Head Men's Basketball Coach – Pratt Cannoneers
For the longest time, I had a number of things I could claim over my younger brother David. I was older (by three years), taller, smarter, more athletic, more employed and funnier.
By the time he hit high school David was certainly taller and had marked his claim as the more athletic one by being a tremendous soccer player and eventually playing varsity tennis. Unfortunately, it didn’t take much to be funnier than me. I think he took that title as soon as he learned to talk.
Even the more employed thing took a hit when David got a job following graduation, working in New York City on the business/consulting/sales side of a technology start-up.
But until Sunday morning, I thought I could comfortably say that I was smarter. My ego may think that forever, but following his graduation from Binghamton University, one of the best public universities in the country, David at least now has an argument.
At least I will always be older.
I think that each time a monumental occasion occurs, it’s hard not to reminisce. We sat around the table at each meal this weekend discussing all the funny and special memories of David’s soon-to-be 22 years on the occasion of his graduation.
But to me, it was a seemingly insignificant moment that stuck. It was the moment that I knew, positively, that David was going to be successful.
I was visiting for a weekend in the fall and David was the president of his fraternity. He had explained to a degree what the job entailed, but I wasn’t particularly interested in the details. I was never in a fraternity and was proud he was elected president, but frankly could not care less about the inner workings.
Two of the younger members of the fraternity knocked on David’s door and asked him to help with a problem. I don’t remember exactly what the issue was, but I’m fairly certain that I was in shock at how silly it seemed. I’m pretty sure it involved who had to pay to get into a party and who didn’t.
Regardless, David handled the situation with aplomb, appealing to both parties, creating a satisfying resolution and sending everyone out of his room happy. I’m relatively confident he took a nap after.
That minor situation left me convinced though, just how successful my brother would be out in the real world. He had problem solving skills, strong leadership characteristics, natural creativity and most importantly an innate way of dealing with and appealing to people.
I laughed this weekend when thinking that more than any graduation or degree, it was an inter-fraternity disagreement that signified David’s success to me, but I promise that it will be telling as he goes on to make his mark on the world.
So congratulations on your graduation David: my funnier, taller, more athletic, employed, just as smart, yet perpetually younger, brother.