Debra Oaks Coe
Miracle in the Cave
Updated: May 3, 2022
For 17 days the world was captivated when 12 boys and their coach became trapped by floodwaters in a Thailand cave in July of 2018. It took nine days of frantic searching to find the boys. It took another eight days to get them all out safely. More than 10,000 people helped with this massive operation. The people and resources came from all over the world and every means possible were used to save their lives.
The world did not know anything about these boys, not even their names. But we knew they were human lives with infinite potential. No one asked about their religion, background, grades, or accomplishments. No one asked more controversial questions like their political views, family backgrounds, or sexual orientation to make sure they were acceptable to the people now risking their lives to save them.
What would it look like if we had the same concern for all people, especially our youth? Research* shows that our young people today are America’s loneliest generation. A surprising 35% say they have no one to turn to when they are stressed. Their mental health issues have reached epidemic proportions and were recently declared a national emergency by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Children’s Hospital Association, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. and
The same research shows that youth thrive most when they have five or more trusted adults in their lives. These are adults that provide support and that they can confide in no matter how difficult their situation is. It is someone that will help them thrive, keep them safe, and help them find their best vision of the future while focusing on positive change.
Whether we are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, youth leader, neighbor, coach, counselor, etc. we all need to find ways to be part of the trusted adults in the lives of the youth around us. Keep in mind that judgment destroys that trust but sharing your life’s road map can build trust. *Research is from Springtide Research Institute and mainly comes from two books
Belonging Reconnecting America's Loneliest Generation Mental Health & Gen Z: What Educators Need to Know