A baby’s born and there’s a balloon tied to its belly. The balloon is bright and red and it tugs the baby’s belly skyward. The baby is light and willing, so the balloon makes the baby rise and the balloon carries it as high as it can. However, at some point the forces of the earth and gravity pull the baby back. It’s harnessed back into reality and told that to fly is impossible, to dream is irresponsible and unrealistic, and to hope is nothing but a waste of time.
That baby eventually grows and learns to challenge the bullshit lines he was told by those pathetic poets of pessimism. Eventually he tires of protesting the minds of the hopeless and challenging the morals of those who forgot how to desire. Suddenly, the red balloon reappears.
He walks towards it and, before long, it’s in his hands. He waits for the balloon to tug and pull him up just as it did nearly two decades ago. But the boy’s feet don’t budge. He jumps but the balloon doesn’t carry his weight. As he focuses on the bright redness of the balloon and the sun shining behind it, he begins to lose hope.
The balloon slips out of his fingers and he’s stuck to the ground with all of “them.” He wants to fly sky high and touch the dreams he felt so tangible when the balloon allowed him to. He begins to stroll from the spot he’d been standing in, and he looks intently at the ground. He couldn’t help but look down because he felt the sky didn’t need him.
When the boy got home, he stumbled over a box because he didn’t see the wind chime right in front of him. The box spilled open and he saw a string with a text written on it. It was weathered and wrinkled. It looked as if it’d once been white.
He brought it close, and it read: “Your dreams – they’re real. Your hopes – they are too. The sky is where you belong. You’ve always reached for the clouds, but while they pushed your arms down you forgot how far to reach. You don’t need helium to pull you skyward – you need to fly sky high on your own. Don’t let them tell you different, and don’t believe them if they do. You were born a baby with a balloon tied to your belly. As you’ve grown, that balloon’s become your mind. And just as I tugged you skyward, let your mind do the tugging this time.”