Some events do not need an explanation. The rescue of 33 Chilean miners trapped in a mine for 69 days captivated the world. In the entertainment era of reality television we live in, the drama and heroism of these men far surpassed that which we sadly subject ourselves to on a daily basis.
The following are leadership quotes that should challenge and inspire us all:
- The miners had to do the things while underground “which keeps your mind from going places you don’t want it to go.” – NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao
- “They were trapped underground, in a place like hell itself – claustrophobic, dark, fetid – and they come up like they were resurrected.” – Syracuse professor Robert Thompson
- It’s “a rare blessing when the earth gives back up those that it has trapped.” – AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
- “You can be good and you can be lucky. And they’ve been good and lucky.” – Director of U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration Davitt McAteer
- “After the initial joy they’ll have some issues they’ll deal with…flashbacks…nightmares. They’ll still need help. The best part of me is still up on that mountain. I want me back.” – Stanley Stewart who survived a mine disaster earlier this year.
- “We have a good news deficit in this world.” – Kitty Thurmer
- The events gave “a window to show the world the quality of Chileans. Sometimes it’s difficult to show how good Chileans are, how good are our professionals.” – Arturo Fermandois, Chile’s ambassador to the United States
- “When we found them after 17 days, we found them in good condition because they were able to organize themselves. They managed not to eat all the food, and in a peaceful way.” – Fermandois
- “You would not have seen this kind of access in China. It was a triumph of engineering and can-do.” – Rich Hanley, professor at Quinnipiac University
- “Before being heroes, they were victims. These people who are coming out of the bottom of the mine are different people…and their families too.” – Sergio Gonzalez, University of Santiago psychologist
- “Companies exist to make money, but there’s no greater satisfaction to the soul than saving somebody’s life.” – Fred Slack, VP at Schramm
- “I talked to him last Saturday, and the only thing he said was that he was scared, that the mine was making creaking noises, that he was tired, that he felt sick.” Eva Gomez referring to her brother Mario
- “All of them need psychological care for at least a month to deal with worldwide exposure…Imagine only some hours ago they were trapped in the deepest depth of a mine, and now they are exposed to sunlight and the world.” – Health Minister Jaime Manalich
- “This is what the world needs. We are so tired of negative news and tragedies. It was so necessary to have something so positive to hold onto.” – Atlanta resident
- “I think I had extraordinary luck. I was with God and with the devil. And I reached out fo God.” – Mario Sepulveda
- “Patience and faith. God is great and the help of my God is going to make it possible to leave this mine alive.” – Mario Gomez
Mr. Gomez, you are right. God made it possible for you to leave that mine alive. And thank you for reminding us that God will help everyone reading this post overcome whatever “mine” they are trapped in as well. You gentlemen are a true inspiration! I am humbled watching your lives.
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