A case for marriage

2

To the Editor:
“Island living” has shown me how powerful “ownership” is. The Island takes care of its own. The Island tackles its own issues, with citizens as selectmen, instead of career politicians. The Island shows self-sufficiency with its farms and solar arrays.
I believe this same attitude can and should be held about marriage among Islanders. I’m relatively new to the Island, but after working with and befriending some young natives, I realized that “Island living” might warrant a change in attitude.
Marriage is the original Social Security. It is taking ownership of your self, future, and community. Marriage seems to get a bad rap these days. “Traditional, tied down” are all familiar and negative connotations to the idea. Perhaps this is because romance is a major driver for our modern American ideas of love and marriage. Many folks are rightfully let down when they pursue marriage for this reason, or are disillusioned from even pursuing it.
I believe that marriage increases social security and stability, if it recognizes growth and transformation as the underlying themes of life, and not only romance. Helping people deal with change is what gives marriage its benefits as “social stabilizer.”
Having another human to change alongside with, while navigating an ever-changing world, makes the two individuals involved more mentally, physically, and financially stable. You’re never alone, resources are shared, and you change residences less easily. This makes a stable home unit, and many stable homes make a stable neighborhood, and a stable Island, and so on, until the country is stable.
I believe that if we respect the institution of marriage, incorporate more modern values, such as gender equality, we can take the good parts of marriage and develop a new tradition of better marriages that focus on support and growth, instead of romance. I encourage young Islanders to consider this as they make a life on the Island. It is what you make it.

Josh Boytek
Vineyard Haven