Recently a member of our LinkedIn group posted a discussion that contained a simple four-word proclamation: "Happy to be here." As a manager of the group I can affirmatively say we're happy to have him, as well as professionals everywhere who use social-media and professional-networking platforms to share experiences, increase their own knowledge and overall help the profession.
But I have to admit the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw that discussion was the Traveling Wilburys song "End of the Line." In the song, vocalist Tom Petty sings, "I'm just glad to be here, happy to be alive." The song's theme is artistically depicted in its video, in which the band is performing on a freight train headed to some destination. It reminds us, not so subtly, that we all are headed to the same ultimate destination.
Ironically yet somehow fittingly, between the time that song was recorded and the time its video was filmed, Traveling Wilburys member Roy Orbison passed away. In the video, when it's time for Orbison's vocals, the camera shows a rocking chair housing his guitar, with a black-and-white photo of Orbison resting on a table nearby.
In a personal ironic twist, I also am reminded of the commentary I penned in this space in our June issue. Titled "Corner kicks and connectivity," that editorial told of how I received full wireless connectivity while attending an outdoor soccer tournament.
Believe it or not, at just about the time our June issue was being distributed, I was at another soccer tournament, this one in northern Vermont. On the first day of the tourney I received a phone call informing me of a death in the family. Well, kind of informing me of that, but mostly cutting out every three seconds or so. After collecting myself and digesting the news, I slowly turned around 360 degrees, looking at the skyline. Nowhere did I see a cell tower, not even one that was doing a poor imitation of a tree.
As you might imagine, I made and received a number of phone calls over the next 24 hours. Most of them were marked with the frustration that comes with the lack of a signal, which only compounded my somber state of mind given the unfortunate topic of discussion.
But failed connections on a 4G network are nothing compared to failed connections in life, as we sometimes learn the hard way. So wherever you are, whatever you're doing, please look around you, all 360 degrees, and see the reasons to be glad to be here.