|We are all one today|
Smiles shared with strangers seem to have taken on more immediacy Wednesday in light of what’s happening in Chile.
If you don’t know, or if you are having a bad day clouded by small irritations, others’ behavior or life’s frustrating minutiae, go turn on CNN. Watch just a few moments of the ongoing effort to free the 33 miners trapped for 69 days half a mile down in a copper and gold mine near Copiapo, Chile. And if you are at all breathing, watch your perspective change, fast.
Twenty-five rescued, as of about 3:10 p.m. Wednesday, West Coast time.
I was first caught up in this latest development upon reading Tuesday that the men were squabbling about who would be the first or last to leave. Arguing? I thought incredulously, and then read further: what they were disagreeing about was who would be the last out. No one wanted to go first and leave the others. Think about that. Of course, in the end the order was decided by paramedics, based on each man’s physical and mental state.
I read further that they spent more than two months down there, at first doling out a couple of teaspoonfuls of tuna fish every other day to each miner to stretch the food supply. Depending on camaraderie, occasional humor, to get them through and their God to get them out. Fellowship and faith. Bottom lines that most of us are fortunate not to ever have to face. The old saying is that there are no atheists in the foxholes. Seems like there aren’t any strangers in the mine pits, either.
On Wednesday, starting about 1 a.m. West Coast time, the world watched each man emerge from that frighteningly tiny, coffin-like capsule which inched up the half-mile stretch, when the only thing that connected them to the living world was a little communication line hooked up. Each man stepped into the urgent embrace of family and the country’s president (crisis is a great equalizer) and we feel joy in witnessing good news for a change.
Far away in our hemisphere, what does this offer us? Perhaps reminders, of the power of cutting through individual barriers to touch base with common humanity to get through challenges. Perhaps of the power of belief, to at least make the hellish more tolerable, to get through one moment at a time. Perhaps a lesson in how looking outside ourselves will teach us something that we can apply right in front of us.
Twenty-seven, as of 3:38 p.m. Wednesday, West Coast time. Go turn on your TV. It’s all over the world. And delight in some good news about humanity united.