I have to admit — I have been rather detached to the plight of the Chilean miners. True, I followed the story, albeit rather loosely. The updates I’d get every few weeks would elicit the appropriate responses from me. The miners have been found alive . . . that’s miraculous! They are surviving . . . wonderful. A rescue is planned . . . feeling hopeful. The rescues begin . . . relief. I did not initially tune into the rescues because they mostly occurred during hours I was working or sleeping. Tonight, after I returned home from school, I tuned in and was instantly sucked in.
By that time, they were on the 25th rescue. I had missed the majority of the rescues, obviously, but the 25th struck me as strongly as if I had seen the very first. It was my first, yes, but not the nation’s first. I had been getting updates throughout the day, so I knew the rescues were progressing well. But seeing it live on the TV . . . well, I felt instant gratitude for modern technology.
I have never been to Chile. I don’t know squat about the mining industry. I don’t know anything about any of the rescued miners, aside from the tidbits the news would share. In short, these were strangers in a strange land, and I was a disinterested viewer. It only took a few seconds for me to realize that I was watching the best reality TV available — TRUE reality.
I cried when the 25th miner was rescued . . . then the 26th, the 27th, etc., and I saved the most for the final miner. Normally, I’m not a crier. I used to pride myself in being able to control my emotions when others crumbled. However, tonight I realized a simple truth: the range of human emotions is universal.
I didn’t know anyone I was viewing on TV, but I read the joy on their faces. I felt the relief. And as the news droned on with the details about how all these different countries came together in order to orchestrate this rescue, I felt a moment of clarity that only comes about every now and again. I’m not one to foolishly believe that if we just all try to get along that we can and we will, for human nature seems to demand a trip to the dark side every now and then, but the sheer beauty in what happens when the forces all point the same positive way is breathtaking in itself.
For a few hours tonight, I felt the joy of people I’ve never met from a country I’ve never visited.
Joy is universal.