2014 has come and gone. Another whole year transformed hopes into memories; and like every year before it, it had a lot of lessons to teach. Personally, these are the 5 lessons I learned in 2014. 5. Marriage is a series of consistent intentional choices - With a historical number of states now recognizing same-sex marriages, almost anyone can get married these days - as it should be. But almost no one knows how to remain married in a partnership that doesn't end in despair or murder. Marriage is a choice you have to make every single day - like staying fit. You can't hit the gym hard for one month and expect it to carry you through the rest of your life. Same goes for marriage. You can't plan an opulent wedding, go to 5 hours or premarital counseling, bang each other's brains out during the honeymoon, and expect blissful matrimony for your remaining living years. It doesn't work that way. Marriage is one of the toughest undertakings you will ever encounter - just ask Chris Rock - but with the right nurturing with the right person, can give you back ten fold what you put into it. That's the trick - you both must intentionally choose the other person every day for years for it to have a shot.
4. Parenthood is not for everyone - My 3 year old son is a blessing in every form. But don't let that fool you. This ish is hard. We hear far too may tragic stories of parents harming their children, and that's due to the simple fact that parenthood is not for everyone. Without even trying, kids spend their first few years breaking down and kicking out everything that is selfish about their parents. This is not a transition everyone goes through gracefully. Not everyone is ready to part with their former self. We need to stop ridiculing the people who know themselves well enough to say, "Yeah, that shit is not for me." Kudos for recognizing that before you made that unreturnable purchase.
3. I am a feminist - Women should have equal pay and opportunity as men. Point. Blank. Period. Don't get me wrong though - I still believe there are deep differences between the sexes, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have the same chance at growth and success. And besides, I don't think the feminism movement can ever be won until a slut has the right to be a slut - if she so chooses to be.
2. You better be getting your money up - Thomas Pinketty dropped a bomb of a book this year that everyone noticed, but no one really read - myself included. The 700+ page tome pretty much explains why in the future, if nothing changes our global economic trajectory, the future will be ruled by the one percenter's offspring. They will have all the money, power, connections, ego, and resources to pretty much do what they want - which will ultimately lead to the destruction of our modern society as we know it. In the mean time, the divide between the haves and have nots is increasing. If you don't have any money in this world, you don't have a voice. In today's world, if you're not finding ways to stack your bread and find more ways to earn more bread, you're risking your entire lifestyle. Earning money is a system. Learn it. Apply it. Don't get caught on the wrong side of the chasm.
1. America as we know it will not last forever - Every empire that rises eventually falls. We act like this rising stock of USA will continue this meteoric rise for eternity, and that type of thinking is the exact thing that will do us in eventually. This is a real life Game of Thrones, and other countries have been plotting on the Iron Throne for years. Along with our predictable consumerism, self-centered ego, propensity of propping up the rich on the backs of our poor, and overall blind hubris, we're destined to falter sooner or later. Modern day America is not a self sustaining system. We need to seriously consider better models for the future like John Hope Bryant's How the Poor Can Save Capitalism: Rebuilding the Path to the Middle Class if we're honestly still interested in being a world beacon of success and hope for a better tomorrow.