Chasing Balloons

William - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on November 18, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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In today’s society people are always in a rush. For adults it’s getting their kids to school by 8:00, stopping at Starbucks for a latte, juggling papers all day, picking up the kids from soccer practice, making Hamburger Helper for dinner, and then repeating the cycle all over again the following day. For adolescents it’s eight hours of school, after-school activities, part-time jobs at grocery stores, and loads of homework, day after day. People today are always in a rush to get from place to place. We want to accomplish tasks throughout our days, and we want to accomplish them as efficiently as possible.

By no mean do I exclude myself from this large category of busy people. As a college student, my days are filled from 6:00 a.m. until at least midnight. I wake up every morning with a game plan for every hour of the day; rarely do I ever stray from this plan. Many people live lifestyles similar to mine. However, in the midst of running around, worried about staying on schedule, people lose sight of those around them. We put so much focus on accomplishing tasks that only affect us as individuals that we forget about others. We rarely take time out of our hectic schedules to help those in need, which is why I believe in chasing balloons.

One Tuesday evening I was filling my truck with gas at H.E.B., a local grocery store. Having been in class since 8:00 a.m., I was exhausted from the long day. It was now 6:00 p.m., and all I had left on the agenda was to pick up my younger brother from football practice before finally heading home. As I stood there with the back of my head against the truck, watching the gas pump suck my money away, dollar by dollar, I noticed a young girl crying in a shopping cart being pushed by her mother. Tears rolled down the little girl’s checks as she reached for her red balloon that was now blowing across the large parking lot. Without giving it a second thought, I left my white truck unattended at the gas pump and dashed after her balloon; I finally caught the balloon at the end of the parking lot and returned it to the little girl. Although she was not old enough to thank me verbally, the smile on her face said more than any spoken words could.

I believe in chasing balloons. I believe in going out of your way to do something that will make a difference in someone else’s life. I believe in putting aside your own concerns, and helping others with theirs. Whether you are taking time to give a co-worker advice, putting aside your homework to help someone else with theirs, or chasing balloons across parking lots, it only takes a moment of time to help someone. Even though that moment of time may throw you off schedule, it’s a moment of time that was spent doing good for someone else, and these moments of time are irreplaceable.