Skip to main content

Lessons in Life from a Helium Balloon...

So June edition of the church magazine is out...
And this is the article I wrote...

Lessons in Life from a Helium Balloon
This is a story I heard in church when I was about ten years old. A bunch of us were being prepped to receive First Holy Communion and during the retreat that is usually held just before the big day, a priest told us this story and since then it has always stuck with me. I remember sitting in church with my friends, when this priest walks in and starts telling us this poignant story.

A man was selling his balloons at a fair and to attract the children running around, he would cut the string of a helium balloon from time to time. He let loose a red balloon first, and watched it as it soared across the skies. He then cut the string of a blue balloon and it too went soaring up and out of sight. Noting that the kids were riveted by this display he let loose another white balloon that danced and flitted out of sight too. This little marketing trick worked, for the kids kept lining up to buy his balloons. After satisfying his little customers the man looked around happy and relaxed, taking in the sights of a thriving country fair. He happened to notice a little dark girl peeping at him, her wide eyes staring at his balloons. He beckoned and she slowly walked up to him, he asked her if she would like a balloon. The little girl shook her head no, but she kept looking at the balloons tied to the helium canister. Intrigued, the man asked her what she wanted and she hesitatingly asked if the black balloon would fly as high as the other balloons. The man shrugged and said, “I don’t know. Let’s find out… shall we?” So saying he proceeded to cut the string of the black balloon, and both of them watched as that black balloon slowly became a dot in the sky and disappeared among the clouds. The little dark girl was genuinely pleased with the result and she turned to thank the man. The man knelt down and whispered that the colour on the outside doesn’t make a difference to the balloon, what matters is the substance inside that makes it soar. And so it is with us humans too, what really matters is inside you; let your beautiful soul reflect your nature and you will cross horizons.

This is all I remember of that retreat, a simple story that made an impact on all our young minds. Society has entrenched in us this concept of fair skin being the epitome of beauty and success. All those inane advertisements that depict the need to be fair to land a good job or to be accepted by friends, or to be noticed by that guy you like… are misleading and discriminating. It’s disconcerting to know that many celebs who endorse such fairness products, do not take the time to reflect on their actions which could be detrimental to young minds.

Like the little girl in the story we should learn to rise above society’s convoluted notions of what is considered desirable and beautiful. We should learn to judge for ourselves, learn to love ourselves the way God created us. Learn to live for His Kingdom and along the way lead others also to His everlasting Kingdom.

Your beauty should consist of your true inner self, the ageless beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of the greatest value in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:4

Comments

mahesh said…
What a lovely parable - really touching and profound in thought!
An excellent piece; you really have an eye for diamonds and preserved this rare one all these years. God bless you.

P.S. Your language too is beautiful
Pitcharan said…
An excellent piece; you really have an eye for diamonds and preserved this rare one all these years. God bless you.

P.S. Your language too is beautiful

Popular posts from this blog

December 2016 and January 2017

The last few months of 2016 were crazy in so many ways. First there was the money issue (when the higher denomination notes lost their value overnight) which created a mess of economic proportions. The insane queues at banks and ATM's and all the scrambling that was happening to make sense of it all, made November quite memorable.  Around the same time, Trump came out victorious which I thought was pretty hilarious... a sort of validation that people are the same everywhere, based on who we elected here.  Anyway, after the chaos of November, December came with her own brand of drama. I heard of Cyclone Nada, but I was busy in Nagercoil then enjoying a birthday party...Even that was fun, surprising the birthday girl who did not know that I was at the airport with dad. She walks up and down and I'm hiding behind the newspaper pretending to read it, then I see Manoj by her side, and they finally come out and she is hugging my dad and after that I walk up behind her and tap her on t…

A Corpse in the Ground

Avila and Fatima

The next day after an early breakfast we set out to visit Avila, which is about an hour's drive from Madrid.
A video of the landscape in Spain... Here, we've just reached Avila... these Walls of Avila were completed between the 11th and 14th centuries and they are the city's defining image. We had a lovely guide, Maria, and she took us around this quaint city explaining about the fortress and the cathedrals.
Another video depicting the welcoming sounds of Avila... the constantly chirping birds over the walled city of Avila are quite captivating, they seem to beckon you in. Avila's charm...  The sun, spilling her beams... 
The church of St. Teresa of Avila Inside the church, mass was just getting over... The chapel dedicated to St. Teresa
The main square in Avila
So after checking out the church of St. Teresa and the museum where her finger is displayed, we started on our way to Fatima in Portugal which is about a five hour drive from Avila.

Stopped on the way to have a …