I just saw the movie 13 lives….

The movie about the football team and their coach, trapped in Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai in Thailand and rescued heroically after 14 days.

I have visited this cave on my motorbike tours several times with many of my riding friends, and I always had the same thought when I was there. A thought that appeared even more strongly after watching the movie.

My thoughts are of how the world suddenly came together. The whole world was watching and following the rescue of these 13 boys, a whole world came together regardless of nationality, culture, beliefs and religion to work together and rescue these boys.

My thoughts are about the heroism of the people flying in to participate, not wanting anything back for it, just to be there to help.

My thoughts are about the poor farmers in Chiang Rai, that got all their crops ruined by the water they pumped in, but decided to agree to that in a split second.

My thoughts are about the Thai police, Thai government, Thai Navy Seals, Us Army, the world’s best cave divers and a whole lot more people that got involved. The Thai locals setting up shops to feed the rescue team, the guy from Phetchaburi that came with his large water pumps, the water engineer from Bangkok that took upon himself to lead the water away from the mountain, Buddhist monks that came to bless the rescuers and calm the boys families, the office in England that took upon them to make specially fitted masks for the boys faces, the diver that came up with the brilliant idea of sedating the boys and a lot more of the people that got involved. Yeah, even Elon Musk had an idea of sending tubes to put the boys in for carrying them out. A little narrow for tubes in there, but what the hell, it was an idea. An idea of being part of helping.

A whole world was holding their breath for 2 weeks in some of the toughest and most touching rescue attempt ever made. And one of the most successful as well. A world with the same goal, and with the same empathy. A whole world shedding a tear when they saw the boys’ families hopeful faces, and a world that cried of happiness when the rescue was a success.

Truly one of the greatest moments I have followed in my 55-year-old life, and truly one of the most touching rescues ever. I will never forget it, and I was reminded of that every time I visited the cave after.

A whole world together for 13 unknown young boys from Thailand. 13 boys who the world will suddenly never forget.

But, what happens with this empathy and togetherness for everything else? There are wars, terror attacks, mass shootings…. People are dying and getting killed every day. Then the world is no longer together, no longer agreed, no longer friends. No empathy present. Only hate and revenge. Choosing sides.

Why are tsunamis, avalanches, plane crashes, car accidents and all the other disasters not gathering people together? Well, sometimes they do, when people you know die in them, but they get mostly easily and quickly forgotten. Life goes on. Hate is back, angryness, discomfort. We hate each other again. We no longer see each other as friends, just as opposites.

We are all critics. All of us, and all of us suddenly know how our opposites feels, how they think, why they are so stupid, because they are, right? Why we are better than them. We suddenly know everything about them, all of them.

The media tells us who to hate, and we hate them. The media is always right, regardless of what you were brought up to believe from your parents. Everything has changed. Social media knows everything. Media knows everything. We create groups, and the groups teach us how to hate each other. Tells you who to follow, who to vote for and who to help getting to power.

We don’t think for ourselves anymore. We don’t need to. We just need to focus on who to follow, and following is easy as we are guided directly to who that is best for us, right?

Me? A big NO! I prefer to think for myself, follow my gut feelings, have empathy for all kinds of people and rule my life on something I learned a long time ago. I like and accept every person I see or meet until that person shows me the opposite. I don`t believe in power, I don’t believe in money. I believe in common sense, empathy for other people and that we are all good. Even the bad ones. I believe that people is only as bad as the environment around them tells them to be. No one wants to be bad, we all want to be good. The rescue of these 13 boys showed us that.

Today, I am just humble and happy, and glad that I was a part of the world holding our breath for 14 days to see those kids being heroically rescued by a world that I wish could be like that forever….

Tom Stenshavn