Friday, October 16, 2009

The boy in the bubble (balloon, i.e.)

David Vetter, known as the boy in the plastic bubble, died in 1984 at the age of 12. He suffered from SCIDS (severe combined immune deficiency syndrome) and was forced to live in a sterile environment. Being cut off from the outside world he had to learn to live on his own terms. Can you imagine? Being cut off from physical contact with your family members and the rest of the world. The doctors said that David had a defective thymus gland, the gland responsible for producing immunological agents in the body that fight off disease and infections. Many new age holistic healers attribute the thymus gland to the figurative heart. When you feel and give love, symbolically from the heart, it is actually from the thymus gland, which is located near the heart. The thymus gland releases hormones that monitor the health condition of the body and generally remains active until puberty. As one gets older, it continues to shrink and atrophy. According to some schools of holistic healing, when you give and receive love actively, the thymus gland continues to produce hormones and immunological agents to keep your body healthy. Whether this is true or not, it was interesting to see the interaction of love between this boy and his family despite being separated by a plastic bubble.

Are you living in a figurative plastic bubble? Have you separated yourself from your family, friends or society because you have been hurt or rejected by someone? Have you been exposed to unusual circumstances such as the boy, supposedly in the balloon, that activate your imagination and personal agenda? Do you try to pass off your opinions about life as facts to other people? Take the balloon boy’s father for example. If you watched to interview he rarely looked at the camera with his eyes. His attention was focused on anything but looking directly into the camera. His body language was indicative of someone who was trying to divert attention from himself. On Larry King last night, his son Falcon said, “We did this for the show.” Wolf Blitzer, subbing for Larry, repeated this statement and the father got defensive. Do you get defensive when someone accuses you of some wrong doing? Why would anyone get defensive if they weren’t guilty of something? Perhaps they were trying to cover something up? Could it be that the father was emotionally distraught and his heart was hurting because, for a period of time during the balloon chase, he didn’t know if his son was OK or not? Or was it true that this was a publicity stunt? I guess we will never truly know unless they offer different testimony. Suffice it to say, that we can only base our opinion on the facts and not supposition.

Did you give the father the benefit of the doubt? Or did you distrust him because of his answers and body language? It’s a tough call. If we examine the circumstances surrounding this event, we could draw many different conclusions. It depends on whether we accept the father’s demeanor as being honest or opportunist. After the family being on Wife Swap twice, we could conclude that they like the publicity and notoriety of being on TV. Being storm chasers and UFO junkies we could conclude that they are just nut cases. But what are their true motivations? Are they seeking experience and adventure or are they purposefully addicted to attention?

Much like the boy in the plastic bubble the boy in the plastic balloon was separated from a normal existence. His parents fueled his imagination and provided experiences for him and his brothers that were different from most children. When your imagination is activated and highly developed it can be difficult to separate reality from fantasy, especially at the age of six years old. It’s no wonder he hid in the garage attic because his dad had yelled at him. The parents had taught their children to not be afraid of danger and adventure. They didn’t teach him how not to be afraid of dad yelling, and it cost the entire world the anticipation of not knowing whether he was safe or not and to slowly exercise their hearts from their throats when it was discovered that he was alright. Did this adventure activate the love within all of us for the safety of this boy? The pressure has been so intense for Falcon that he actually threw up on the interview with the Today Show this morning.

Are these parents thinking about the overall effects on the lives of their children? Can you imagine what is going through the minds of these kids as a result of all of this attention? Does anyone care? If you don’t, then it’s time to leave your bubble!

For more info: Download my free Wilmington Spirituality Examiner toolbar. Please visit my Eschatology Refutation Blog. “Life is a gift. Be thankful for it and it will be replete with abundance. Encourage others to express creativity, release negativity and embrace pro-activity." ©2009 Dean A. Banks. All Rights Reserved. Dean A. Banks, MCIWD, DD can be reached at or Download my free eBook on Articles 1-10 here.

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