33 miners rescued in 20 hours! But can we give them space to recover?

What lovely news to start this day! I was really hoping for a good ending.  So many times we are fed bad news but we are all energised by this positive story of hope and achievement in the face of adversity.  It’s an opportunity to celebrate pushing the bounds of human survival.  We are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for.

From their first 17 days it is a tale of leadership and sharing when their only food was a spoon of tuna every 48 hours.  Lots of discipline and patience required so that they could collaborate for the good of all.   They created their very own motivator, counsellor and spiritual leader to help them cope physicallyemotionally and spiritually.  It’s about the love of and for their families, friends and country that created this energising supportive cycle.  Of course there was also lots of hard work by highly skilled people who got the resources and political support they needed to carry out a top job.  (Somewhere in here is also the turning point for health and safety in mines in Chile, if not across the world.)

But that is the story so far.  It has all been miraculous and harmonious.  Now we come in.  How will we, through our media, start dividing the team as we offer different amounts of money to each depending on how interesting we find their story?  I imagine we don’t have the appetite for 33 stories but maybe 5 or 10?  How do we decide which human being is worth more?  Is it the youngest? Oldest? Union rep.? The new father? Etc.  It seems quite arbitrary and is a new game they need to figure out.  Yes this is a real human interest story and not something manufactured in a big house or jungle stay, so we are naturally curious.  But we could remember that they need space and time to recover from the trauma they have just experienced, and to rebuild relationships with their nearest and dearest.  Can we celebrate with them on their terms or have we got this insatiable appetite for all their news that must be fed now?

48 replies
  1. cvanlang
    cvanlang says:

    Let’s remember all the good things from the men who survived that ordeal and wish them better times hereafter. Since when does the media put heart before our thirst for news?

  2. pbandchutney
    pbandchutney says:

    It’s amazing that they all survived for so long and made it out in one piece… all over the news since yesterday the news anchors are interviewing psychologists, media marketing gurus, etc, asking what’s next for these guys. One is going to write a book, the others will try to hold on to the fame as long as possible, many won’t be able to go back to reality of paying bills and responsibilities, etc… it’s definitely going to be an adjustment but the media makes it so much harder for people to get their lives back to normal. On the radio this morning, they said that this is very quickly going to turn into a Lifetime movie. Sigh.

  3. Amy Caruso gobusywoman
    Amy Caruso gobusywoman says:

    I agree completely. I thought about that when I found out they were being rescued. They went through a life-changing experience, and will need time to reconnect with loved ones, get counseling (possible post traumatic stress disorder), etc.

    What I would do is throw myself flat on the ground, face awash in tears, and thank God to be alive.


  4. mjc2490
    mjc2490 says:

    As said, an amazing story and a modern-day miracle. Some good points made too, we do need to give these overnight celebrities time to breathe and time to gather their thoughts on what has happened to them in last two months.

  5. brahim
    brahim says:

    The point we really should think of and draw under the ashes of this long and dramatic story is :can the hunger-driven companies and capitalist world systems stop for one minute and think about the safety and the wellfare of those who dig and draw gold and oil under the heart of earth. Can these greedy people put themselves in the shoes of those “dirty” miners for a while and rise their wages and secure their life and the life of their children?”

    The media,enforcing the ideologies of those who own it and own the mines,has focused people ‘s attention on the rescue stage and on other things such as food suplies and etc….But they have diverted people’s attention from questioning the measures that should be taken in order not to get into situations of this type in the future.

    • Gwenelle
      Gwenelle says:

      Brahim, you make a very good point, that all this attention on the miners themselves will occupy the media and distract people from the real issue. Yes, it is wonderful that those men were finally rescued and are returning to their families. But now that they’re out, they’re safe, and they shouldn’t be the main concern anymore. We all – the general population as well as the media – need to transfer that same energy that rescued the miners into protecting future miners from the same fate. Let’s leave the rescued men alone as they readjust to society, and honor them by demanding the change needed to prevent this situation again.

