed to accompany my brother to the bathroom. However, it wasn’t the fact that they called me sissy what irritated me.
My brother was the youngest of our scout group, and on a trip we had to the river, Lucas and his friends played a prank on Daniel. They grabbed and threw him into the stream with his bathing suit full of sand and pebbles. Then they started throwing mud balls to his face. When I saw him in tears in the middle of the river, I took him immediately in my arms to the showers to help him cleanup the dirt.
Within me, my blood began to boil with every laugh I heard. Until that day I had never had a fight, but the sense of responsibility to protect my little brother gave me the impetus of closing my fist, I ran towards Lucas, and I gave him a punch with all my strength in the nose (I but guess it was not hard enough because he began laughing even louder). He bent down, picked something up, and before I knew what it was, he had already hit me with it. The last thing I remember was waking up in the hospital.
The scar that the rock engraved in my left eyebrow always reminds me that there was a time when I was a good brother. It reminds me that there was time when we protected and loved each other.
My parents made the worst decision when they got married. I have never felt that neither mom nor dad is a bad person, but they were not meant to be together. Ever since I was born I grew up watching them fight and many times at the verge of divorce. When my brother and I were younger, our naivete made us immune to their conflicts, but it was not until we entered adolescence than those conflicts began to subconsciously shape our behavior.
Fights between brothers are always normal. Phrases such as “I saw it first,” “This is mine” or “I’ll tell mom” are common, and the friction that occurs when spending so much time with someone sometimes erupt into an occasional clash. But between Daniel and I the slightest thing lit a spark. When he used my video games I always got angry, or when I wore his clothes he would curse me, and we always ended up in a brawl (I shed tears involuntarily every time I remember the times I hit him). For many years the routine did not changed. We fought, mom grounded us, and when it was over our resentment had settled deep within us. We reached a point where we no longer talk and we were angry at each other all the time without even having a reason.
It is true that no one chooses his or her environment, but everybody has been endowed with the will to respond. It was not my fault to grow up in a dysfunctional family, but I was guilty of breaking my brotherhood ties with Daniel. My immaturity made me reactive rather than proactive. But time has passed and I learned that good memories are not the only ones that can influence your life. And despite our bitter relationship, my younger brother has been a person who has influenced me for good.
The mistakes that I incurred with my brother have made me ponder and have taught me the essentials for any relationship. After several years I have learned that the only sword that can cut the roots of resentment is forgiveness. Because we never said a simple “Sorry” was the main reason why we accumulated so much enmity between us. I also learned that to always believe you have the reason it is just a mental fear of being able to see things through others’ perspective. Every time I argued with Daniel, my anger always increased because of the absurdity of believing that I was always right.
Our lives began to develop in the trunk of the same tree tree, but as we grew, our hearts began to diverge toward opposite branches. But, as branches of the same tree, the sap that runs through myself still reminds me that our roots are the same, and only the death of the tree can break the ties that nature has imposed on us. Blessed will be our branches when the storm of our enmity complete its task of making us fall. Finally on the ground we will meet again and grow again but this time with the goal to sprout within the same flower.
Domestic terrorism has been defined by the statute as any act which
Domestic terrorism has been defined by the statute as any act which is dangerous to human life and which violates the United States criminal laws, and which appears to be intended to coerce or intimidate a civilian population, influencing government policy by coercion or intimidation, or impact the government conduct through mass destruction, kidnapping, or assassination. Such an act must primarily occur within the jurisdiction of the United States.
The United States President Donald Trump’s first national counterterrorism plan shows how the country will lead efforts in creating global terrorism prevention architecture with the assistance of private partners, the civil society, and the technology industry. Such efforts should start at home, where no such architecture exists. The United States has continued to rely almost entirely on the police to stop jihadist-inspired attacks or like the Oklahoma City federal building bombing.