He was there all along. The "boy in the balloon," as we now know him, traveled nary a few dozen steps to the attic in his family's garage, and simply hid in a box.
The rest of us were looking skyward at a weather balloon about which Area 51 would be proud. We wondered if the cute little boy with the eccentric parents had survived. Was he in the balloon? Had he fallen to his tragic death?
We were so preoccupied with what was high up in the sky, we ignored what was right under the Heene family's collective nose.
We shouldn't be surprised by this phenomenon. It's nothing new. The drama, imagination, and potential tragedy that was unfolding live on television of a balloon floating through the sky was much more interesting than the story of a boy safely hiding in a box. That's why it grabbed our attention so firmly.
We've wasted so much energy in the last 12 months worrying about corporate credit union investments, the Credit CARD Act, alternative capital, a decline in consumer loan demand, and surging loan losses, that I wonder if as a whole we have maybe lost sight of what's right under our noses. As credit union leaders, we have no choice but to think about worst case scenarios, the realities of the economy, and the uncertainty of an ever-changing regulatory environment. We'd be irresponsible if we didn't. But we also have to make sure our focus isn't stolen from us by the extraordinary.
There's a box in the garage that deserves much more attention.