Our Uber driver told us they found the boys in the cave alive. “Isn’t that amazing?” he asked. I had no idea if it was or not, because I had no idea what he was talking about. I stopped watching the news a couple of years ago, around the same time I removed political opinions from my posts. I pulled out of the cycle of fear and being force fed disgust of anyone not like me. It was a decision to protect my thoughts and my mental and emotional health. On vacation, we never even turned on the TV, so I made small talk with the driver and tried not to be ignorant, which of course I was. In the airport, I did a Google search on my phone and was immediately hooked on the unfolding story of the boys team trapped in a seemingly impossible situation.
The next few days I followed the rescue attempts and the weather. It seemed a race against time. I told Bill, “I can’t wait for the movie to come out, because someone has got to make one.” I was on the edge of my computer to see how they would save these boys. After they were free, I saw some of the video of what they did to get them out and knew I would have not be able to do it, yet here was an international team of rescue personnel all working together…in unity…for one cause…in a life or death situation. It did not matter what country, what race, what language, what gender, what religion, what political party, what background, they all worked together.
It occurred to me how much different the world would be if we could work together like that on everything. In our own country…it seems our oxygen is running low and the floodwaters are rising. The passages out are at an impasse. Fear is the primary emotion, and rather than coming together, we are splitting apart. Are our differences so great that we cannot put them aside in a life or death situation? Our country is starving. It is in the dark. In a dire circumstance, with no way out but to trust. Only we cannot trust. Anyone. Left. Right. Red. Blue. Black. White. Men. Women. Gay. Straight. Christian. Muslim. Jew. We are blinded by the darkness. We are weakened by our lack of nutrients. We are fed a steady diet of animosity which we eat hungrily on all sides, but it does nothing to satisfy, it only increases our appetite. Bitterness wreaks havoc and sucks up our oxygen, which is already in short supply. Superiority turns away humility and refuses to allow it entrance, because it is a foreign concept. Trust cannot be found. The motto is “We know best.” (Insert, your group name for the we.) But what if we don’t? What if, we are all wrong, focusing on the unimportant and we are wasting our breath?
It will take a rescue effort of enormous proportions to get us out of the cave we are trapped in. I wonder if there will be any effort on our behalf to supply food, or oxygen, or to pump the sludge out. I wonder if the tiny spaces that must be traversed will allow for passage as long as there is abhorrence and revulsion of one another. I fear the aversion we have for those breathing the same air will not lead to a solution in which all are rescued. We can watch the drama unfold, from our viewpoint in the cave, not fully realizing the danger in which we have put ourselves. My hope is a resolution like the one in Thailand, where unity was victorious because it was top priority, and where they walked out by trusting each other.