Storytelling : Which Soccer Team Will Be Celebrated For A Lifetime, Wild Boars Or the French?

France winning the Football World Cup after 20 years was the big news this week.

As we watched the media tell the World Cup story of 11 triumphant French players,  I am sure some of us noted that the rescue story of the 12 Thai boys and their coach from the Wild Boars Soccer team was disappearing from our screens. One big story replaced by another which in turn will be replaced by others, most not worthy of rememberance.. Our attention and memory, victim to what the media feeds us.

However, the story of the Wild Boars Soccer Team will not need the media’s support to be remembered and celebrated for a lifetime. 

Why Will The Memory of the Wild Boars Disappearance and Rescue Be Everlasting?

There are certain stories that have stronger emotional resonance because we’ve learned that if we don’t take notice, the same bad things could happen to us or we may miss out on the good things that could happen. These are the stories that include, children, death, famous people, animals and sex. 

The Thai boys story has two of these factors.

Children: We care about the safety of our children because that is how we continue our species which is why as parents we care so much about our children. This story is not about one, but twelve children and we can easily imagine our own kids in a similar situation and how we and they would feel.

Death: Whenever we hear a story about death we can’t help but notice because we all have a desire to avoid death. We want to take note  and avoid what happened to others from happening to us. That is why we have an entire genre of stories called murder mysteries. In the Thai boys story many of us prayed for the boys’ survival and felt very sad about the Thai Navy SEAL’s death in his effort to save the boys. Such strong emotion and connection with people we have never met.

Within a day of the World Cup final, the story has almost disappeared from the media and our minds but the story of the disappearance and rescue of the 12 boys and their coach will remain with us to be told repeatedly.

Testimony to the power of an emotional connection in storytelling that outplays momentary fame and adulation which we can see but never feel.

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