I look down as I step foot back into the “concrete jungle”. The ground is littered with forgotten dreams, lost hope, broken spirits, blood, sweat and tears. Of course I can’t see any of it, but I can certainly feel the crunch underfoot as I take each step. “Look up,” is the phrase that plays back in my head.
I have a fairly horrible memory. I can’t remember what I ate for dinner last night, let alone remember everything that happened in my life. Though, I believe there is a reason for that… at least for me. I think the things that we remember are the very things that we let shape us… whether we know how they have or not.
I have mentioned before that I was quite the trouble maker when I was growing up, but I didn’t stay that way at all. It is like somewhere along the journey a switch was flipped. I went from a hyper kid who probably should have been on ADD medication to a shy quiet introvert… hard to believe. I remember looking down at the floor when I would walk… not in a depressed kind of way, but just watching my feet as I took each step. I was intrigued by everything.
On one particular day I was heading to school with my mom on our typical route passed the senior citizen home (I think I was in the first grade at the time). I was looking at the floor as usual, watching my feet take each step. As we were walking my mom said, “Pick your head up and look up. Don’t ever look down.” I don’t remember anything else from that memory other than that short clip.
At that moment all those words meant to me were to stop looking at the floor. So I picked my head up and carried on. As I grew up, those simple words never left my side. They stuck with me like a nickname you couldn’t shake. I’ve heard those words playback in my head time and time again, finding more meaning each time and providing direction. Those words have come to mean much more than stop looking at the floor.
If you go through life looking down at the floor the ground under your feet will simply fly by as you move forward. You know you are heading somewhere… but where? You can see the ground changing under your feet… concrete, asphalt, grass, gravel, mud… but you never know where your feet are taking you next or what the next obstacle might be.
If you never lift your head and look around you may never notice everything you are passing on the journey, or opportunities that are yours to take or pass up. You will always be just a passenger on the journey.
And if you never look up to the sky you will never know the heights you can reach.
The next time you are out for a walk, reflect as you look down, plan as you look forward, and dream as you look up.