Good motherfuckin’ tunes 🎶😆

I’ve made a short playlist of songs that feature the prominent and frequent use of “motherfuck” and its variants (e.g., motherfucker, motherfucking) because that tickles me 😆

If this sort of thing tickles you as well, check out the playlist on YouTube here.

If you have recommendations for songs that match the theme, please share in the comments 🙏🏼

Let Me Be Waymond

There was a time, long ago, when I wanted to be the hero of my story. I wanted to be someone special, a leader, someone the world would remember when I was gone. That’s pretty normal, I think, especially for a straight white boy who was put into “gifted” programs in public school as though a knack for testing well meant I was somehow better than most of my peers.

Then I grew up, and I learned about the world as I grew. I saw that a lot of what I learned in school was euphemistic bullshit at best, outright lies at worst, and almost none of it was useful to me outside the world of academia. I saw how generations of straight, white, cis-men poisoned our world with their “heroism” and “leadership.” I also saw how women have often led the way on social and environmental justice issues that matter to me. It’s become clear to me that women are the heroes we need, and that means men like me have to take a step back to give them the opportunity to lead us to a better world.

That doesn’t mean men like me don’t have our part to play. We’re largely to blame for the mess we find ourselves in, and it wouldn’t be right to wash our hands of all responsibility to make things right. Our duty now is to support the women in our lives, to lift them up and help them realize their full potential. There is honor in that, and we men desperately need honor more than we ever needed glory.

Now a man and no longer a boy, I don’t want to be a hero. I don’t want to be a leader. I want to be a badass woman’s faithful sidekick, her loyal follower and steadfast supporter.

I want to be the reliable Waymond to some woman’s incredible Evelyn.

I like to think there are at least a few women out there who want exactly what I want to give, and I hope one of them chooses me someday. I suppose time will tell 🤷🏻‍♂️

The World Through My Eyes

The darkness of “Possimism” comes easily to me, effortlessly taking up any space I don’t consciously defend with the colorful shield of “The Sun Hasn’t Left

The sentiments of those two songs are always at war in my mind. I used DALL-E to create an image that has something of the feel for what that’s like for me:

A warrior in rainbow armor stands alone in darkness, holding off an army of shadows
“The World Through My Eyes”

The Most Important Words

The most important words a man can say are, “I will do better.” These are not the most important words any man can say. I am a man, and they are what I needed to say.

The ancient code of the Knights Radiant says “journey before destination.” Some may call it a simple platitude, but it is far more. A journey will have pain and failure. It is not only the steps forward that we must accept. It is the stumbles. The trials. The knowledge that we will fail. That we will hurt those around us.

But if we stop, if we accept the person we are when we fall, the journey ends. That failure becomes our destination. To love the journey is to accept no such end. I have found, through painful experience, that the most important step a person can take is always the next one.

Dalinar Kholin in Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

Coming Down the Mountain

Running down a mountain on a wilderness trail can go one of two ways:

It can be exhilarating and fun, almost like you’re flying. There can be moments when you feel more alive and connected to your body and to the world than you’ve ever felt in your life.

It can also be terrifying. If the grade is too steep, if the path is on loose earth that slips under your feet, if the trail is too narrow and a drop to certain death lies to either side, you can find yourself questioning your sanity. You’ll fight momentum in a desperate bid to slow down, your heart racing as you try to keep your feet under you, doing everything you can to avoid pitching forward face-first or misplacing a step that sends you hurtling down a cliffside.

That latter experience is what I’m feeling right now. Momentum is pulling me forward, and all I can do is try to keep from falling on my face. Disaster is just one slip away.

I don’t know where or when or how this ends. I’m scared and I’m tired and I’m in pain, but the grade has me, and I’m committed. One way or another, I’m coming down the mountain.

One way or another.

Sex Can(‘t) Be Everything: Wilderness

Author’s Note

I wrote this in the Spring of 2021. Another life, it seems.

Life in Bumblefuck has its challenges.

