As I am sitting here writing my blog, the Chileans have just pulled the fourth trapped miner from underground. It is an incredible demonstration of a nation's will and persistence that they are able to perform this feat. It boggles my mind that they were able to drill a rescue tunnel seemingly blindly on the surface and somehow reach the miners' survival shaft thousands of feet below ground a couple of weeks later. How could the miners down there even have the will to survive that long when there seemed to be no hope of escape for them at the time? And then having to wait for two whole months before this rescue could begin. Simply incredible.
This mining accident in Chile also sadly reminds me of how antagonistic life and government has become in our own country. The era of pulling together for the common good seems to be as passe as doctors making house calls. Every facet of life in the United States now involves conflict and accusations. From the Gulf oil spill to repairing the economy to health care reform, every issue in this country seems mired in finger pointing and mudslinging. Americans are defined by hostile factionalism: Republicans vs. Democrats, men vs. women, gay vs straight, anesthesiologists vs. CRNA. There seems to be nothing that can ever bring the citizens of this country together anymore. Presidents are just another figurehead waiting for us to tear down. Captains of industry are vilified for their greed. Physicians are rich, money grubbing, drug pushing whiners who only care about their Medicare reimbursements. Even when our nation was attacked by terrorists on 9/11, the sense of unity lasted only a few precious months. This harmonious period only appeared to temporarily suppress the desire for us to rend each other apart, which quickly reappeared and became the political theme for this decade.
Perhaps the Chileans will also display the same level of antagonism against their government and industries after all the miners are rescued. I hope not. I hope they relish their proud achievement in the face of impossible odds. Their national unity is a pleasure to behold and something we can learn from here in the Disunited States of America.