The True Value of Resilience

This is The Greenwood Journal #6, and I'm loving it. I aim to keep each Journal to a 2-minute read (about 500 words), something to digest on your commute at the start of each week. Still working through if Monday or Tuesday is the best day, any opinions are welcome!

Onto this piece.

The word resilience gets thrown around loosely from time to time.

The word primarily means toughness and in that, the ability to bounce back from situations, usually challenging ones.

We often rely on our resilience when we've had a tough day in the office, when a sporting result doesn’t go our way or even when that job we’ve been applying for doesn't come through.

Last week, that word got a new meaning for me, seeing what the group of boys, their coach and an incredible rescue team went through in the Chiang Rai province of Thailand. 

No doubt by now, you’ve seen enough coverage of it, but I read a story about the boys this week that was worth sharing, as it struck a cord with truly how resilient this particular group of boys are.

This should be the real narrative of the Thailand Cave rescue, not the PR circus which Elon Musk bought with him.

The story talked about one of the boys, Adul Sam-on, 14, who escaped violent areas of Myanmar (Burma) to find a better life and education in Thailand, while his parents and four siblings stayed behind. He speaks English, Thai, Burmese and Mandarin. According to Thai Navy Seals, he was the one who communicated the boys needs to the British divers and kept a smile on his face in the process. For me, that is true resilience, finding a way to stay positive in front of a challenge, no matter how great or small.

His principal, Punnawit Thepsurin, said the boy's uncertain status had helped him develop strength. “Stateless children have a fighting spirit that makes them want to excel,” he said. “Adul is the best of the best.”

Another fantastic story is of the 25-year-old assistant coach and former monk, who was with the boys. He taught the group how to meditate so they could pass the time without stress and save as much energy as possible. No doubt there was immense stress involved, but it’s a beautiful part of the story nevertheless.

It’s a beautiful piece, which made me rethink my approach to gratitude, you can read the full NY Times story here.

I am also aware that there are more significant issues around stateless people and refugees in both Thailand and my homeland of Australia, which I do not know enough about to comment on, but recognise that something desperately needs to change.

As always, feedback is welcome. You can send me an email directly. Any topics you'd like covered in the future? Let me know.