The West End of Clallam County is one of the most distant, most sparsely populated regions of western Washington that a person can call home. The physical and population geography of this place means that it struggles with some of the infrastructure—reliable cell coverage, high-speed internet, paved roads—that makes modern civilization tick. Even electricity isn’t reliable here in the winter, when the persistent rain presses down on trees and soaks the ground around their roots until they fall on power lines installed in the 1950s. For places to shop, work, and play, there’s only one town, Forks, that can properly be called a town; in that town, there’s one grocer, two hardware stores (one is attached to the grocery store), a tiny library, a few small motels, a handful of local restaurants, a bowling alley, and a fucking Twilight exhibit. The nearest city, Port Angeles—which is so small by modern standards that it’s only barely recognizable as a city—is about an hour’s drive from Forks.

If you’re the kind of person who loves people, loves the hustle and bustle of large populations of humans living in close proximity, who needs a nightlife and consistent access to broadband-speed internet, Bumblefuck is not for you. No surprise there. However, if you’re a borderline misanthrope and optimistic nihilist who finds peace and joy in the wilderness areas of the world, the northwest end of the Olympic Peninsula can be a quiet paradise. Endless miles of rarely used and abandoned forest service roads will carry an intrepid explorer deep into the heart of temperate rainforests so infrequently touched by the hands of civilization that one can wander for hours—days—without seeing another human being. In the off-seasons of fall and winter, there are even beaches one can visit without ever seeing another person.

Getting outside to explore far from the rest of humankind is a big part of my life these days. Evenings after work are spent running my dog tired down empty timber roads lined with verdant forest, and weekends see me exploring new sections of forest, river, or beach for hours on end. A whole branch of recent studies suggest that exposure to nature benefits a person’s cognitive abilities and mental/emotional health, and I can say with confidence that’s true for me.

Well—OK, I can’t be so confident about the cognitive improvements. I haven’t tried to measure my recall or my ability to solve problems before and after a trip into the wild. I also smoke cannabis during my explorations, so 🤷🏻‍♂️😅 I can, however, attest to feeling better—happier, less anxious, less stressed—when I get into the wilderness. My sense of overall well-being improves almost as soon as I get out of the car and off the road, and it deepens with every hour I’m outside. The feeling lasts, too. A weekend of casually exploring the wilderness in my backyard can get me through an entire week of work bullshit.

Exploring the wilderness also does something more for me than simply connecting me with nature. It’s not just the beautiful scenery, the quiet retreat from the sounds of human civilization, or the healthy exercise that make my adventures in the wilderness some of the best moments of my life. Exploring the wilderness also gives me back time with my favorite people in the world—time that is otherwise stolen by work; by the tiny glowing screens that inform and entertain and enslave us; by the mundanities of everyday life in America.

Time at home feels short, moments together fleeting from the end of one workday to the start of the next. Time in the wilderness is as expansive as the landscape. Conversations can unfold at a quiet, leisurely pace, when they unfold at all. In fact, more of my time in the wilderness with my wonderful partner and our monster-weasel-dog is spent in companionable silence than in conversation—by a large margin—but all of that time is spent together, present in the moment. We’re seeing the same sights, hearing the same sounds, smelling the same scents, vaulting the same logs, scrambling over the same boulders, splashing across streams and creeks together. Even smoking pot and sharing some snacks during a little break feels more special, somehow, when all the world is reduced to just my little family in the vast wilderness.

Sex Can(‘t) Be Everything: Music

If you were to tell me that I had to do without every invention of humankind save one, then ask me to choose what that invention would be, I would choose music.

Not very practical, I know, but those sorts of hypotheticals aren’t well-suited to practical answers, so fuck it: give me unlimited access to a vast library of music, new and old, and I can be a happy man. I am forever in awe of the art of music—both the aesthetics and the science—and its ability to make most things in life better. Sex is better with music. Running? Better with music. Driving, working, cooking, socializing—all made better with music.

And there are so many different kinds of music. Really, more styles and genres than a person could ever hope to know in one lifetime, but also too many to ever have just one favorite. Favorite band? Would that be my favorite metalcore band or my favorite jazz fusion band? Favorite album? For which suite of emotions? Impossible to pick and choose just one or two, so here’s what I’ll give you instead: my [current] favorite artist, my [current] favorite album, and my pick for the best album you’ve probably never heard for some of my favorite genres of music. Without further ado:

Hip Hop

Favorite Artist

Guante (including Guante & Big Cats)

Guante is the poet laureate of the resistance, the patron saint of the urban activist. He writes beautiful poetry and fucking kills with his delivery. Big Cats compliments Guante’s lyrical wizardry with dope production and the kind of beats guaranteed to move you.

