Look up! Look up! Look what your missing! It’s right in front of your face!

I watched 50 or more people stroll through town the other day with their heads down. Can you guess why their heads were down?  Yep, because they were engrossed in their cell phones. These were not just locals and this place was not just a dirty big city street. No,the people I was watching were tourists from out of town, vacationing in one of the most beautiful mountain towns during one of the most beautiful fall seasons I’ve ever experienced.

Maybe they looked up for one second to snap a quick photo of the golden sunlight striking the grey peak encircled by brilliant yellow aspens. One quick second and then they were right back down sending that beautiful moment off to family and friends. In a sense they brag with that picture. They claim to be “experiencing” something other’s aren’t.

Experiencing? Doesn’t that mean breathing it in, staring for long amounts of time, pondering how it’s possible, expressing out-loud how it makes you feel, putting a smile on your face, or even hugging the person next to you?

Maybe I’m old school like Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn in the movie “The Internship.” They are the old guys trying to fit into a tech savvy generation at Google. Everyone is constantly fidgeting with their gadgets and phones. One kid in particular is glued to his. Finally when a beautiful naked lady is standing in front of the kid, Vince Vaughn can’t take it anymore. He says DUDE! You’re missing it! The quote is as follows:

“Great big world out there my friend. Just three inches up, I beg you.”

People are literally killing, missing, losing life’s moments! For what? A text message? A funny video? A ridiculous meme? A snap? A chance to flirt? An unemotional, unattached dialog? A virtual game world? A Facebook feed? An Instagram hit?


These desires consume. Unfortunately, during those consuming moments, life flickers away. This same day the people had their heads down, I watched the sky change from sun to rain to sleet to snow to sun. It created wonderfully different perspectives, glows, and shadows.  The trees in their fall color transformed with every stage of weather. I wanted to capture it all with my camera, but I became so distracted by watching it through my own eyes. If only the people would look up three inches, I thought. How could they also not be transported away from their cell phones for this moment? As I watched nature change within seconds around me, it struck me just how much we miss in life. The sun’s rays slashed through thick clouds to highlight only a sliver of the valley. This sliver was speckled with reds, oranges, and yellows of the tree’s leaves. The light hit just perfectly to highlight this natural beauty that is right in front of our faces. Then it was gone. Three inches and gone forever.

Moments like these are everywhere. You don’t always have to be miles away from home to travel to a different place. I was a tourist in my own town the other day, and saw it like I’ve never seen before. I too needed this reminder to be aware of the three inch rule.

So, where will your next travels be? Will you miss it or will you look just three inches up?