--by Mike Adams
Eric wondered if it was a general lack of good sense or the deprivation of oxygen that had caused his little brother to act so erratically. In truth, the little monkey was acting deliberately. He only wanted to see what his older brother would do in a situation that broke all the rules of Eric's rational world view.
Despite being separated by a seven year age gap, living at opposite ends of the personality spectrum, and sharing no physical characteristics that might indicate familial relations, the two brothers had a deep affection for each other. Secretly, the older envied his younger brother's curious bliss. He wondered, sometimes, if perhaps they weren't actually related. Not that it mattered, his love for the little bug was incredible and though his personality was an outlier in this family, he truly loved every member. His only complaint was that he often felt alone, not due to any lack of being shown affection, more because he was so distinct. He came from a different mold and he felt on some subtle level like a complete outsider.
For years, his cheeks would flame as embarrassment possessed him when a parent reprimanded him for being cruel. He meant no harm, he simply failed to consider that blunt honesty might actually hurt someone. His personality was a synthesis of unemotive computational logic delicately covering a subtle and insipid rage.
He was brilliant, but couldn't understand many of the most important and basic social rules in life. Rules that his younger brother seemed to grasp without effort. The other thing that really struck him about the little guy was his sense of justice and overwhelming compulsion to stand up for what is right regardless the possibility of negative consequences.
As a toddler, Joe would stand defiant against anyone, who he perceived as perpetrating injustice. Joe would affect a look of defiance and place himself between older and larger warring parties. He would hold his hands up, look at everyone involved and say, "You stop that! I don't like it when you act that way, quit being mean, NOW!" Usually the intensity of his ire and the smallness of his demeanor would cause everyone to laugh and say, "OK Little Mister, I'll stop."
This kid, nicknamed "Bear," seemed an anomaly to Eric, who had a difficult time mustering the courage needed to intervene in bullying. If he could bring himself to act, people would listen, there was no doubt. He was generally well liked, and despite his unusually small size, there wasn't a person in the school, who could provide a physical challenge to him. He was fast, strong and had years of martial arts training under his belt. No one wanted to mess with him and he knew it.
So why then, couldn't he intervene as his little brother did? Where did this kid's courage come from?
Was he destined for greatness or for heartbreak? Would his idealistic little brother go forth and change the world or would the world crush him? Eric had no idea, but he hoped that his brother would triumph. Eric always liked an underdog and somewhere deep inside, he believed that Joe the Bear might possess some secret strength that no one suspected.