Sandro Calvani | Senior Adviser and President of the Scientific Committee of Social Change School | 10 July 2018
Minus 3, minus 2, minus 1, HOPE IS REAL. Khaosod English, one of the best Thai news agencies in English, has put that title on hope its online countdown of the boys who came out of the cave of Tham Luang, after being buried there for 18 days, of which 10 days in the dark and without food. 12 kids between 11 and 16 years old, all members of the “Mu-Pa” football team, the “wild boars” of Mae Sai, a town on the border with Myanmar. Some of them belong to the ethnic minorities of the hill tribes and are not Thai citizens. With them also the 25-year-old vice-coach, a former Buddhist monk, who saved them by teaching them meditation, in order to save energy and heat.
The most famous countdowns in the world are those at the start of the spaceships missions, the most festive ones are made on the New Year night. The Tham Luang countdown has broken all the world records of fame and joyful celebration. It was also a countdown made together with many countries that sent their divers and their rescue experts into the cave. Hundreds of TV and newspaper journalists from all over the world have held Thailand and the whole of humanity in suspense, regardless of age, ethnicity, gender or social class. Hence, the online title that instead of FIRE !, at the end of the countdown, has put HOPE. Hope is the universal language that brought all those people inside or near the Tham Luang cave. Did so many different languages create confusion? “No problem!” One of the divers said: “We all understand the language that speaks of humanity, even dogs and many other animals understand it”. The common hope of rescuers and listeners has therefore set in motion a chain of humanity. The death of one of the rescuers, who remained without oxygen while carrying oxygen tanks for the boys, made that chain of solidarity even stronger and more determined. “Now that he’s dead, we must keep his promise to bring those kids home.”
It was a damn complex, difficult, very tiring operation. A rescuer of the American Navy Seals commented: “It would have been easier to help them if they had been on the moon”. One of the best cave experts in the world commented: “This was really Mission Impossible, and it was not a movie!”
It is always a story of humanity, humanitarian aid, total self-giving, what my students remember best at the end of a Masters course in humanitarian law, or conflict resolution. When I meet them a few months or a few years after the course, they tell me that of all the books studied, of all the case studies, of all the lessons and the exams passed, they only remember that: an experience of a true story of humanity.
Politicians and leaders in every sector change deeply if they live on their own flesh a life story of humanity. The common and global sense of humanity is threatened by different passports, different credit cards, different skin color, different political affiliation, different religious faith or different sexual preference, sometimes even by a different veil or a colored t-shirt, on the football field or in everyday life. But there is not a different humanity, there is only one humanity, common to all the 108 billion Homo sapiens who lived on Earth so far and the 20 billion who will live with us the next twenty years. It’s the only one we all have, let’s keep it tight. Thank you little boars for reminding us of our common humanity.
Sandro Calvani is Senior Advisor at the Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage, Bangkok, Thailand. www.sandrocalvani.it
Source: Original Article