Sunday, September 1, 2019

Forge Your Destiny

Saturday evening, I officiated Alix and Amit’s Jewish wedding ceremony at the Fort Worth Club, in Fort Worth, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

Here’s the fascinating thing about Alix and Amit’s love story: Circumstances that would have felled lesser couples, not only did not stand in their way; they brought them closer. 

Take the most obvious fact: You would think that as a Jew and a Hindu, they would have less in common than, say, a Jew and a Christian. And, yet, they both found much in common due to this very fact. In America, the most religious country in the Western World, if you are a non-Christian (and sometimes even if you are a Christian), you may find folks actively trying to convert you. This happened many times to Alix and Amit. This is not a criticism, incidentally. If you truly believe that the road to heaven lies in adopting your belief system, exclusively, how could you not attempt this?

When they met, they were both at the tail end of long-term relationships. That is usually a less than ideal time to build a new relationship. However, it was in talking about their experiences and reflecting on those relationships, that they grew close and eventually became a couple. 

When they made that move from friends to romantic partners, it was as members of a small cohort of students, where this was not without its drawbacks. They did not allow this to hold them back, because as Alix says, “Secrets can be fun!” Amit explains, “We started a relationship but told no one but a couple of our closest friends: sharing a secret and speaking in code at times was a blast, and almost certainly brought us even closer together.” 

Now, at that time, Amit was in his fifth year of graduate school, while Alix had just begun. So, as Amit says, “We always thought it had an expiration date, since I was moving to Dartmouth to start my first faculty job.” Well, that supposed expiration date came and went, and their relationship continued. The travel became almost matter of fact, “I would take the 9-hour train ride to see him; he would do the 6-hour drive to come see me,” says Alix. 

Then, Alix and Amit took Calum Scott’s line in his popular song, You are the Reason, as a challenge, rather than a lament: “I’d climb every mountain, and swim every ocean, just to be with you,” so Amit moved to the Netherlands… Once again, this might create insurmountable problems for other couples. How did this couple respond? Alix says, “We joked... (that this) long-distance was ‘better,’ because it was only a 6-hour flight, (which is) better than the 9-hour train.”

In surmounting these obstacles, Alix and Amit show us that what matters is not the circumstance you are in, your fate, if you will. What matters is how you choose to relate to that circumstance, and through that you can escape the clutches of fate and forge your destiny. That's why what Amit says really rings true: “Not sure what the future holds, but if we're working together, we can handle anything life throws at us.”

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