“They got them all OUT!”
That was the shout down the hallway at my office on Tuesday, when we saw the news that the 12 Thai soccer players and their coach had been successfully rescued from the cave in which they were trapped for 17 days. We’d followed the story (how could you not?), randomly updating one another as we learned new information, and celebrated as if our own families were involved when we heard the news that the rescue was complete.
This story highlights the unbelievable power of positivity and bull-headed determination in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges. Being a recreational scuba diver myself, I am astounded at the skills of the Thai Navy SEALS who conducted this rescue mission.
Long, narrow, underwater passages are terrifying, especially with dive equipment and tanks strapped to you that can get caught on every rock. Not only did they successfully navigate those passages numerous times, they were able to do so while towing each boy on a stretcher. Boys who had been trapped underground for 17 days, and did not even know how to swim, much less scuba dive. They did an amazing thing … they are amazing humans … I am in awe of them.
In this age of news spun specifically to agendas, and division becoming the norm, the world watched while people came together to solve each problem, create a plan, execute the plan, and make the world cheer as one … I feel sure that my office was not the only place that heard the shouted “They got them all OUT!” and cheered.
For these 17 days, we’ve all been on the same side, the same team, and we all watched and waited and sent our positive energy or prayers or whatever we each believe – and humans prevailed against the worst possible circumstances. I want everyone to just take a minute and consider the power of collaboration for a common cause.
When this story began, we saw an image of the boys’ bicycles chained together outside the caves, and we learned that these children and their coach had become trapped by rising water. We were told that Thailand was entering its rainy season and the forecast was not conducive to the water level naturally falling – the opposite was true.
They weren’t even sure they would find these kids, much less rescue them. A few days later, we saw pictures when they were located. Now the challenge was in how to get them out. A diver lost his life. The kids did not know how to swim. The journey into and out of the cave took hours. It was raining and the pumps were barely keeping up. None of these things stopped the rescue efforts. The rescuers faced each challenge, found solutions to each issue as it arose, and found a way. Failure was not an option.
Now, think about whatever has been on your mind in recent weeks. What challenges are you facing? What mountain lies before you while you ponder a route to the top – or through the middle? What seeming insurmountable obstacles are in your way? Is it bigger than what we just saw?
A little perspective goes a long, long way. If nothing else, this story proves once again that humans have the power to achieve any goal … it’s all a matter of mindset.
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