Friday, October 15, 2010

View From The Ditch Bank

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE: OK Bear with me. I have been writing this post in my mind off and on for a few days now. If I wrote every thing I have thought to put in it, I would need to divide it into chapters and look for a publisher. Having said that, I will post some thoughts about the recent rescue of the Chilean miners, and the bond they now share.
We all have a bond with something or someone. A family, a church group, a work group, a community or even more than one of these. Growing up in a small Mormon community, I felt that bond of church and community. Marrying and moving away, I lost that sense of community and have not found it again any where I have lived since. I worked for a few years for a regional airline. Even though as a station agent in a small airport, I felt a kinship with airline employees every where, even though my contact was with the pilot's and stewardesses when the plane was on the ground. The rest of the employees were known to me only through teletype messages. Still, all these many years later, I feel the anguish when a plane goes down, or the lift of kinship when a plane is landed on the Hudson river. None of those employees know me. I have been out of the airline business since 1968. Still, there is a feeling in me when these things take place. I recently retired after 40 years in the mining industry. It is an open pit operation, with very large mining equipment. Never been underground. Still, my wife and I watched, with the world, as the 33 miners were brought to the surface one by one, until there were none left to bring up. We listened to the talking heads on the various channels, mostly CNN and Fox, as the hosts interviewed "experts", mostly Doctors. Most of them, maybe all of them, had no clue what they were talking about. We talked about what they didn't know. These 33 miners were in a survival chamber. They knew rescue was on the way. They didn't know how soon, so they went into survival mode. A mode that would make the TV show Survivor look like children playing in a sandbox. They have a mindset to even go underground that the "Experts" don't know any thing about. After their survival was discovered, they were given food and water, and video access to the outside world. Their health, mental and physical, now astounds the Doctor's. I feel that my experience around large equipment makes it easier for me to understand the effort that was expended to bring in the equipment that was able to level a spot on the side of a mountain that would hold the drills and other equipment needed to effect this rescue. The GPS system that told the engineers where the survival chamber was so they could drill in the right place the first time. I felt a bond with those operating that equipment and the miners waiting to be rescued. The different personalities of those miners was evident as they surfaced. Still, they all had a job to do, and they did it. And they survived. And they will continue to do so. Did it change them? For sure it did. Will they have mental problems? Undoubtedly some will. But I dare say that they will continue to astound the medical profession with the recovery most of them will make. And when this event is talked about, I will feel a bond with those men that is hard to put into words. A bond, even though I don't know them and they have never heard of me. And never will. Still, I understand somewhat of the mentality it took for them to survive. And long live the bond that forges us all together as human beings on this earth of different people. Different nationalities, different cultures, different politics and even different religions. Still, a bond that all should understand each in our own way. And That Is The View From The Ditch Bank

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