I am engaged. I never thought I would be able to publicly utter this sentence. I never thought this sentence would be celebrated for me. I never thought well-wishes would come from all corners of the map and from people of all backgrounds. Luckily for me, the times changed and so did I.
Capitalism is an economic system based on private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, a price system, private property, and the recognition of property rights, voluntary exchange, and wage labor.
In a year when so much of our misery was a shared experience, it would be much easier to think about all we have lost this year when approaching an end of the year letter. Personally, I think we have suffered enough. I have suffered enough. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of this year, I want to focus on five unexpected gifts this year gave me. After reading my list, I want to challenge you to do the same.
If I am reading American and world history correctly, I see a world shaped greatly by the harm caused by people who look like me. In my own country, I see lynchings, exclusionary acts, separate but equal policies, slavery, internment, genocide, chemical castration, xenophobia, and nationalism. Looking more broadly across the globe, I see colonialism, eugenics, anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, Apartheid, and much more.
I know this is a big ask, but for a brief moment in time, step outside your moral convictions or religious beliefs. In this post, I want you to judge a relationship on your experience. Over the next few paragraphs, I want you to judge my relationship by your relationship. Judge us by what popular culture has taught you. Judge us by what you know to be true about all that is necessary for a healthy relationship to prosper. As we weave our way through this exercise, know that tolerance of something you cannot morally accept, but are willing to celebrate from a distance is not my goal. In the end, I want you to understand we are not that different.
Today is election day in the United States of America. As people read this, their minds will be elsewhere. They will be thinking of all that is at stake tonight and for the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. Someone will win. Someone will lose. America’s unofficial sport will shift its focus. Some will play offense. Some will play defense. The beat that is American democracy will go on methodically until the next contest.
With each passing year, I find myself more focused on the end. It frustrates me to know what I do not know. When I face the end of my life, I have no way of knowing when, my condition, or what will remain unaccomplished. With the unknown before me, I find myself constantly readjusting my bucket list. Once upon a time, I could have listed a hundred or so things I wanted to accomplish before the final curtain. Now, the list is much smaller and is defined by some overarching themes.