Favorite Album

Sad, Fat Luck by Ceschi

In Sad, Fat Luck, Ceschi demonstrates his wide musical range alongside his lyrical mastery. The album is introspective, beautiful, and sad as fuck. It gives me the feels, hard, and that’s what makes it one of the greats.

The Best Hip Hop Album You’ve Never Heard

Synchronicity by Courdek

Courdek’s style of rapping, like his choice of music, is a little…different. I challenge you to find someone who sounds similar. On Synchronicity, Courdek combines his unique sound with a flair for storytelling to deliver a set of story-songs that you’ll want to revisit time and again throughout the years. Don’t get me wrong: Synchronicity is undoubtedly a freshman album, a little rough around the edges, and if Courdek is still making music out there, somewhere, he may even dislike what he hears when he listens back. But this is a recommendation for The Best Hip Hop Album You’ve Never Heard, after all, and I feel confident that this is one diamond in the rough that has yet to entertain your ears and your mind and the soles of your feet.

Radio-Friendly Metal / Nu Metal

Favorite Artist

System of a Down

There’s a line between the kind of metal you might hear on a popular hard rock or metal radio station and the kind that you never will. The former made up the bulk of the music I chose to listen to in my formative years, and I have fond memories of many ‘nu metal’ bands that I just don’t listen to anymore. (I do still listen to a lot of metal, but it’s the latter kind.) SOAD is one of the few nu metal bands that I still listen to regularly.

Favorite Album

Steal This Album! by SOAD

Yep, no surprise here: in my book, System of a Down is the undisputed champion of this genre, and so of course my favorite album is going to be a SOAD album.

The Best Nu Metal Album You’ve Never Heard

Lost Angel by 3rd Strike

There were a lot of one-hit / one album wonders in this genre back when I listened to nu metal almost exclusively. (I was a kid, yeah? Don’t judge me.) Lost Angel is one of those, the only album ever published by 3rd Strike, a nu metal group so heavily influenced by rap that I used to label the band in a sub-genre of nu metal all its own: rap metal. Like SOAD, this album is one of those that has stuck with me through the years, even as my musical tastes have evolved beyond the singular focus of nu metal. I’m certain I would have liked more of 3rd Strike’s music, if they had had the chance to publish more before the band’s founder and lead vocalist died in 2010.


Favorite Artist

Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

Look, I like Miles Davis, Benny Goodman, John Coltrane and other giants of jazz as much as the next jazz enthusiast, but I hate when people act as though those men and women of old are the be-all, end-all of jazz as a genre. Jazz, like every other genre of music that is still alive and kicking, continues to evolve and continues to generate new greats. Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah is one of them.

Favorite Album

The Centennial Trilogy (i.e., Ruler Rebel, Diaspora, and The Emancipation Procrastination) by Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah

OK, you got me—this is not a singular recommendation, it’s 3 albums. However, because each album is a part in a concept trilogy, I always listen to them as a whole, from Ruler Rebel, to Diaspora, to The Emancipation Procrastination, from start to finish. Christian Scott is part of the ‘hip hop generation’ of jazz artists, and The Centennial Trilogy puts that influence out front. Also, doesn’t hurt that other contemporary jazz greats, like Elena Pinderhughes, make frequent appearances throughout the trilogy.

The Best Jazz Album You’ve Never Heard

From Africa with Fury: Rise by Seun Kuti & Egypt 80

Some—mostly jazz purists—might argue that this album doesn’t belong with other jazz albums because so many other styles of music are present throughout. Well, those people are wrong. Sure, From Africa with Fury: Rise is not only a jazz album, but it is a jazz album. And it’s awesome.

Indie Rock

A note about this one: ‘indie’ may have once referred exclusively to bands signed to independent labels (or bands not signed to labels at all), but I argue that’s just not the case anymore. ‘Indie’—and all it’s sub-genres (e.g., indie rock, indie EDM, indie rap)—has become a catch-all, capturing a spirit of music more than it describes the kind of record label to which any particular artist is signed.


These ‘genres’ are how I organize music in the library of my mind. You don’t like the way I’ve sorted something? Go visit someone else’s library.

