I used to work with this lady named Thelma. She was old enough to be my mother. I think she began to think of me as a son. She told me a story that I will never forget. She had a friend whom she had known for over 40 years. Her name was Lynette. When they were in their 20s, Lynette was approached by an older man who wanted a son. He offered to pay her several thousand dollars if she would give him a child (boy or girl). He made it clear that he did not want her to have anything to do with their child after she gave birth. He basically wanted a baby-making machine. Lynette had lived in poverty all of her life. This deal was very attractive to her. She agreed to be his baby-making machine despite her reservations. It took the man about a month to impregnate Lynette. He provided everything she needed and/or wanted while she was pregnant. She gave birth to a bouncing baby boy and received every last dime of the money. Lynette never saw or heard from the man or her son again. I think about Lynette when listening to Lauryn Hill’s To Zion (1998). It’s a powerful song about a beautiful bond. No amount of money could compensate for depriving oneself of the union described. Lynette realized her mistake soon after her son was gone. I hope that this is a song she never has to hear.