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Head Up Look Forward

September 9, 2020

With the Pandemic, storms, wildfires, protests, riots, the election, the challenge to stay positive is more daunting.  It is hard to look forward optimistically when there is so much uncertainty.  That it’s more challenging is why it’s so much more important that you rise up to the challenge and stay positive.

You cannot control that which comes your way.  You can control how you respond.

A Little Perspective

Viktor Frankl* described being in Auschwitz as a “provisional existence”.  He and the others existed with complete uncertainty.  With what they were experiencing, it was easy to be very pessimistic and give up. Viktor Frankl survived Auschwitz by thinking of finishing his book, seeing his wife and family again,…..  He chose to only think thoughts that gave him purpose, a reason to stay strong, look forward, and keep going.

Replace negative thoughts of today or tomorrow with positive ones for today or tomorrow.  Like him, think of the things you would like to look forward to.

“Faith is the courage to live with uncertainty” – Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

A Thought About Keeping Your Head Up

If you saw someone walking down the street with their head down, what would you think their state of mind is?  Is their head just down, or is it reflective of their feeling down?  We know for sure that literally and metaphorically, they are not looking forward.  They are not seeing, or don’t want to see, that which lies ahead.  If they are feeling down, then by looking down, they will never see anything different or better.  This will cause their state of mind or situation to remain the same or get worse.  By looking up and forward, they can and will see something better, even if it’s just one person smiling at them.


If so, then pay attention to when you are walking by yourself, and notice whether you are looking down or ahead.  You may not even realize that your mood is down, so if you catch yourself looking down, let it be a reminder to check in with your current state of mind.

We can get two lessons here for the price of one:

1. If you notice that your head is down, then remind yourself to lift it up and look ahead.  Train yourself to do this no matter how heavy your head may feel.

2.Then when walking with your head up, smile at the person coming your way.  Even if they don’t respond, it can/will lift or keep their head up.

Recently, I was on a walk and I noticed a couple coming my way.  It was a man and a woman, both about 85-ish.  They were walking with their arms around each others waist.  They looked so happy, so contented, and so much in love.  What a beautiful and inspiring sight that I wouldn’t have seen if my head was down.

If you are not looking forward now, you will be looking back later 

Be Good Do Good Think Good Be Healthy

*From “Man’s Search For Meaning” by Dr. Viktor Frankl

Once again if you haven’t read it Do!!!

16 Comments leave one →
  1. Helen permalink
    September 11, 2020 5:25 am

    Beautiful insightful words

  2. Lynda permalink
    September 10, 2020 7:35 pm

    Fred, I love that book by Victor Frankll! A quick read that I refer to often for inspiration. Amazing what he endured and a true testament to how resilient we are when we get things right in our mind. Reminds me of hearing you say each week in class that we are what we think about, even if we don’t think so. So true. Thanks!

    • Fred Fox permalink
      September 11, 2020 7:42 am

      My favorite book so I’m not surprised you love it. You’re so right about his endurance and the endurance of all the other survivors like my parents. It’s truly a lesson/reminder for us all all the time Thank You Lynda

  3. Jeff permalink
    September 10, 2020 3:07 am

    Spinning Rabbi, I totally disagree with you as far as keeping your head down, only way to hit a golf ball. In sports we are told to keep looking straight ahead so you can see in all directions, same in life. Only kidding but true, thank you for the positive words, appreciated.
    your words of wisdom.

    • Fred Fox permalink
      September 10, 2020 6:27 am

      cute there are always exceptions 🙂 Thanks Jeff

  4. Karen permalink
    September 9, 2020 6:24 pm

    Well said Fred
    Smiling boosts your immune system
    Smiles are contagious
    Smiling elevates your mood and induces more pleasure in the brain than chocolate not sure we agree with this one😀😀😀😀

    • Fred Fox permalink
      September 9, 2020 7:37 pm

      “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight” Phyllis Diller
      Thank you Karen

  5. jackie permalink
    September 9, 2020 5:38 pm

    A lovely and positive message that is much needed:))

  6. Beni permalink
    September 9, 2020 5:24 pm

    life lesson that is worth reminding.

    • Fred Fox permalink
      September 9, 2020 5:35 pm

      I agree 🙂 Thank You

  7. Alison permalink
    September 9, 2020 5:18 pm

    Thank you Fred!!

    I’ve been enjoying walks lately and admiring nature – so much wonder and possibility exists all around!


    • Fred Fox permalink
      September 9, 2020 5:37 pm

      you see all that because your head is up
      Thank You Alison

  8. kirk permalink
    September 9, 2020 2:00 pm

    Oh Fred, thanks for this important reminder…

    • Fred Fox permalink
      September 9, 2020 2:05 pm

      Thank You Kirk for reading share it with others who might need a reminder

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