If you haven't heard about this story yet, let me summarize for you quickly before I dive into my thoughts on it. 12 boys and their soccer coach entered a cave complex in Thailand and were trapped when the complex was flooded due to the rain (it's currently monsoon season). They have been trapped since June 23rd and supply and intelligence gathering missions have been underway since they were first found on July 2nd. From what I can gather from current sources, is that a rescue attempt will be happening today with technological assistance from Elon Musk. If you'd like a more detailed account of the story, I've been following CNN pretty closely and I originally found out about this story from watching The Philip DeFranco Show on YouTube.
I am almost hesitant to write anything out of fear that I might be too hopeful and end up jinxing the outcome of the rescue mission(s). Irrational fears aside, my heart cannot contain this feeling of excitement and relief and gratitude for the families involved. The fact that all of the boys and their coach were found alive and uninjured after 10 days of being stuck in the cave complex is still mind-blowing to me. I suppose I have become so used to just hearing about death and devastation across global news and current affairs that hope has never even remotely been an option. Now that there is a situation where we didn't just immediately hear of definitive tragedy, I find myself uncharacteristically optimistic about the situation. The story has also grown and transformed in such a way that with the response of support and outreach from so many people and communities outside of Chiang Rai, Thailand that its as though their rescue and safety is imminent. I don't not want to be hopeful, especially because these lives deserve to be more than hoped and prayed for, but their is the fear that there will be tragedy like we see so often, that something will go wrong and that despite all of the human effort, support and innovation, we could not save them.
That leads me to what I really want to talk about which is hope as it relates to human potential. It has been so easy to give in to viewing the world as dark and wicked, and in so many ways it is because that's what we've let it and ourselves become. There is so much sadness and pain because of all that we have done to hurt one another and all that we have done in the pursuit of power. Human potential is a spectrum and while it can feel like there is no hope for humanity, that attitude or perspective is more a reflection of where we have put ourselves on the spectrum after constantly repeatedly choosing anger, greed, pride, and all those other evil things within us instead of what is good, just and selfless. It's like that story of the two wolves that live within you - Good and Evil - that are always fighting. The one who wins is the one you feed. Human potential is infinite, and infinite in either direction depending which way push it, depending on which wolf we feed. Of course, individual people disprove that everyone is evil and wicked, just as actions by a collective like a reaction to the Thai Cave Rescue show that human potential doesn't have to be won over by the direction in which it is being pushed. No matter how dark the world can be, there is always the option for goodness and love.
I will continue to be hopeful about the Thai Cave Rescue and its outcome for everyone involved especially the boys, their coach and their families as well as the divers and Thai Navy SEALS for their tireless efforts. It just goes to show the level of compassion, resilience and fellowship we should expect from each other. It's not a revolutionary idea to be kind and to care, it is not a revolutionary idea to help those in need. But by choosing those things consistently and by choosing those things together, how much better can our world be? There are tragedies and instances of injustice happening all over the world constantly. We need to be better to one another. We need to do better for one another.
This plea for goodness is in honor of former Thai Navy SEAL, Saman Kunan who lost his life while on a supply mission to aid those stuck inside the Tham Luang Caves. Rest in power.