According to researchers Stephen Bank and Michael Kahn, siblings are the central molding factor involved in the development of one's personality, more so even than that of parental influence. Their view is that "brothers and sisters, whether the relationship has been contentious or calm, satisfying or frustrating, filled with conflict or deeply comforting, can provide the touchstones and templates which mold each other’s lives."
As evidence, I offer my kid sister, with whom I haven't shared a roof since at least 1974, and who now lives on the opposite side of the great North American continent from me, apparently in a house full of children and living a life that really couldn't be more different than mine. Since the templates that mold our lives work at a subconscious level, I can't say if I impacted her or she I, or if we both molded each other, but sometime around the turn of the Millennium and totally independent of each another, we both became Buddhists at about the same time, even though there were no Buddhist influences in our upbringing. Could it have been that old copy of Motorcycle Maintenance I left laying around the house, or were we both left wanting the same thing that Eastern wisdom can provide?
As further evidence of our mutual templates, here are some videos of her Marin County friends, the fine folk duo of Spark & Whisper, that she emailed me this week