A few weeks ago, 12 boys went to explore a cave in Thailand along with their coach.
At the time, they never imagined that what would have been a boys’ day out would become a drama watched by an anxious world, saturated with prayers from all faiths.
But that’s exactly what it became.
As news stations around the world waited for news with bated breath and experts came together to look for ways to get the trapped boys and their coach to safety, it brought to light the heroism of Thai special forces and countless volunteers from specialised military operations such as SEALS from all over the world.
Amidst the anguish of mothers and families, only too familiar to mothers everywhere who wait anxiously for their children to return home from trips, excursions and the like, there was something else that struck me.
It was the power of humanity that assures me that yes, there is hope for mankind.
Love and compassion is not dead as the world or its media would like us to believe. For a moment frozen in time, it was love in action. The men leading the rescue were fathers themselves ; this mission was personal.
The cave rescue showed the world that despite the gloomy predictions, there is enough reason for our children to look forward to kindness and mercy in the world.
Not only because so many experts came together to put their lives on the line in wading into a treacherous cave to rescue boys they have never seen or known ; also because the story brought the world into a tight circle of caring – across social media platforms, reaching the furthest places and beyond.
From Elon Musk to the prayer warriors of your corner church, the world stood together, wanting nothing but the best for the trapped boys and their coach. It was a beautiful moment history would record for the next generations to see that humanity can be a beautiful thing, Still.
In an age when a singular preoccupation with the smartphone often means we miss tender moments that connect us together, the rescue meant something to all of us. It restored our faith in humanity – as a community, united through a thin but powerful line of technology that enabled each of us to connect with the heroes on the ground in Thailand, celebrated the rescue as never before.
It was not just the rescue effort but the commitment undertaken with an iron resolve to ensure that there would be no looking back. From the determined Thai SEALS one of whom sacrificed his life towards setting the children free, to the British and American SEALs and other cave diving specialists who gathered at the mouth of the cave to lend their shoulders to the effort.
Thailand was not alone. The world was with them, united by more than just a popular effort, one that touched every mother’s heart, one that resonated with people everywhere. From Facebook updates to prayers seeking divine intervention, people all over the world stood together in wishing nothing but the best outcome of a chaotic situation.
And there we find a cause for celebration – not only because as I write this, the boys have been rescued and the heroes quietly slipping away back into their lives. But also because for a moment frozen in time, humanity came together in one singular effort that cut across national, geographical, political, ethnic and religious borders.
Tonight my children can sleep tight in knowing that kindness is very much alive out there somewhere ; and when needed, it can flow right in.