Allow me to walk you through what doing a standard practice set was like in my early youth. We’d do one round of thirty MCQs, my dad would grade it, have me explain my thought process for questions that I got wrong, figure out the correct answers, erase the set, and have me do it all over again. We’d do this for each set for however long it took me to get a perfect score—however long it took me to understand and learn from my mistakes.

You don’t have to be Palestinian or Muslim to help the cause, you just have to be human enough. Summon that anger and unjust that had burned within you when members of the Black and Asian communities were being mistreated, oppressed, and murdered. Change isn’t a one-man show; it’s a fire that is lit by one and passed on to the rest. You just have to be willing to hold the torch.

We are all pawns in a larger, international cosmic game, every one of us simply clinging onto the hope of reaching the other end of the chessboard, climbing the squares one god forsaken step at a time. But sociopaths? They aren’t playing the same game(s) we are. They are the center of their own universe. A sociopath moves whatever piece they like, in whatever fashion serves them best—no matter what that means for those around them.

The red packets start pouring in by the moment. It is de rigueur that I drop by every table to say hello to our fellow relatives. I do. I allow four-character wishes to escape my mouth one after the other, smile graciously as I shake their hands, and receive the heavenly red envelope. I give subtle hints that I am about to move on so I can make my rounds. However, more darling aunties and uncles approach the table that I’m at. I tense up.

In Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa wakes up only to realize he is now living as a giant insect, his life immediately overturned without warning or foreboding. I guess these two pieces have more in common than I thought then, since my life—though not as ridiculous as that of Samsa’s—was also thwarted into an unpredictable trajectory this year…