The secret that explains life -- I say "secret" because it's an open but denied truth, known most directly in popular music but suppressed in most "narratives" and conceptual systems -- is the aspiration for a connection of love with another human being.
This aspiration transcends politics and affinities, affiliations and most "ultimate concerns", and almost all situational circumstances and historical contexts. The aspiration, whether lost, unrealized, or fulfilled, is the first thing you think about when you are born; and the last thing you think about when you die. It is the universal instantiation, in "real" time, of the urge to connect. I believe it is the mainspring of almost all our personal histories.
My cast unwraps the theme in a 1970 "One Hit Wonder", and also in a 1954 English movie about a bomber pilot in Burma during World War Two. It then switches to Smokey Robinson. But... "la plus ca change..."
Think with me about the mainspring of your decisions, from age six to age 60, and ask yourself whether or not it's true -- that the aspiration for belovedness is the main thing you have contributed to your journey. Your answer to the question should be sufficient to concentrate your mind at Christmas.
Podcast 291 is dedicated to John Glover.