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

(redirected from am not my brother's keeper)

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

To be responsible for the actions, behavior, or whereabouts or one's close relative or friend (not necessarily a brother). Often used in the negative to express frustration that such responsibility is assumed. 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 ?
Murder says, I am not my brother's keeper; I am his boss.
That's 359 Eugene residents who've basically declared, "I am not my brother's keeper - come, remove these homeless campers and exclude them from our community, and please hurry!"
My friend, I am not my brother's keeper. I am not above any -ism.
"I am not my brother's keeper and I say again, I was never close to him."
You will have to ask Derrida if the design of hypertexts really abolishes the ghost of a Transcendental Meaning - I am not my brother's keeper - and as far as Barthes is concerned, that was in another country and besides, the fellow is dead.) But we know that the reading of certain texts (let us say, Diderot's Encyclopedie) produced a change in the European state of affairs.