31 Dec

Brothers and Sisters

Lissa Coffey

Lissa Coffey

Lissa Coffey

One of the most interesting relationships we encounter in this lifetime is the relationship between siblings.  As we are living longer than ever before, chances are that this relationship is the one that lasts the longest in our lives.  Studies show that sister are more likely to keep in contact than brothers, and brother-sister combos fall somewhere in the middle.  What keeps us bonded with our siblings into adulthood? A number of factors are involved.  One theory says that it’s the way the parent guides the kids to be kind and helpful towards one another when they are young.  Another theory is that siblings feel comfortable in attached relationships.  They are familiar with one another, and feel badly when separated.  How closely the siblings live to one another also comes into play.  Those who live closer have more contact. 


Sibling relationships change over time.  Typically there is more closeness and more involvement when we are younger, and that gradually decreases in early adulthood. But then we find that closeness again as we get settled and start to get older.  Sibling rivalry decreases and feelings of closeness increase with age.  One study found that older people with living siblings, especially sisters, have a higher morale, and are more emotionally secure. Siblings rely on each other more and more for support as they age.


I remember having a wonderful conversation with Deepak Chopra’s mother when we were both at the Chopra Center in 1998.  I have two boys myself, so we have this in common, and we spoke heart to heart as mothers.  I asked her what her secret was, how she raised two amazing, successful, big-hearted sons.  She said to me, “It was all God.”  I admired her humbleness, and knew she really had everything to do with it.  Children follow the example of their parents, and this kind, beautiful woman certainly was a demonstration of love and family and created a loving, supportive home for her two boys so that they could go out into the world and share the lessons they learned from her.


Deepak Chopra has written a new book with his brother Sanjiv titled: Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream. The inspiring story of two brothers who immigrated to America from India and took very different paths to becoming world-renowned healers and teachers. 


At a time when America is fiercely divided on the issue of immigration, Brotherhood tells the story of two brothers who pursued the American dream to its fullest expression. In the early 1970s, Deepak and Sanjiv Chopra joined a flood of immigrants looking to make a new life in America, a land of opportunity. Having grown up in postwar India amidst the sudden freedom of the 1947 liberation, their childhood was a blend of the exotic, the mythical, and the modern. Their father was one of the first Indians to become a Western-trained cardiologist, while their extended family maintained deep roots in ancient spiritual traditions.


Brotherhood follows the Chopra brothers as one becomes a world-renowned spiritual teacher and the other rises to the top of Western medicine to become a professor at Harvard Medical School. Their story will fascinate and inspire anyone who still believes in America’s capacity to foster achievement and reward hard work.




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