Favorite Artist

Modest Mouse

No indie rock band has been making music as fantastically odd for as long as Modest Mouse has been pumping out great music. More than 20 years of consistently awesome, fresh indie rock music makes Modest Mouse the undisputed champ in this ring.

Favorite Album

White Lighter by Typhoon

Since I first heard White Lighter in 2013, I have yet to hear another indie rock album that, from start to finish, feels as wholly unified as Typhoon’s third studio album. This is an album that is meant to be listened to as a whole, and I love that. Also, I love that the band’s sound is so expansive—a by-product of a dozen or so artists playing various instruments in magnificent harmony.

The Best Indie Album You’ve Never Heard

On Oni Pond by Man Man

On Oni Pond is Man Man’s fifth studio album. This work has the highest production value of any of Man Man’s music, and it’s clear that the band had perfected its strange sound by this point, but I would also recommend earlier works by Man Man, particularly Rabbit Habits and Life Fantastic. “The Ballad of Butter Beans,” from Rabbit Habits, is one of my favorite Man Man tracks, in part because it’s just so fuckin’ weird.

Classical / Scores

Favorite Artist

Nobuo Uematsu

Yes, this is the same Uematsu who has composed the scores for many Final Fantasy games. No, I don’t care if you don’t think that he should be included alongside composers like Bach, Tchaikovsky, and Stravinsky. Uematsu is The Man, and if you think otherwise…well, you probably don’t have as many fond memories with Final Fantasy as I do, and your life has been dull and gray and sad.

Favorite Album

The Fountain by Clint Mansell

This is the original score to the Darren Aronofsky film of the same name. Like the film, this score is epic and brilliant. I can’t say if I would feel the same about the score if I’d never seen the movie, but I suspect I would have still loved the music. The Fountain is a tale of love, death, and the deadly dangerous quest for immortality, and I can feel those things in the score. Mansell’s best work, IMO.

The Best Classical Album You’ve Never Heard

Bachianas Brasileiras (Complete), as conducted by Kenneth Schermerhorn and performed by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra

I love that Heitor Villa-Lobos took Bach’s sound and Brazilified it. This is my go-to album when I want feel-good ‘classical’ music to listen to while I write or read.

Favorite Artist

In Flames

In Flames has a melodic sound that straddles the line between radio-friendly and not, but in the end the band’s music features a bit too much growling/screaming for most radio audiences, methinks. While not as heavy as I sometimes need, no other metal band has consistently rocked my socks for as long as has In Flames. Like Modest Mouse, these Swedes have been making kick-ass music for 20+ years, and their new stuff is just as metal-y and awesome as the first album of theirs I picked up as a kid, Soundtrack to Your Escape.

Favorite Album

Phanerozoic (including Phanerozoic I: Palaeozoic & Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic) by The Ocean

Germany’s The Ocean is an awesome progressive metal band, and they have published a few concept albums that I really love. (Pelagial, The Ocean’s last album before Phanerozoic I, is a concept album in which each track represents a different depth zone of the ocean, in sequence. As you listen to the album, the music gets darker, heavier, and more claustrophobic. Brilliant idea.) Phanerozoic is also a concept album: each track represents a separate period of the Paleozoic era. Have I mentioned that I’m a sucker for concept albums?

The Best Metal Album You’ve Never Heard

Near Life Experience by Break the Silence

As far as I know, Near Life Experience is the only studio album ever published by hardcore punk band Break the Silence, and that’s too bad, because their music fucking rocks. In my opinion, Near Life Experience is the quintessential hardcore punk album, the pinnacle of the merger between punk and speed metal that brought us bands like Atreyu, Rise Against (old stuffs), Thrice (again, old stuffs), and The Bled.

There’s just not enough time or space…

I think I’ll wrap this up here, because if I don’t I’ll continue writing about all the music I love until my eyeballs melt from my head and my fingertips are left a bloody mess. There is so much more—Cosmo Jarvis and Snotty Nose Rez Kids and Coheed & Cambria and Theon Cross and Gogol Bordello and King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard and Porcupine Tree and—yikes, OK, I’ll stop. Seriously, this is one post I was destined to never finish to my full satisfaction, in part because the library of music I love and listen to is always expanding.