  6. plogan721
    plogan721 says:

    Good points. The miners do need a chance to rest, get to know their families all over again. After all, one of them just became a father. Can he get to know his child, alone, without some big honking camera being in his face? This is a world that has to know what’s going on every two seconds. I hope for their sake that they will be allowed this moment to themselves with their families and friends.

  7. lifeintheboomerlane
    lifeintheboomerlane says:

    Our media-hungry society demands instant access to whatever is happening, especially if there is a human interest component. We can only hope that these men are given a chance to recover, as much as possible, from their ordeal and some kind of privacy for them to reconnect with family. After that, one or more of the predictable movies, TV guest shots, radio and magazine interviews, and book deal s will occur. Life in our times.

  8. Lut
    Lut says:

    I was moved when I saw the first one coming out … it is true that we are missing hearing GOOD NEWS … I just hope they will be able to live as normally as possible and not become the victims of avid journalists … I am pretty sure someone will make a movie of their story …

  9. kimkiminy
    kimkiminy says:

    It was so very good to hear some great news for a change. I’d bet that a couple will write books, a few will make a few TV appearances, and the rest will do their level best to return to normalcy. That is what they will all need to heal.

  10. Emily @ domestic geekery
    Emily @ domestic geekery says:

    These miners have been through so much that I agree with you. They need some peace, quiet and time with their family and friends before reporters shove cameras in their faces. One miner in particular (the one with the wife/mistress) even was featured on TMZ, that’s going a little too far.

  11. clairela
    clairela says:

    “celebrate with them on their terms”… you said it perfectly. I hope the media doesn’t destroy this wonderful, beautiful example of the strength of character human beings possess… and that greed doesn’t get the better of ALL of us. A movie so soon after this incident is so ridiculous.
    Great post, I’m so happy to see that this made Freshly Pressed. I hope many people read this.

  12. Sunflowerdiva
    Sunflowerdiva says:

    It’s unbelievable that they are all out alive after more than two months! How on earth they survived is beyond me. But I totally agree–let them recover and get back to their normal lives first. Just think: if you’d (as in a general “you”) been stuck down half a mile beneath the ground for more than two months, you wouldn’t really want to immediately become a worldwide celeberity, would you? You’d want to get back to your normal life and friends and family. Or at least that’s what I’d want…. Well, it’s a miracle that all 33 of them are safe now. They must be very strong men to have undergone that terrible experience.

  13. brunobighouse
    brunobighouse says:

    Eveybody gets a little humanitarian and passionate when news like that explode on the world. But it’s just ridiculous! The miners are what? People that had an accident! But they have good lives and have food to eat! What about the African?? Do they have it? They live in an accident! Why don’t we think about them?? They are in much worse condition than the miners!! LET’S STOP PRETENDING THAT WE CARE ABOUT THE OTHER!

  14. marcys
    marcys says:

    I heard that they made a pact with each other not to sell cmpeting stories, but only to do stories that included all of them. They’ve already thought about it and will take charge of this aspect of the incident also. What great guys!

  15. btlau
    btlau says:

    I agree with you, I hope the outside world won’t divide the relationship of the 33 minters and turn their story of a united force into ugly and horrible tales of argument of money issues, fame, etc.

  16. smileypecans
    smileypecans says:

    I wrote a small post on this myself, about how it gives me hope for the overall good of mankind. And honestly, I was extremely curious about the men’s stories. It never even occurred to me until I read your post that maybe they needed space, and time to regroup and be with their families. I didn’t look at it from their viewpoint, or think how it might feel to have the media come after you like a pack of dogs.

  17. marilaglubag
    marilaglubag says:

    Actually, when they got out of that hole, I was thinking that they would suffer post traumatic stress disorder once they get out. It takes a toll on people. What happens next?

