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The successful rescue of Chile’s 33 miners late last evening is an all-too-rare good news story, this one of global proportions. Trapped a half-mile underground for 69 days, the fact their rescue was played out live on worldwide television made it even more dramatic.

The miners’ resilience and their families’ emotional welcome were moving illustrations of human resolve. The crew’s outstanding leadership and well-organized activities underground for the past two stressful months were inspiring. Both the responsiveness and effectiveness of the Chilean government were enough to give one hope that government really can get it right, sometimes.

And three cheers to the rescuers, including particularly the six who descended to the miners’ chamber to help them come back safely to the surface. Needless to say, the world wishes the miners well in their post-traumatic re-entry and healing process.

Of course there are those who find ways to muddy the story. Sure, the miners are human and they’re not necessarily all stand-up guys when it comes to family and fidelity. So with 33 men involved it’s not surprising to discover there may be both wives and mistresses in the mix. What’s more discouraging, though, is to see various world media trying to make some kind of cheap reality program out of whatever moral mess they can find or agitate.

Still, the story is a great one from which books will and should be written. These books will bear some similarity to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated 1914-17 expedition and ship, Endurance, which was trapped in Antarctic pack ice and crushed. Shackleton led his 27 men through extreme hardship to safety with no lives lost, earning for the captain, though mostly after his death, heroic status.

The extraordinary efforts put forth to rescue 33 miners reminds the world once again of the ultimate value of each human life. Everyone matters, everyone deserves dignity and liberty.

There are leadership lessons, as well as disaster prevention and response lessons to be learned here. There’s fodder for fictional plot twists and compelling documentaries. There’re religious and political morals to this story.

Here’s hoping these lessons are learned, stories are told, and these Chilean men go on to other achievements and an appreciation for a gracious God.


© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2010

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