Looking out for the other.
It looked impossible. Even the experts involved doubted that they would be able to bring out of the cave all the Thai soccer players and their coach alive. But they did. The rescuers were a diverse group separated by language and culture who joined together and achieved the impossible. The Thais welcomed the international help because the boys needed it. The Brits asked for the Australian, Dr Richard Harris, because the boys needed it. He asked for his diving partner, Craig Challen, because he needed him to be able to help the boys in their need. This whole group of people sunk their own needs in service of a group of boys they did not know. This selflessness has continued after the rescue when they seem to be vying to give the praise for the success to others. The amazing event happened because all worked together to care for others.
One of the last pieces of advice St Benedict gave his followers is that everyone should look out and work for the good of another. ‘What about me?’ our culture screams. But what do we get when we only look after Number 1? Too often a group of individuals who in working to get attention for themselves end up at loggerheads with each other. But what happens when we look out for each other? We form a community that in turn looks out for us, cares for us. We become part of a web of relationships that nurture and challenge us. Caring for others also sustains our heart as it is more important to our well-being to love than to be loved.
‘How good and how pleasant it is when people live in unity’, we pray in the Psalms. In Thailand, we have seen this. Now this day we can make it real in our families, our communities and our workplaces by looking out for each other.
Loving God, give me the wisdom to see the needs of others and the courage and strength to serve them in love. I ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear me.
Sr Kym Harris osb