May 11, 2020
In church today (which I attended via Zoom, naturally), I learned for the first time about the six Tongan schoolboys from the capital of Nuku‘alofa — ages 13 to 16 — who, in 1965, surreptitiously took a small boat out of the harbor, only to get inadvertently shipwrecked on the deserted island of ‘Ata.
They were marooned there for fifteen months.
This was not Gilligan’s Island. Nor was it Lord of the Flies.
Incredibly, the six of them managed to work cooperatively and did not merely survive (on fish, bird, coconuts and a garden they tended), but thrive (creating music and games and, in once instance, communally helping one of the boys heal after he broke his leg).
A full account of the story (which is worth reading) can be found here.
The moral of the story: William Golden’s view of humanity was pure fiction. At bottom, most of us are pretty decent.