No one likes a brat. It must stop at ten years of age. Yes, no one who has lived over a decade is truly allowed to be a brat without being called out—or possibly executed.
Yet, in our stiff-necked, less-than-humble spirits, we try to sneak into our adult lives what we shall call bratisms. These are words, phrases, accusations, intimidations and even religious doctrines which allow us to be snotty in the name of some greater good.
It’s how we have come up with the term “taking the high road” when referring to a decision not to counterattack someone who chooses to insult us.
You see, taking the high road is a bratism—because if we choose not to do so, since it was the high road in the first place, we can claim that we just didn’t bring along our hiking boots. In other words, “we did our best, but when that son-of-a-bitch called us sons-of-bitches, well, he needed to be told that he’s a double son-of-a-bitch.”
And back and forth it goes.
The Jews and Palestinians have been fighting for thousands of years. Every once in a while, they have to find a new reason—a bratism. Otherwise they might have to consider why they are fussing in the first place and ponder the possibility of reconciliation.
We must create a bratism about men and women being at odds with each other. Otherwise, we might need to strike a deal concerning our mutual overall compatibility.
We need a bratism so we can call “them folks over there” third world, despots, dictators and evil. Otherwise, we’re going to have to concede that they apparently occupy part of the Earth, and short of a plague sent from the heavens, will be around for a while.
As we enter this season of politics, we once again hear people firing warning shots of attacks to be initiated.
These are followed by volleys and threats of counterattacks—done with just enough grown-up flair to escape being cursed as bratty.