I had a wonderful moment of reflection on a recent Friday evening. I went to a Jethro Tull concert celebrating their 40th Anniversary of Aqualung, an album they made in 1971. Almost 40 years to the month after I went to a Jethro Tull concert to hear their new album, Aqualung.
If you’re under 50 you’ll need to Google Jethro Tull. I hasten to add the group made ground-breaking rock music so you know I have good taste, but that’s beside the point.
In the Summer of 1971 I had just graduated from high school and was headed to college to chase my dream of playing D1 basketball. I also had just registered for the draft. I was 1a (good to go, no deferments, hello Vietnam) and #98 in the draft lottery (out of 365 numbers). If you’re under 50 you may need to Google “Vietnam war draft lottery.” I was lucky. I didn’t get drafted. But that too is beside the point.
I settled for the parking lot that night because I didn’t have a ticket to the sold out show. Didn’t matter. I remember riding my bike in the parking lot around the theater on a hot Arizona night. The place just shook with music. It was wonderful.
Friday I made it INSIDE the theater. And it was wonderful there as well. But again, beside the point.
We all have turning points, points of departure. Few offer us the luxury of being so obvious — graduation, you’re in the Army now! Few offer us the luxury of forcing a choice. Go right or go left. Go or stay.
I’ve had my share of turning points and have been served well by just moving forward. Given the choice of action or inaction, choose action. Move forward and pay attention. Pay attention and you’ll know if you’re headed down the right path, what to change and what next step to take.
Just. Move. Forward.