I have been a bit caught up in the footage of the rescue of the Chilean miners. It’s hard to see those pictures and not imagine the horror of being trapped underground, the despair of not knowing if you will ever be found and the almost surprised joy that the rescue operation was completed successfully.
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There are all the stories possible in the dynamics between these men, what happened in those initial days when there was little hope to this day when all are recovering in hospital – I have no doubt the stories will follow over the coming weeks, months and years.
It’s hard to remember many times a story that has had such a surprisingly uplifting ending will have united people across the world so it is worth revelling in for a while.
I spent longer than I probably should have watching the coverage and stifled more than a few sniffles.
In some ways this is a triumph of technology. Obviously the technology to locate the men and construct the drill but on a less technical level, I’ve been interested in the way pictures could be beamed from the depths of the earth to the corners of the globe. That, in itself is a matter to boggle at.
One of the more interesting aspects, at least superficially and until the more detailed reports come out, is the way that the formation of a society underground with hierarchies and tasks assigned is one of the things that had a positive and beneficial effect on their resilience.
Perhaps the importance will be the lessons learnt for the future and the ways in which closed and cut off groups can survive in communities and the importance of strong leadership. Those will be the stories that I’ll be most interested in hearing.
Extreme conditions, of course have led to extreme measures but I don’t doubt we’ll be hearing stories of this in various rather dry corporate team-building exercises in the future.
Mostly though, it’s a lesson in hope and the determined nature of the human spirit and in a world where it is more often the tragedies that grab the collective consciousness.
I’ll just enjoy that feeling for as long as it lasts.
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