Keep Your Head Up

Earlier this week someone had made the statement that if you always keep your head down, you’re going to miss a lot of things around you. When he said this, I started thinking about how when you always keep your eyes down you miss views, people, opportunities and so much of life. Then I started to ask myself why a person would give up seeing those things for the sake of keeping their head down and the only thing that made sense to me was that, while your head is down, you can’t get hurt. It makes sense because when you monitor every step that you take as you move, you believe that you are getting somewhere and your desire is to arrive unharmed but by the time you reach the end of your journey, you haven’t seen anything but your feet. You may even wonder how you got there so quickly. In the same way, if kids kept their heads down while they were trekking through backyards and playgrounds they wouldn’t have nearly as many bruises and scrapes as they get. However in the minds of little kids the idea of keeping their heads down is clearly a sacrifice, they would be giving up the ability to be present in their adventures.

As my mind put these things together I began to realize that that is life, it is the choices we make between taking chances in order to see something amazing or playing it safe and seeing nothing, the chance at happiness or just contentment. Of course it doesn’t always have to be a direct choice, sometimes these are things we’re balancing between. However, whether we are balancing or choosing, the question still remains, are we willing to risk a couple of bruises or cuts for the sake of seeing something beautiful?

At least that was the question I ended up with because in my mind I couldn’t get the image of happy kids with scars out of my mind. I couldn’t help but remember being a kid and how proud I had been of the scars I got from doing something daring, or the cuts other kids had on their hands from climbing trees just to look at their neighborhoods in a new way. Sometimes people think of kids as being happy because they don’t realize they are being hurt but instead I think they are happy because they were willing to sacrifice something for the sake of something bigger. Or maybe they’re happy because they don’t take their skin so seriously as to think that it won’t ever recover from a scrape. Or maybe I’m over thinking it and they’re just human beings who are happy, who take chances, who get cuts, but who don’t care.

I guess all I’m trying to say is that kids are happy and they take chances and maybe we should take a lesson from them, as opposed to expecting them to become like adults who usually have no happiness to show for all of their comfortability. Maybe if we recognized that there is always the possibility of us getting hurt and decided that we’d rather get hurt, if at all, while doing something that makes us happy, we’d be happier. Maybe if we did so we would stop looking at the injuries of life as death blows but would start seeing them as battle scars and show them to the world as evidence of where we’ve been and what we’ve seen. Maybe just maybe if we did that, if we stopped looking down so much, if we were actually present in our own lives, and searching for our own adventures, we would all be happier people.

Anyway, that’s just what I think.


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