Video clips from the show
FAMILY: The Swanns
Meet the Swann family of Baltimore—a mother and her three sons. Ann Swann divorced shortly after her twins were born, and she raised her three sons with the help of her mother and by holding several jobs. Ryan and Bryan, the twins, joined the military after high school and then, along with Henry, served in the Iraq war at the same time. Just before they shipped out, their grandmother was murdered in the flower shop she owned. For the first time in her life, Ann experienced the pain of being alone. Thankfully, her sons returned safely from Iraq.
LOVE AND ALTRUISM: Bikers Against Child Abuse
BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) is a nationwide organization of motorcyclists that works closely with local authorities to give love and protection to victims of child abuse. Like “Thumper,” who we see in this clip, many of the bikers were themselves abused children. The group “adopts” a 13-year-old girl, nicknamed “Daredevil,” whose life is spiraling out of control. BACA rescues her from drugs and sexual abuse. Daredevil finds community, caring and loving-kindness through the efforts of this unique organization, which becomes a second family for her and other children in abusive situations.
FRIENDSHIP: Boris and Camilla
Camilla Williams, now in her 80s, was the first African-American singer to have a contract with the New York City Opera. Boris, an immigrant from Bulgaria now in his 90s, was her longtime accompanist. They performed together all over the country for years, and their two families became close. Camilla’s husband died many years ago. When Boris’ wife died a few years ago, his sons suggested that he might live happily with Camilla, if she was willing. She was delighted. They live together as longtime, close friends, platonically, and both are enriched and nourished by the arrangement. Camilla says, “I think there’s all kind of love. There’s romantic; and then there is friendship. And I thank the Lord every day for the friendship of Boris.”
ROMANCE: What is romantic love?
Romantic love is the most recognizable and familiar form of love in our time. It is what most of us think about when the word “love” is mentioned. We are led to believe that love is an ideal that can be realized in a moment, across a crowded room, and will last for a lifetime. In reality, however, romance is more fleeting than we are told, more complicated than we could have imagined, more elusive than we were led to believe. As our experts point out, the romantic ideal of love leaves us both panting for perfection and doomed to disappointment. It is a human condition and, like all such conditions, it can lift us up or cast us down, send us soaring or sink us into despair.