If you think, based on this [very] limited list, that you have a recommendation for something I might not have heard and might enjoy, please comment or send me a message! I love discovering new music just as much as I love helping others discover new music.

Sex Can(‘t) Be Everything: Running

I spend a lot of time in my head.

I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember, the model of the intelligent introvert: quiet, almost constantly daydreaming, my face buried in a book or lost in my own world(s) while I listen to music and just…think. This is why solitary pursuits like reading and writing have always received most of my attention. It’s not a bad way to be or to live—most of the time.

Sometimes, though, I desperately need to get out of my head. I need a reprieve from my chattering mind. Sex works wonders, and that’s one reason why it’s at the top of my list of Things I Like To Do. When I’m having sex, I’m totally in the present, connected to my body in a visceral way that I am usually not. Even better, I’m connected to the body of another person or persons; for an introvert who has trouble making connections with other people, the connection I feel through sex is especially profound.

But I can’t always turn to sex. Whatever my teenage self might have imagined, we adults know that sometimes, even if a willing partner is nearby, other things can get in the way of sex. Sometimes it’s just timing, other times it’s something else.

Whatever the reasons, when I can’t turn to sex to engage my body and get out of my head, I turn first to running.

I can probably come up with a long list of reasons why running is a great alternative to sex when sex isn’t an option, but there are really just four reasons why running works well for me:

  1. No matter my fitness level at any particular time in my life, I can always run long enough and far enough that I reach the kind of physical exhaustion I need to mute the noise in my head.
  2. Running can be done solo, but—like sex—it’s better with a partner (or several!)
  3. I love the wilderness places of the world, and trail running means that I get to see twice as much (or more!) as I would see if I was just walking/hiking.
  4. Running is one of the cheapest, most minimalistic sports a person can practice. No membership costs, not a whole lot of equipment to purchase or maintain, and those items that I do need/want on a run (e.g., shoes, a running pack, headlamp) are not prohibitively expensive (in my case, at this time in my life).

My Favorite Things

This is a living document that I will update from time to time with new favorites and old favorites that slipped my mind when I first posted. Bulleted lists are in no particular order.

Favorite books

Favorite movies


Favorite shows


YouTube Channels

Favorite music

This one is really fucking hard for me! Every time I think I have a set of restrictions that will keep this list to a reasonable length, I find that I’ve severely underestimated myself. So here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to allow myself 10 favorites for this list.

In no particular order, but numbered to check myself:

  1. Sad, Fat Luck by Ceschi
  2. We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank by Modest Mouse
  3. White Lighter by Typhoon
  4. Lonesome Dreams by Lord Huron
  5. Baralku by Emancipator
  6. The Centennial Trilogy by Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah
  7. Where Owls Know My Name by Rivers of Nihil
  8. Snotty Nose Rez Kids by SNRK
  9. Trans-Continental Hustle by Gogol Bordello
  10. Every Kingdom by Ben Howard




I might have to periodically rotate favorites through this list, or… I’ll have to think of something, because it feels wrong to leave out so many of the records that I love.

Favorite video games

I don’t actually play video games these days, except for the occasional few minutes of casual mobile gaming, but the following games will always have a special place in my heart:

Favorite road trip

US 101 along the Oregon coast

Favorite phrase in the English language

I love you

Favorite spice

Cumin (for the obvious, immature reason; also: I’m Mexican-American and, though I’m far from the Chicano side of my family, I’ll always be a frijolero at heart)

If I’m to love you

The core of who you are, if you could be stripped and distilled into a geometric shape, would be an equilateral triangle composed of intellect, compassion, and physical affection.

You think about the world and about your place in it. You don’t crumble when I challenge your perceptions and your ideas, but neither do you hold to them when they don’t stand to reason and evidence. You challenge my perceptions and ideas when you have reason to believe that they should be challenged. Your intellect earns my respect.

You feel outside your self. You see suffering and injustice, and what you see affects you. You are moved—to tears, to rage, to action, to change, to grow. You are kind and generous, and you want the world to be a better place. Your compassion earns my love.

You like to touch and be touched as an expression of love. You want me to hold your hand when we’re in public; you want hugs and cuddles; you love the most intimate union of our bodies when we have sex. Your physical affection earns my devotion.

