It is well known that Albert Einstein searched for a unified theory that would explain everything.
He never found it.
What is not known is that I too have been searching for a unified theory. Not in physics, of course. I almost flunked that at Andover. No, a unified theory that would explain our lives -- what drives us, what halts us -- you know -- everything.
I have not found it either.
But I have come close, listening to a song, make someone happy, sung by Jimmy Durante.
Jimmy Durante was an actor, singer, comic with a big nose (schnozzle) and a big heart. If you're my vintage, you know him. If you're my kids' vintage, you might know him. If you're my grandkids vintage, well, forget it.
Make someone happy was Jimmy's song. Oh, it was recorded by many -- Sinatra, Streisand, Garland, Franklin, Day (Doris). But only Jimmy sung it with the passion and clarity it deserves. Here are the lyrics:
It's so important to make someone happy
Make just one someone happy
Make just one heart to heart you sing to
One smile that cheers you
One face that lights when it nears you
One girl you're-you're everything to
Fame, if you win it,
Comes and goes in a minute
Where's the real stuff in life to cling to
Love is the answer
Someone to love is the answer
Once you've found her,
Build your world around her.
Make someone happy
Make just one person happy
And you will be happy too.
Yes, it's a boy-girl love song. But I apply it more broadly. Make someone happy. LOVE IS THE ANSWER.
You can hear Jimmy belt it out on YouTube. I strongly advise you to do this.
In November I am throwing myself a 90th birthday party. I am going to invite the people who have made me happy down the avenues I've travelled -- family, schools, sports, work, theater, Henry Street, community gardens, Bronx Children's Museum, old friends, new friends.
Some of you will know only one or two others there ... maybe just me. You might be surprised to be invited. Well, you belong there. You make me happy.
I hope I make you happy too.