When the children were young there was an often repeated joke that went ‘Look up, look down, your trousers/pants are falling down’. It was one of those family in-jokes that was funny to them, but meant nothing to anyone else.
Musing on ‘Look up… look down’
Jokes…. Many variations… The monkeys on top of the tree look down and see nothing but smiling faces; the monkeys on the bottom look up and see nothing but…’ …and other less polite versions…
In the countryside… Looking up we see the trees, sky, fields, birds, hills, our wonderful world. Looking down we see our feet, the muddy path and things we might step in; we miss out on all the beauty that’s around us.
With other people… Looking up to people I choose my role models, people I aspire to be like, those who set me a good example. Looking down on others I make myself superior; I show prejudice and pride – there’s no understanding or empathy.
The classic sketch… with John Cleese, Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett about class, wealth and positions in society. There have been many parodies – I particularly enjoyed the ‘therapist’ version (below).
Personally… I can look up with assurance, confidence, walking tall with my head held high; I accept myself and even like myself. Or I can look down, depressed, embarrassed. I don’t like myself; I’ve a poor self-image and hope I’m not noticed.
Students… It’s said that during exams, students look up for inspiration, down in desperation, and left and right for information.
Psalms… ‘I lift up my eyes to the hills (look up) – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.’ (121:1)
‘Why are you downcast, (look down) O my soul? Why so disturbed within me. Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.’ (42:5,11)
Look up or look down? I choose.