Cheryl Strayed writes about our "sister lives" - the lives we at one time considered, could have lived, but didn't choose to live.
Forty-five years ago, despite massive, Grammy-award-winning success, Stevie Wonder was ready to give it all up. He planned to move to Ghana, work with disabled children and explore his lineage.
Part of his motivation was benevolence. But a lot of it was anger. He was frustrated with how the United States Government was running its country.
He didn't choose that life, though. Instead, he wrote his magnum opus, Songs in the Key of Life, considered by many music historians as one of the all-time great albums.
Stevie Wonder, like the NBA Players Association today, felt that if you have a platform, use it. But instead of riveting "bubble" basketball, he wrote poignant lyrics that not only have withstood the test of time, they define the world we live in now.
It's disheartening that "Love's in Need of Love Today," a song he started writing in 1974, a song that warns us that hate is "breaking hearts" and "could mean the world's disaster," sounds like it was written yesterday.
The force of evil plans To make you its possession And it will if we let it Destroy ev-er-y-body We all must take Precautionary measures If love and peace you treasure Then you'll hear me when I say Oh that Love's in need of love today Don't delay Send yours in right away Hate's goin' round Breaking many hearts Stop it please Before it's gone too far
I wonder if, in spite of all the success, money and fame that came to Stevie after he chose to stay in LA, he has any regrets about that African sister life he didn't choose. Despite his message, is it any better here? Is it worse?
I also wonder, if I could meet with Stevie today, what specific "precautionary measures" he'd suggest we take - I take - to dilute the hate that's goin' round.
What can we do?
What will you do?