Thursday, August 20, 2009

This Clears Up A Whole Lot

So, I read an article today that gave me insight on something that has intrigued me for years. Something that I could never find an answer for. Something that, until today, I'd resigned I would never understand.

Why was my sister always better at everything else?

(Let me pause to give a disclaimer. My sister was not better than me at EVERYTHING else. I have proven more than once that I can stuff more grapes in my mouth than she can. So, let's just make that clear. Plus, this is meant to be a sarcasm-filled humorous post and I have nor will I ever be envious of my sister's success. God made us different and gave us each awesome and unique talents to use for his glory. I will never be "enough proud" of my sister.)


This article states that studies have shown that "first-borns (and onlys) lead the pack in terms of educational attainment, occupational prestige, income and net worth." (Let's apply. My sister got better grades and gets paid more and don't even ask me what occupational prestige is. Because I don't know.)

(But we aren't going to talk about how I didn't study like she did and the fact that she's a teacher and deserves to get paid more and has had her job longer than I have.)

Although, they (who's they?) say that "birth order is significant in shaping individual success, but only for children of large families -- four or more siblings -- and in families where finances and parental time are constrained", I think there might be some truth to the study that applies to my sister and me.

Let's take a gander. Here's an except:


More conscientious, ambitious and aggressive than their younger siblings, first-borns are over-represented at Harvand and Yale as well as disciplines requiring higher education such as medicine, engineering or law. Every astronaut to go into space has been either the oldest child in her or her family or the eldest boy. And thoruhg history -- even when large families were the norm -- more than half of all Nobel Prize winners and U.S. presidents have been first-born.

I’m not going to lie. My sister is a go-getter. I am a dreamer. She’s gets things done. I just sit and think a cooler way to do it and then I never follow through.

My sister never went to Harvard or Yale. She went to Mississippi College (The Yale of Clinton, Mississippi). She was never an astronaut and I don’t think she ever wanted to be. She’s dreamed of being an opera singer since the day she could actually sing, I think. But if you could win a Nobel Prize for singing, she’d be a shoe-in. And she once said something along the lines of being a minister’s wife is like being a politician so I bet she could make a good run for president.


Middle children are more easy going and peer-oriented. Since they can get lost in the shuffle of their own families, they learn to build bridges to other sources of support and therefore tend to have excellent people skills. Middle children often take on the role of mediator and peacemaker.

I think since we don’t have a middle sibling, we share the qualities listed here. I’m easy going. She’s peer-oriented. We both have built bridges to other sources of support but know that our rock solid foundation is found in each other. We both have excellent people skills. We learned perfectly from our mother. Who learned from her mother. And we both often take on the role of mediator and peacemaker, depending on the situation.


The youngest child tends to be the most creative and can be very charming -- even manipulative. Because they often identify with the underdog, the tend to champion egalitarian causes. (Youngest siblings were the earliest backers of the Protestant Reformation and the Emlightenment.)

Successful in journalism, advertising, sales and the arts.

I wouldn’t say I’m the most creative, but I am quite creative and have realized lately that I can be very charming. And manipulative.That’s a hard word to swallow but I’ve been told stories. I always root for the underdog and while I had to look up “egalitarian” to make sure I knew what it meant, I would have to say that I’m a champion of peace and fairness, as long as it coincides with God’s Word.

And depending on who you speak to, I’ve been pretty successful in journalism and the arts. In third grade, I wrote my own song on the piano and won a contest for it. But I couldn’t sell cake to a fat kid.

"These are just general trends...the whole birth-order theory can be turned on its head depending on the child's personality, the age gap between siblings and the family circumstances each child experiences during his or her formative years."

However you want to look at it, my sister is awesome. And although I threatened to trade her in a few times when we were younger, those were all empty promises. I'd never get rid of her. And I'm sure she'd say the same for me. Maybe.

It's because of her that I got to sit at the senior lunch table when I was a freshman in high school. And it's because of me that she'll never look at Funyons the same way again.

Always the second mother.

Our favorite past time -- Dairy Queen

Always there to catch me.

Live long and prosper. (I'm very sure that is what we are doing here. We learned at a very early age. Star Trek and Planet of the Apes.)

1 comment:

  1. a) the pics at the end really made me want a sister (even though I dearly love my bro)

    b) my fave line in the whole, meaningful post: I couldn't sell cake to a fat kid. hahahahahahahaha

    I'd buy cake from you! (honestly, from just about anyone!)