Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Best Story of Weds

Hopefully, you've been watching the Chilean miner rescue efforts that are on-going.  Or at a minimum have gotten a glimpse of the miners and their families as they've arrived back to daylight and fresh air.

It is estimated that the country had inhabitants more than 12,500 years ago and according to the CIA handbook, possibly as much as 33,000 years ago.  Through turbulent years, atrocities oft times unknown and not well recorded, the country has established itself as an emerging leader, a regional cornerstone for South America.  As the rescue efforts have unfolded, the country with less wealth and less technology, has shown tremendous heart and will power.

A few things of note, as I've watched and contrasted/compared rescue efforts of late:

The Chilean president stands back while rescuers bring the miner to the top of the shaft, allowing family members to be front and center when the latch opens and the  miner tastes the first few breaths of pure freedom.

Our President(s) - all of them - stand front and center making sure to use the photographic moment as a PR glimmer vs a true humanitarian point.

The Chilean president said he would do all that he could to rescue the miners, BEFORE they were found to be alive.  And once they were found in the rescue room, he did all that he could - called on nations of stronger technology and more knowledgeable physicians - to help make sure that all 33 miners came to the top.  He did not wander off to vacation spots, climb aboard yachts, make small talk that meant nothing.  In focusing solely on the miners' lives and the families, he said a lot without saying a word.

Our Presidents(s) - all of them - go boating, take vacations, retreat to ranches, ponder other matters of national interest loudly while still pondering how the rescues will unfold.

I realize the United States has an economy that is far broader than the Chilean economy's reliance on mining.  It provides 40% of the entire revenue for that country, but that's beside the point.  I also realize that the financial focus is therefore, massively different.  But people are people, human lives are worth saving whether in Chile, or the U.S.

My opinion is that part of the way the miners survived was based upon their inherent trust of the government and the mining company, and their comraderie with each other.  They consoled each other, lifted each other up, rejoiced in being found, praised each other's strength, and hoped together.  The Chilean people appear to put family and God first, money somewhere after.  Americans in similar positions, 1/2 mile below the surface of the planet, would probably just complain and blame whatever sitting President happened to sit in the Oval Office.  Everything in America is someone else's fault, or President Obama or before him, President Bush.

The Chilean president stands back and lets his people come first.  He appears to recognize that this is not his time to shine but to allow the families to reunite without narcissisism raining on their homecoming.

Family first, him second... or last.

DO NOT misconstrue that I think living in Chile would be better than this grand country.  I do not.  But part of traveling broadly has also taught me to look at other countries and their culture for tips on how to live better and appreciate more in my own.

As a quote on CNN.com said, "May their example inspire us all"...

Nothing more need be said.

1 comment:

Slamdunk said...

Well said. The Mrs. has been watching the coverage every night--it is an inspirational story on many levels.