There is unbound beauty in the symmetry of your personal geometry, the triangular shape of your soul, and I will wear this symbol of you on my skin as surely as I wear it upon my heart.

I love His Dark Materials

Finished the last episode of His Dark Materials last night, and I’m giving the show a perfect 5-star rating:


Yes, it was somewhat altered from the books that I love so much; but the changes made sense for a TV adaptation, and I don’t feel that any of those changes detracted from the story in any substantial way. All the most important elements are present; casting and acting are superb; sets, costumes, and effects are top-notch; and I love seeing Lyra and Will come to life before my eyes.

The end broke my heart just as much as it has every time I read the books 💔 Any story that has the power to touch me so deeply is a masterpiece in my book. Just as the novels are some of my favorite books of all time, this adaptation has earned its spot in my list of all-time favorite TV shows ❤️

After the fire

I remember the first time I saw images of what the 1988 wildfire did to Yellowstone:

Blackened trunks of naked lodgepole pine jutting from scorched earth like broken bones piercing burnt flesh
A charred skeleton of a forest, a corpse of ashen grassland
Wildland turned wasteland, devoid of wildlife
Devastation on an ecological scale, beauty scarred beyond recognition

How ugly, I thought
How sad
So much life and magic reduced to cinders
It will never be the same again, I thought
It will be a scar in the heart of wilderness

I was wrong, of course
The forest needed only time


Time for dead ash to turn to fertile soil


Time for returning water to give its gift of life


Time for seedlings and sprouts to reach for the sun


Time for fauna to return to flora


Time to heal

The forests and meadows of Yellowstone today are not the same as those before the fire
Neither are they something entirely new
They are an adaptation
They are a continuation
They thrive again, and again they are beautiful

I am not your enemy

In the remote part of the world I called home for the past 3 and a half years, there’s a small store with a political poster displayed prominently on the front door. It’s a meme you’ve probably seen online: Donald Trump pointing at the camera, accompanied by text that reads something along the lines of “In reality, the Democrats aren’t coming for me, they’re coming for you.”

A few weeks ago, NBC News published a story about the National Conservatism Conference. NBC reports that “the broader American left was repeatedly denounced as ‘the enemy’…”

I don’t consider myself a partisan—I vote my values, not a party; however, it’s increasingly the case that my values align more closely with the Democratic platform than the Republican one. For some, I’m sure that makes me as good as a diehard Democrat. A leftist. The “enemy.” So I want to speak directly to anyone who feels that way:

I am not your enemy. I don’t think of you as my enemy. I don’t vote the way I do because I want to take things from you or oppress you. I don’t vote the way I do because I hate you. I vote the way I do because I love you.

I want you to have world-class healthcare for free. I want you to be able to live comfortably and support your family with just one job. I want your children to go to college, if they want, for free. I want you to have the freedom to practice your faith in your home and in your places of worship without fear or prejudice. I want your queer and trans kids to live their lives free of the same. I want you to continue to have the right to own and enjoy your firearms, and I want to keep your children safe from those who would abuse that right. I want your elected representatives to listen to you and work to advance your interests rather than the interests of corporations and the ultrawealthy. I want your children and their children to grow up in a world full of all the natural wonders we can still save. I want the best for you and your family. I want the best for all of us.

You may read all of that and think that I’m hopelessly naive. You may think that what I want is impossible, that it can’t happen unless it’s at the expense of others. Maybe you’re right. But, as one of the wisest persons I know frequently reminds me when I talk about the future, you can’t know. No one can. That’s not the way the future works, and the fact that something has never happened before is not proof that it can’t ever happen. Just because something feels inevitable does not make it so. You can make every argument imaginable to show that I’m wrong to vote and act the way that I do, but what you can never do is take away my intention. That’s mine. That’s inviolable. And my intention is this:

To make the world a better place. Not just for me or people who look like me. Not just for my family or people who live in my country. For you. For everyone, everywhere, all over the world. We are all in this together. In the world’s darkest times, you are never alone. In your own darkest hour, I am with you. We are all with you. Always. We are, all of us, neighbors on this beautiful planet we call home.

So be good to yourself, be good to your neighbors, and—together—we can shine brighter than the sun. Together, we can banish the darkness that seeks to turn us against one another. Together, we can build a better future for all of us.