Monday, October 18, 2010

Learning from the Chilean miners

With millions of people worldwide, I watched some of the 33 Chilean miners rescued after 69 days of being trapped deep within the earth. One by one, the miners were hoisted to the surface in a cage-like tube.

The miners survived because they cooperated with one another. They acted as a team. And their survival has something to teach us.

Above the surface, we humans are unable to get along, especially today in America amid one of the most venomous political campaign seasons in history. Whatever the office sought, Republicans, Democrats, Tea Party members, Independents throw themselves against one another like dogs in a pit savaging one another until only one is left alive.

We can do better. We deserve better. And voters must demand better.

What none of the candidates realizes is that whatever our political party, we're all fighting for survival against many threats, including: a persistent recession, massive income inequality, global warming, hatred and"isms" of all kinds, war.

Yes, we have different ideas about overcoming these threats, but differences needn't destroy us. Differences can be discussed, debated, refined into better policies to solve our problems. Moreover, differences shouldn't be exacerbated and exploited by cynical political manipulators for party advantage.

If we continue to attack one another, like pit bulls; if we continue to work against one another, thwarting solutions to national and global problems, then we're doomed. We'll die in the dark.

But if we work together for the common good--not for one party's domination of the others--then we'll survive and even thrive as a nation and people.

What worked underground for those miners will surely work above ground for all of us.

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