Top Chef is a reality show pitting chefs against each other in weekly challenges. I've watched it for several seasons and really enjoy it. Of the seven chefs left this year, two are brothers. They are easily two of the better chefs and seem like nice guys - however their rivalry with each other is just plain ol' sad.
Mama and Daddy raised three of us - I'm the oldest and I have two brothers. We're two years apart in age from each other. Mama was home with us every day and she just didn't allow us to treat each other badly. She'd say, "Why would I allow you to treat each other worse than I'd let a stranger treat you?" We weren't allowed to call each other names, just like we weren't allowed to call our friends (or even strangers) names.
Of course for those rules to work, Mama and Daddy had to do more than just give 'em lip service. They had to live them - after all - we weren't stupid. We were watching them to see if the rules were just talk or if they were good enough for Mama and Daddys' lives. And they were. They didn't call each other names or treat each other shabbily. They didn't call folks in traffic, or at work, or even on TV, names. They treated the people they lived with as good as the folks out in the world. What a concept.
Sure made for a happy, peaceful place to grow up. Mama was sometimes asked how she kept my brothers from fighting and her response was, "If there's going to be any fighting, I'm going to be in the middle of it and I'm going to win." That may not sound that peaceful, but if you're going to set down rules they better be backed up by more than wishes and good intentions. You better be ready to live them - and ready to enforce them.
Wouldn't you like to see my Mama make a visit to the Top Chef kitchen? Now that would be some good reality TV!