Thoughts on well-being, sustainability and those things that constitute a good life beyond consumption.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Stories of Hope from Chili

What is it about the story of the Chilean miners that has captivated so many observers around the world?  Today, not only was the Chilean president at the Camp Hope site, but also the president of Bolivia.  Reporters and social networks from all around the world are covering the series of rescues.  

Is it the rare good news story that now more than half of the miners have been brought to safety?   Is it a curiosity about the difficult conditions they have had to endure for over two months 2000 feet below the Earth’s surface?  

For those of us in the U.S., does it bring back memories of mining disasters in our own country, especially those where the outcomes were not nearly so joyous such as the Sago Mine in West Virginia?  I searched for information about the only survivor from that incident—Randal McCloy, Jr.—and found a letter he wrote to the victims’ families.  How awful to watch your coworkers die.  I wonder what he is thinking today.

Is it the amazing division of labor and cooperation they have displayed with each becoming an expert in a new area—each essential to keeping them all alive? (See the story at

Is it the tremendous faith, against great adversity, they have demonstrated through prayers, poems and letters—many of which have been sent up to family and friends?  How many of us would maintain such poise and spirit under these conditions?

We do not know what the future holds for these men in terms of their physical health or psychological state; let us all keep them and their families, co-workers and friends in our prayers.

I rarely watch television, but found myself riveted to it last night waiting for the first miner, Florencio Avalos, to be rescued.  I had tears in my eyes as he hugged his sobbing son and kissed his wife for the first time in many, many weeks.  I have been following the updates on CNN all day today. 

There are so few events that call attention to the best of humanity like this.  I hear so many people we are loosing our empathy – focused too much on self and the short-term rewards.  Maybe, just maybe, this isn’t true. 

As I was writing this, I was searching internet coverage of the rescue and came across this blog entry entitled “Hope Today” that ponders this event and the way it impacts us:  Dr. Scioli is much more eloquent in the written word than I; I recommend that you read his posting as the points he makes deserve reflection. 

4:55 EST October 13th:  22 rescued.

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