Because of My Brother, I Am Grateful

Posted by Meditation USA on August 24, 2020

Minsoo Kwak / University student

My brother is three years older than I am. Since childhood, he has been the epitome of righteousness and a person of principle. Before joining the military, he was already a thorough ‘military style’ person. He didn’t say a single useless word, there was no waste in what he did and he always studied hard. By the time he went to college, our family was going through some financial trouble. His personality became more straight-edged and righteous. In order to ease the financial burden of our parents, he chose the path of becoming a military officer. He has never gone astray or been lazy. As a born soldier, he rose through the ranks quickly and excelled in the military.

I was frustrated because of my blunt and inflexible older brother.

Contrary to my older brother’s personality, I was gentle and free-spirited, so my brother’s actions and words were always frustrating to me. He didn’t joke and was tactless and blunt. He wasn’t any fun because he didn’t spend any money where it wasn’t necessary. I could feel his judgement even when buying a cookie at the store.

If I made even a small mistake, my brother severely rebuked me, “How can you be so stupid?” “You can’t be successful because you do these kinds of things.” Because of his cold tone, I was very upset and I felt deflated. I was just a teenager, so it was normal for me to make mistakes and I wanted to play. But he was so inflexible. He was my brother who I had lived with for 20 years, but I couldn’t warm up to him.

I Was Surprised By the Change in My Brother, He Was Brighter and Friendlier

One day, by the suggestion of one of his college friends, my brother started this meditation. A little while later, I joined the army. When I saw my brother after my service, I was surprised.

‘Huh? Where did his soldier demeanor go?’ Instead of wearing a serious expression, he laughed and was so generous and bright. He didn’t scold me for not being good or saving money. Before, he never bothered anyone and he was very frugal. But now he became friendly, asked others for help when he needed it and treated people when they went out to eat. In particular, he became very friendly to our parents. He never behaved like that before.

He was incredibly comfortable and free and that made me feel like I could breathe easier when I was around him. It was hard to believe that he had ever been a blunt Busan-style man. While I was away in the military for two years, I decided that I would also be a good brother. So, I attended a meditation retreat as my brother recommended. Throughout the meditation, only my brother came to my mind. I had many thoughts that my brother hadn’t treated me well. Because of those thoughts, I didn’t know my brother’s true heart.

Thanks To My Brother, I See the World Differently

My brother always told me the hard truth and gave me good advice and helped me to become a better person. He was the elder brother and he played the role well. He always gave to his family. I felt so sorry. After that, he gave me financial support so I could concentrate on my studies and meditation.

“Money is a means, not a purpose,” he said, and relieved my financial burden. When I asked him how I would pay back everything he gave me, he said, “Don’t think about paying me back, just pay it forward.” And, rather than wishing for me to have a stable job, he actively supported me by saying that I can do whatever I am good at and enjoy. He is always very supportive, and I want to be like him. “Thanks to you, I now see the world differently. Just as you did for me, I want to live for others and for the world. Thank you so much, big brother.” Source:

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