I took part in a relatively unplanned photography session the other day. As kind of a last minute thought, I took along a few balloons – after all, balloons always lend a sense of excitement and fun, don't they? I gave one of these balloons to the middle boy of the family, whom I’ll simply dub as ‘D’ for the sake of this post.
As he walked away with this red balloon in hand, I was suddenly struck with the remembrance of my own days of elementary school, when my teacher would show us movies from time to time. For some reason or other she’d gotten the movie, The Red Balloon. It is a story – told mostly without dialogue – about a boy named Pascal and a balloon he rescues one day.
The movie focuses on the friendship forged between this young boy and a red balloon. I was so impacted by this film that I remember wanting a red balloon of my own after seeing it.
Fast-forward to a dozen years later when I’d be teaching a summer camp of energetic seven and eight year-old kids, and talking with them about the importance of good friends and being kind to those who were different. I remember each of them wanting – after seeing the movie – a red balloon of their very own. Having already thought of this, I went into the back room of the center and brought out the dozen red helium balloons, which I tied to each of their back jeans belt loops, stressing the importance of friendship and kindness. Then, for the remainder of the day, each and every child had a red balloon of their own which followed them everywhere they went.
It was amazing to see how differently they acted.
It's amazing to see how something as simple as a red balloon can change someone's behavior.
Did you take a photo in the past seven days that made you smile? Please feel free to include a link to the image in the comments section if you did.
Oh, and just if you were interested, you can view the original Albert Lamorisse film, The Red Balloon, HERE or a trailer for the 2007 remake (which I just discovered existed, watched most of, and didn't like nearly as much), The Flight of the Red Balloon, by Hou Hsiao Hsien HERE. From the trailer you will be able to link to the full film if you're interested in watching it.