At times when we think honestly, if we stop deceiving ourselves, we are forced to admit that life per se can become an unmitigated horror. Not only are we threatened by wars, financial shifts and joblessness, the calamities of nature and narcissistic manipulators, the very earth itself treats us with supreme indifference. The beautiful and productive world we inhabit slowly but surely converts every plant that sprouts a stalk and each creature that draws a breath into fertilizer to feed yet another doomed generation.

A few men and women are universally successful but such superior seeming geniuses usually lose so much empathy for we lesser souls that their relationships become selfish and self-defeating. Many end up alone and unloved, in a prison of their own making, as Michael Corleone did in The Godfather. As an ancient African-American gospel song laments, life is plagued with sorrows, complications, and defeats for every person.

Nobody knows the trouble I