It is sometimes the most unexpected incidents that teach us life-enduring lessons. Call it a miracle, call it a dangerous rescue operation, or a twist of fate. But the Thai Cave Rescue that saved the lives of 12 young boys and their coach is nothing short of a remarkable story.
On June 23, which was one of the boys’ birthday, the team and their football coach ventured out into the Tham Luang cave where they decided to spend an hour exploring. While inside, the cave began quickly filling up with water and safety at that point meant going further and deeper inside the cave. Despite life-threatening challenges, a rescue operation was brewing outside the cave with the help of Thai Navy Seals and foreign divers. And two weeks later the extraordinary mission was complete.
More than keeping the entire world glued to their news screen, the tale is one that offers a lesson on a number of factors. Take a look at them and you will understand what they are:
Without a doubt, the 12 boys, between the ages of 11 to 16 showed great perseverance and resilience. The football team and their coach were able to adapt to the high-stress situation in a severely grim environment.
According to the American Psychological Association, resilience doesn’t come from a magical genetic formula. It is, in fact, something that can be learned. Encouraging the children of today to be resilient helps them persevere in tough situations and cope with obstacles.
How to build resilience in students:
- Have frequent positive conversations with students. Make them understand that trauma and tragedy are part of life, but such situations can mold them into stronger individuals.
- When a stressful situation arises, encourage students to take charge of the situation and turn it around. By taking one step at a time (no matter how small it may be), they can move closer towards overcoming the situation and reach their ultimate goal.
- Teach students about the importance of expressing themselves during tough times. If not through discussion with adults, encourage them to express for themselves. Whether it’s on paper, in a diary, or even on canvas, personal expression helps in putting things into perspective.
The power of meditation
Being trapped in a treacherous situation could have pushed the boys into utmost misery. With every passing day, they would have grown weaker, but they kept going for more than 2 weeks. It was reported that the boys practiced meditation under the guidance of the coach, who was a Buddhist monk earlier. The impact of meditation is suggested to have helped the boys cope with being trapped, scared, cold and confused.
By seasoning students with the practice of meditation, a world of benefits can support them through turbulent times. Guide your students through its power, so that they can enjoy the following benefits.
How meditation can help students:
- By helping students counter any unhealthy amount of stress, regular meditation can keep their minds rejuvenated.
- Tapping into internal sources helps them put the right mindset into effect for challenging situations.
- Meditation is known to help individuals concentrate better and be more attentive. It consequently leads to an improvement in a student’s willpower as well.
- By incorporating meditation into a student’s daily life, their overall development is also built upon. Through increased levels of contentment and a stress-free mind, they can put in more effort into academic activities.
Call of Duty
An unforgettable name in the story of the Thai Cave Rescue is Mr. Saman Gunan, who lost his life after delivering air tanks to the boys. Saman had actually left being a Navy Seal earlier, but he became a part of the rescue team. Thus, he was ready to put his life on the line and go beyond his call of duty. Moreover, the rescue team did not panic when this happened; they were determined to make Saman’s sacrifice not go in vain. Therefore, true success and mitigation of a problem lies in endurance, sacrifice and going beyond what is expected.
When students endure and go beyond:
- When students struggle with a problem, they should stop perceiving it as their inability or lack of talent. Instead, they should accept it as a challenge that will help them grow.
- Explain the concept of brain plasticity to your students, which talks about allowing the brain to ‘grow’. Thus, confronting challenges lets them expand their capability and see continuous progress.
- Students must be rewarded for having sheer determination and persistence when the going gets tough. This pushes them to go beyond learning textbook content and focus on their personal growth and lifelong skills.
When troubles come knocking – Unite!
The Thai Cave Rescue brought together minds and experts from different corners of the world. Seeing individuals unite for this common cause was widely lauded because, without it, the situation would have probably been different.
As educators increasingly focus on teaching the young minds of today about problem-solving, various approaches come to the surface. But some of the best techniques are those that include collaboration (as seen in the Harkness method) and ideating together (as seen in the Design Thinking approach).
Benefits of developing a collaborative problem-solving approach in students:
- When faced with a challenge, encourage students to come together and pool in their ideas.
- Being exposed to different perspectives makes them encounter better insights.
- By collaborating together, students understand group dynamics, and this adds flesh to their measure of empathy.
- Uniting students to focus on one common challenge leads to a better and deeper understanding of the subject at hand.
Trouble and trauma are going to meet your students in one way or the other at some point in their lives. And there’s no formula to protect them from it. But what you can do is teach them the right way to approach the problem and emerge victoriously.
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