Look and you shall find

a.k.a. 6 quotes about looking

This post is based on a Writing101 prompt: choose an inspirational tweet, embed it, and write a response to it. I found a Twitter account that only shares quotes and decided on the keyword “look”. As no one quote inspired me enough to write a meaty post, I picked my top 6 quotes and shared my take on it.


As a perfectionist, I can relate to this post as I know how damaging it can be to want everything to be perfect. I consider perfectionism a quality when it comes to my job and even take pride in it. However, I really need to fight it in my personal life or it can keep me focused on the imperfections and prevent me from enjoying life. Letting go of the way we want things to be is often a challenge but it needs to be done to appreciate things as they really are.


Once, I spent a day with a friend who wore his girlfriend’s scarf and would regularly sniff it to smell her perfume. When he let me sniff it, though, I couldn’t smell anything particular. Her perfume had vanished but he could still feel it because he was looking for this smell, while I didn’t know what to look for. We can often trick ourselves into seeing something that isn’t there and ignore what is.


Well, I could say that I always tend to look on the pessimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is simpler that it seems. So often I overthink things and get stressed out about a situation that scares or worries me when it is actually quite simple. Looking at the bright side doesn’t make me delusional or blind to the difficulties of life; it actually gives me hope and calms me down. So does realising that there is a simple way to view – and solve – an issue.


As this quote is taken completely out of context and I don’t know the first thing about Charlotte Brontë apart from the fact that she was a novelist, I can only assume that “looking upward” means looking at God. It my case, I think “looking inward” would be more appropriate, as I constantly try to free myself from the claws of regret and worry and instead have faith in myself.


To be honest, I have no idea what is meant with this quote – I just like the sound and the complexity of it. I am not even sure how to understand “dream”: should it be a reverie or a wish? I guess a reverie makes more sense, but even then, I can’t really see what my nightmares about zombies relate to this quote – they eat brains, not souls. I also have a problem with occurrences of the word “occurrence” outside the framework of linguistics or computer science.


This seems like a longer version of “better safe than sorry”. Of course, I completely agree, but there is something about both quotes that annoys me. I find them guilt-inducing, in a way – if you don’t prepare, you will regret it, and if you didn’t prepare, whatever happened is your fault. At least Joyner-Kersee’s quote can also be read as “better to look ahead than to look back” which I have no problem with.


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