There’s a saying (zen koan?), “if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him“. Ouch. And maybe a high-five.

I’m going to lend the “bad” part of me some space on the blog today. It hurts to read about the blame some people are putting on the coach (and some even on the boys). It is not fair to judge from the comfort of your computer desk, without understanding life from their environment and culture. Compassion for different points of views, and different ways of life, people.

What you may see as risks or stupidity are really merely fun treats and excursions which happened to go haywire (for a myriad of reasons, separate discussion altogether). We go to caves, hot springs, mountains, rivers, all which hold potential danger, because these are wild natural areas, not tourist spots that have been checked for stability and reinforced with hand rails and lit up with lights and more lights. You get your tourist spots because people have ventured enough in this risky way to deem it worth exploration and put in all those safety precautions so you can walk up / down those caves in steps, or even boardwalks with danger signs “low ceiling”. TSK. Come on.

Nobody wants accidents to happen. They are called accidents for a reason. We can be careful, but it is also a matter of weighing out what matters more. We swam at the river all the time, it was a treat after a hard day’s work, or if we completed our scheduled lessons ahead of time. I chose to just waddle or hang out under the trees, because I didn’t like the water being muddy. I didn’t like the idea that there may be potential mines being washed downstream (extreme paranoia, this one). I didn’t like the undercurrents, that stemmed from my own fear after a brief experience with a riptide. Those were my own choices. Would you stop someone else from doing the same, just because you were scaredycat from your own point-of-view-based-on-your-parochial-comfort-zone? I personally wouldn’t and didn’t. For this, I still stand by my decision there and then.

The cave was dry. It was passable. Maybe the oversight was the weather. People go caving to explore all these little nooks and crannies, because that is their sense of adventure. I chose not to because it is not my cup of tea. But I appreciate my leader bringing me to these places in earlier fieldwork; I appreciate my colleague who brings us and our little ones to these places. They are braver, they ventured deeper. I am just a scaredy cat, who watches outside. It is also not a bad idea to have a watcher outside.

It just looks plain as day to me that you really cannot fault anyone for this. 😦 Remember the coach is a boy himself. Remember to take care of everyone’s mental health.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. I agree, accidents happen, and all anyone can do is their best on the day.

    If everyone was being honest they would find that at some point in their life they have put themselves or others at risk, without ever meaning too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Absolutely. Bad things can happen if we take risks, but if we don’t take risks…nothing happens. I suppose that there are more and less foolish risks.
    It’s really an incredible story and I just hope that the survivors are safe and healthy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Risk assessment is a truly difficult topic, shaded in the grays and perceived through the subjectivity of self-evaluation. And hindsight provides a deceptively-focused lens through which to find blame. Regardless, we all take risks, all the time. In this particular case, I’m just respectfully impressed at the manner in which the rescuers addressed the known risks they chose to take, and sincerely happy to hear of the rescue.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. anne leueen says:

    I agree with you. Life can throw a spanner into the works even when good plans have been made.

    Liked by 1 person

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