I walked through the city the other day on streets I have walked thousands of times. I have never stepped in a pothole or unintentionally bumped into anybody. But, I realized, I had seen so little because I had failed to look up.
It’s something that you infrequently do; nobody does.
We all have to look straight ahead. This is a given. Imagine if you did not look straight ahead when you were performing life’s most basic tasks…like driving. TV, something all of us do all the time, would certainly be less enjoyable if we did not look straight ahead-it would be like radio!
Remember the days when radio ruled? You probably do not because you were not alive. Those people who would remember the radio days are not reading this because they are not currently on the Internet…they are listening to the radio.
There is a chance that you would not be reading this either were it not for the radio. That’s right!
Allow me to explain. Twenty, thirty, forty years ago when you may have been born, your parents did not wake up Saturday morning and immediately turn on the TV, which they had to watch. They turned on the radio, which only required them to listen. When all that you have to do is listen, your eyes and mind are free to wonder everywhere. You are not stuck looking straight ahead-and statically-at the television.
With mom and dad moving around in the house, doing things, they innocently brush shoulders. Dad takes a look at Mom (because he is not looking straight ahead at the television) remembering why he fell so in love with her and his non-distracted eyes devour her with love and lust. She returns the glance with a solicitous smile and off to the bedroom they go for a great start to another weekend morning.
You are the result.
So, you see, were it not for the radio, you might not be reading this. Has the family unit not drastically decreased since the onset of the television?
It’s simply too much looking straight-ahead.
People look down a lot too. They don’t just look down on other people-which they do far too much of-but they literally look down. You have to look down.
No, really, you have to look down. What happens if you don’t? You might step in pile of dog sh*t that some dog-walker was too lazy to clean up. And who wants to start the day with sh*t on their shoes? And what if you’re wearing flip flops? Enough said.
Really, looking straight ahead and looking down are always found together, like breasts. You simply cannot have one without the other. When you are going to have dinner, you have to sit down. Your eyes, that were previously looking straight ahead, had to look down in order to sit down. It’s the same in every case. When you are driving, you invariably look down in the midst of looking forward to ensure that there are no impediments in the road.
But nobody ever looks up.
When you are driving, when do you ever look up? You only look up on one occasion…to see if there will be rain. Are our minds so conditioned that in looking up we are only looking for disaster? Then, who wants to look up?
Those who look up know that there is much more than disaster that awaits-there is beauty and perspective.
We are always told to “reach for the stars”. How can you reach for the stars without looking up? You would look plain stupid reaching for the stars and looking down. And speaking of stars, one of the most glorious vistas in life, a clear night filled with stars, can only be seen by looking up!
I bet if people did more of this the population would, once again, increase.
Get your copy of his latest book entitled Obvious Conclusions, stories of a Midwestern emigrant influenced and corrupted by many years living in San Francisco and abroad. It just received its first outstanding review "...reminiscent of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs" on Amazon UK.