I got into the practice of “looking up” 40 years ago when I was a student teacher. My master teacher took my class and me on a walking tour of the town and she said, “Look up!” And when we looked up, she showed us the pediments and entablatures with carved stones that told us how old the buildings were. This exercise made us look beyond the McDonalds and the Sears and reminded us that this town had been around for more than 100 years.
It’s a good practice to adopt. Looking up helps you savor what’s going on around you. Additionally, it’s a good practice in your interpersonal relationships. Why? When there’s a conflict, people often evaluate the situation by looking at what’s right in front of them. They miss the subtle and the many layers that contribute to conflict, which can only be seen by widening their lenses. It’s looking up and down and back and past that helps people gain the insight they need to respond in a more measured, thoughtful and productive way.