At a time when much of the news is dismaying, last week brought a development that was, for a change, truly joyous. The rescue of a Thai soccer team, along with their coach, from the cave where they had been trapped for 18 days was a welcome conclusion to an at-times harrowing tale. While the death of one of the team’s rescuers—former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Kunan—prevents this ending from being an unequivocally happy one, the fact that the team is now out of immediate physical danger is something we can all celebrate.
Before beginning today’s note, an acknowledgement of the recent tragedy in Toronto. Last Monday, 10 people were killed, and more than a dozen were injured, when a man drove a van into pedestrians. While the investigation into what caused him to allegedly commit this crime is still ongoing, he appears to have been motivated by hatred against women. I have written previously about the public health consequences of hate; sadly, there has been ample cause to revisit these thoughts in recent years, from the mass shootings we have regularly seen, to bombings like last Sunday’s attack in Kabul, to the hate that has infused much of our political discourse, both in the US and abroad. In this context, it is all the more important that we continue working to reduce hate and promote the values of empathy and community that are the basis for a healthy world.