When Tragedy Transforms Into Kindness

In light of the recent heroic rescue of a dozen Thai boys and their courageous, 25 year-old coach we are honoring the rescue team, including the United States Air Force Pararescue team, Navy Seals, and more. Hundreds of volunteers and divers joined the rescue operation, while simultaneously displaying kindness.

What’s beautiful about this rescue is how kindness spread from Thailand out into the world.

The coach’s grandmother took post at the mouth of the cave and prayed morning and night. Strangers came and held vigils. Local and international journalists flew in to offer support and raise awareness of the missing boys. Most powerful though, was the kindness of the boys’ classmates, who paused at school and prayed. Their kindness started in their community, and rippled from their community to the rest of the world. A BBC News article shared, “No job was too small to do. The country park toilets were dirty and stretched beyond capacity- so people began cleaning them. Workers needed to get up and down the mountain- so drivers offered free lifts. Rescuers were covered in mud- so a local laundromat cleaned their clothes every night.” Kindness fueled the spirits of all involved.

This is the healing power of kindness. What began as a devastating cave rescue led to a world-wide rallying of volunteers, military, families and more championing 12 boys and their coach home. Consider when chaos strikes you personally. What emerges? Kindness? Anxiety? We have much to learn from a country, pararescue and Navy Seal heroes, and everyday volunteers who saw a need, stepped in, and gave their hearts and time to let kindness overflow.

Narongsak Osottanakorn, governor of Chiang Rai province, said it best: “I believe we have a special power: love. We love each other. We sent love into the cave. This is the lesson I want Thailand to remember, this the lesson I want the world to see.” The boys, their community, and Thailand inspired the world and showed that kindness can save a community.


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