Twelve boys from a soccer team, and their coach, are now freed from their underground cave experience, some eighteen days after going missing, and nine since they were discovered, alive, in the subterranean system. How is that for a good news story?
If this doesn’t make you happy, I’d be willing to wager that you’re dead, or your heart is colder than, and as hard as, a river stone.
I think of those boys, most of whom are the same age as my twins (who also play soccer), and almost taste their fear. I think of their relief at being rescued, seeing the dappled light after days of terrifying darkness. Those last few boys, how did they feel watching the others extricated before them? Did they wonder if they’d be released in time? What horrifying thoughts went through their brains. Whose awful decision was it behind who to take first? The weight of responsibility must have felt like lead. The diver hailed as a hero, and yet his tremendous effort, his good work, robbed him of his own life.
I waited, like the world, each morning to hear more of the rescue efforts. I rejoiced at hearing the number climb. Four. Eight. Ten. All.
Today, tears fall over their safe rescue. It is a miracle, by all accounts, that each member of the team is liberated, and with little visible injuries. The psychological trauma runs deep, of course. Coming out of an experience like that must have life-altering effects. I hope those boys feel the collective love and support of us all, strangers around the world, yet still relieved and overjoyed for each of them.
Sometimes, it may seem like our world is turning evil. News of this calibre helps us to see that mostly, we’re OK. When the going gets tough, we look after each other. This rescue is a wonderful occasion, where many experts worked together to save a small number of children. This is a time to celebrate humanity.