jump to navigation

IRJ-Reflection#18 January 27, 2010

Posted by andrewg2013 in Reflection.

Cain Is Not Able: What Happens Between Siblings, Doesn’t Stay Between Siblings

While reading Genesis chapter four about the dealings of the direct descendants of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel’s interactions play out. God asks Cain, “‘Where is your brother Abel?’”, and Cain replies, “‘I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?’”

Cain trying to hide his murder of Abel relates to the way brothers and siblings still interact today (but in much less dramatic ways). An older brother may pick on the younger brother and then act like nothing happened.

Cain says that he doesn’t watch over his brother all the time. His philosophy has both pros and cons attached to it. Without the guidance of an elder, a person cannot grow and develop. The siblings can relate the most with each other because of the minimal age difference between them, and they stay with one another for their entire lives.

In thinking that he shouldn’t hover over his brother because he may keep his brother from interacting fully with the outside world, Cain plays as the innocent one. You learn best by making mistakes and the “keeping” of someone could actually injure someone’s future.

The middle ground remains the best route; you must make sure that people don’t make big mistakes that can hurt themselves, but you must also let them attempt living in the world themselves. Cain took the wrong route completely, but we have learned the lessons of the past and won’t make the big mistakes again, just as we should have.



1. chandlerw2013 - February 2, 2010

Siblings, especially older ones, seem to have the feeling that they carry the responsibility of their younger brothers of sisters if something goes wrong. By allowing the younger siblings to attempt to live in the outside world, they learn beneficial experiences from it, but releasing them too early also creates an impact in how they can adjust on their own.
A person once told me that the best ways to learn something are through four steps: explaining, demonstrating, guiding, and enabling. The elder must provide and demonstrate how to do something, and after allow them to test it while under supervision. By not providing the guiding part to allow them to try it under supervision, it does not give them the exposure they need before they leave it to their own accord.
The middle route always provides the strongest results, but because Cain does not show his sympathy for his brother, Abel never had a chance to demonstrate his skills to Cain which caused his jealousy fits and motif to kill Abel. We are faced with choices everyday, but how we react to them determine how advanced we have grown personally.

2. michaelca2013a - February 25, 2010

Although the idea that people, especially siblings, grow and develop better than those who are alone is true, I believe that the idea of a “middle ground” is relative to the person or sibling in question. If you have a younger brother who prefers to work alone or be alone, than constantly trying to be there may hurt him. On the other hand, for a very boisterous person who loves a lot of attention, giving them too much freedom may be hazardous to their health. In the case of Cain and Able, it was simply an act of jealousy of another person’s success. In retrospect, we have no physical evidence that Cain and Able did not get along just fine, or that they did not spend a lot of time together. Another major thing to ponder before you take the middle ground is to question your personality, and if you are the right person to be helping them. All of these questions relating to the judgment of siblings to the judgment of people really relies on the circumstances, and the people involved.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: