Like you and most of the world, the trapped young men in Thailand captured my attention. I thought about how they must be feeling, how dark it was, how hungry they were, and how they missed their parents. I tried to put myself in their shoes and know I would have panicked after a day or two. But they were in that cave for nine days before anyone found them. Nine days.
If you’ve seen the video from the first divers to find them, you know they were not panicked despite that long isolation. They were calm, happy to see the divers for sure, but they had not gone to pieces, as my southern mother would say. How could this be?
Well, they were meditating. Their Buddhist coach who had been a monk for a decade taught them to meditate while they were trapped. Many who meditate vouch for its calming properties and ability to lower stress. If you’ve been hearing about mindfulness these past few years, you’ll know that is related to meditation.
The Putnam City Schools Foundation helped one of our teachers attend a training on mindfulness so that she could assess if its principles would help her students learn how to cope with feelings of frustration, anger and sadness. This YES! Grant was for professional development with The Hawn Foundation’s Mind Up program. Knowing the kind of trauma some of our students experience, I hope this social-emotional training is something we can replicate as needed throughout the district.
The Thai soccer team, like many of our students, will be feeling after-effects from their ordeal for years to come. My prayer is that our children will have the skills to mitigate those challenges as they grow into adults, and we as educators can give them the tools to do so.
To learn more about Mind Up visit https://mindup.org/