Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Thai Rescue Shows Our Better Angels
Over the past few days, I've been mesmerized by the story about the 12 Thai boys, ages 11-16, who had been trapped nearly 1,000' feet below in the middle of rainy season. Though it was reassuring to see that they were reached, the options for their safe extraction seemed very limited. I'm delighted to learn that they all made it out there safely in a daring rescue operation that took place over three days.
I am disgusted by what an ugly people we've become. I see it in the hate-filled rants both supporters and detractors of authoritarian Donald Trump. More than anyone, he has set the stage for the decline in decent behavior.
As Jay Parini observed, "In the Thai cave, there were no skin colors, religious differences or questions of sexual identity. Nobody wrapped himself in a flag or questioned the science at hand. This was one of those rare times when we see how much we can achieve against terrifying odds when people work in unison, selflessly, to do something important."
Thai SEALS were assisted by cave divers from Britain, America, Japan, Denmark and Australia. Chinese rescue specialists were on hand. Israeli tech companies set up a communications network.
With the exception of the unfortunate death of a Thai diver, this is an uplifting story that shows our better angels. Maybe there is hope for us.