  18. крот23
    крот23 says:

    Как давно Я здесь не был упаду на траву
    гляну в Ясное Небо и пойму что живу
    Небо в колокол грянет и польет проливной
    Я бегу в свое детство – летний дождик за мной

  19. крот23
    крот23 says:

    а пишите-то о чем,что-то не недоперепонял..
    заступился за меня Ярило
    зуб за зуб да око за око..

  20. Lenny
    Lenny says:

    Media and News are all the same. Sensation and profit.

    Again and again individual freedom is offended by exposing media.
    To a point those miners will be happy to be interviewed etc. Some of them might even make some money with a movie. But within a year everyone will have forgotten everything about them. That’s the time where they will realize that haven’t had time to recover.

    Best regards,
    Lenny (from http://www.kontakttyskland.com)

  21. RLTJ
    RLTJ says:

    33 miners rescued in 20 hours!

    Are you trying to fool people? I thought they were trapped months ago and rescued only now. 🙁

    Which is what? 🙂

  22. Bren
    Bren says:

    Don’t think it is the likes of us normal people, it will be the media, the rush for the first scoop. The first to break the story of how they are settling back into normal life, if ever it will be normal again.

    Yes they need time, space and privacy, they have a lot to deal with, all the emotions they have to work through.

    Just thankful it is all over for them and what fantastic workmanship to the rescuers.

  23. marinadeldesierto
    marinadeldesierto says:

    Hello, as u can see my name is Marina del Desierto, thats mean Marina of the desert and that desert its the “Atacama” desert. I am not from Copiapo where the San Jose Mine is located, but I have lived until last march in Antofagasta, I know the desert and the people from there and of course my country (even if I am now living in Australia) It is very hard for people to understand, Chile is a proud and patriotic country that is underestimated by the Western world in that it is still classified as a third world country. Many people will wonder what will be the future of those miners, but what the world forget that Chile and the people from there and the miners were not in a reality show but were undergoing a real life situation that only the Gods had control over and one in which the miners with faith and fortitude were able to endure and overcome , Chile is a proud country and has over the centuries had to endure many calamities and natural disasters , but out of these disasters the unity of our nation has always come forward , no less than now with the recent disaster in the mine in the Atacama desert , Chile once again stands united and steadfast in support of our fellow man , a proud people who stand beneath and wave La Estrella Stella Chile. We are a very united and patriotic country, never mind the label that people give us for live under the pinochet regime, or for many other things, we are as one in many occasions, but nobody talks or writes about that, because its not good news for CNN or all the worlds media.
    What will happen to the miners?, they may take advantage of money or anything else, as any normal people would naturally do, then when all is over they will have the love of their country as they do now, because we chileans we will not forget them.
    Marina del Desierto

  24. Lakia
    Lakia says:

    I’m glad that people’s lives were saved. Thanks for sharing. I actually was following up on this story. 🙂 Wonderful news!!

  25. Fables@e-Fables.com
    Fables@e-Fables.com says:

    I was following the whole rescue at a friend’s house yesterday. He only has Spanish channel so I didn’t understand what they were saying. It’s great to see the team work and the support displayed in the rescue. All 33 miners were saved. I believe when this story first published, we all assume the miners were all killed. So it’s great to see our assumption is wrong this time. I heard that all of them got offers for story or movie deal. It’s too soon for such things. I agree that they need some time to heal and to balance their lives.

  26. Generation 26
    Generation 26 says:

    I was so happy when I saw on the news they were all out and ok, especially since the original estimate was they’d be out by Christmas, but I was just a little annoyed when I heard on the news the miners might get a t.v show. Just wow.

  27. Laura Stackhouse
    Laura Stackhouse says:

    It’s definitely going to be hard for them to find space. In such a media obsessed world, it’s guaranteed they’ve already been put upon for interviews, tv shows, possible book deals and so on (as mentioned above). It won’t be long before the movie comes out I bet. To be fair, it is an amazing story and one that’s in fresh in the hearts and minds of the TV watching world.

    I hope that they can find some peace amongst the mass media chaos.


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