One time my brother falsely accused me of stealing money from him. We were in the Post Office, and he wouldn't let it go, and I wouldn't let it go—I think we were both drunk—and it ended with punches being thrown.
When we were younger, one particularly heated argument ended in a full-scale BB gun war inside of the condo my family lived in. Though no one was seriously hurt, he and I got in a lot of trouble when our mom found a brownie pan riddled with indentations from BBs.
We fought growing up.
We nearly brawled in a funeral home as adults.
We've gone nearly a full year without speaking to each other.
There have been times when we felt like complete strangers.
But even when the emotion between us was far closer to hate than love, there was still a difference between who was inside the circle and who was outside of the circle. Sure, the circle might have had my brother and me throwing punches in the middle, but if someone would have joined in and helped either one of us beat on the other, the Brothers McKissen would have quickly turned on the outsider.
Growing up, our dad shared very little wisdom with us. Most of it was about the genius of Bob Seger and why he thought it was a bad idea to marry someone you had never slept with. But he drilled home the principle that you always stuck up for your family, even when you weren't getting along.
You might be angry with your brother.
You might even hate your brother, at least for a little while.
When you share the same physical space, when you have a complicated history, when you're competing over finite resources, when you know someone's strengths and weaknesses—when these circumstances are present, sometimes hate, anger, and division are inevitable.
In other words, it might be okay for me to call my brother an idiot.
But it's never okay for you to call my brother an idiot.