be (not) (one's) brother's keeper

(redirected from am my brother's keeper)

be (not) (one's) brother's keeper

To be responsible for another person's actions. This phrase is often used in the negative and can refer to anyone (not just one's literal brother). Of course I'm disappointed that Travis got arrested again, but I'm not my brother's keeper. When I'm babysitting him, I'm my brother's keeper.
See also: keeper

be one's brother's keeper

to be responsible for someone else. (Used of others besides just real brothers.) I can't force these kids to go to school and get an education so they can get jobs. I am not my brother's keeper. You can't expect me to be my brother's keeper. Each of us should be responsible for himself! be one's own man and be one's own master to be someone who is not controlled by other people; to be an independent person. Bert longed to be his own master, but at the same time feared losing the security he had as the employee of a large company. When I go away to college, I'll be my own man. My parents won't be able to tell me what to do anymore.
See also: keeper
References in periodicals archive ?
But I am my brother's keeper and will never be able to thank him for how wonderful he's been to me.
We are still the America that looks out for one another, bound by our shared belief that I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper.
During the presidential campaign, Obama called for "an active faith, rooted in that most fundamental of all truths: that I am my brother's keeper.
Recently, a new exhibit opened at Yad Vashem entitled "I am my brother's keeper," dedicated to non-Jewish rescuers during the Holocaust.
I Am My Brother's Keeper So Redistributing the Wealth is the Right Thing to Do lies awake at night trying to rationalize not lifting a finger to help his half-brother in Kenya who lives in a mud hut on $6 a month.
Anyone who has been touched by the Cuban revolution or studied in Cuba understands what Fidel has been trying to teach us all these years--the saying: "I am my brother's keeper.
Brotherly love is a key component of SAAB, as evidenced by its motto, "I am my brother's keeper and together we will rise.
Bad motive or intention is essential, for "contract law does not require parties to behave altruistically toward each other; it does not proceed on the philosophy that I am my brother's keeper.