Illustration of two ladies looking up at a hanging mobile

Hey! Look up!


I had a chance to tour a cancer hospital recently. It was brand new and in a word stunning. It was there was a lot of light, lots of windows, very high ceilings and lots and lots of mobile’s hanging from the ceiling.

Pictures of little kids smiling, puppy dogs, outdoor scenes. It looked more like a resort than a hospital.

“Oh, there’s a reason for it.” said the person giving me the tour. “We know that when people physically look up, they mentally and spiritually look up as well. This makes them more optimistic. Instead of having signs around that say “please look up”, we hang up these mobiles. People walk in and stare up at them and after about five minutes they feel better and they have no idea why — but we do.”

After I left, I started a little experiment. I looked at the next 100 people I happen to pass. Guess how many were looking up? I think you know the answer. They were staring at the ground, they were focused inward, mostly downward. I could see fixed expressions and frowns of concentration.

It is a common reflex that when something appears out of the corner of your eye you will look up to see what it is. But I passed nearby, most of the time their eyes shifted to my feet and not any higher.

The only exception to this was children. Children would look up at me and study my face. If I smiled, they would usually smile back.

We always know that most children have a sunny disposition and we’ve always thought that that was because they have more endorphins. But maybe it’s because they look up more.

“Gould’s newest offering, Heartland, is a thoughtful collection filled with meaningful musings, wit, and wisdom. Whether reading from cover to cover or just a page or two, the truths told are valuable life lessons.”