By now the majority of the world has witnessed the miraculous rescue of thirty three trapped miners from Chile. How these men were able not only to survive but to do so with grace, dignity and even traces of humor is beyond comprehension. Yet they emerged from a hellacious ordeal to the embraces of families, friends and co-workers who stood vigil anxiously awaiting their return. I for one cannot imagine living in the conditions they endured. It certainly isn’t something any of us are prepared for. Much of what they did to survive was contingent on their unbelievable ability to work together as a team, along with those who created and helped with the rescue. What lifted my spirits and filled my heart with joy was how the human spirit can rise to such spectacular heights. We have seen these types of heroics over and over when disaster strikes, and we are in awe and proud that we humans are capable of rising to the occasion. I know from conversations I have with family, friends and colleagues, that stress, anxiety and depression have become much more prevalent and have begun to erode our outlook as Americans. Many individuals I deal with in my work have also felt a certain trepidation as to where our culture is headed. So much of what we read and hear about in the media feeds into our deepest fears ; i.e. the economy is tanking, politics are filled with rancor, prejudice continues to raise its ugly head, bullying is growing exponentially and reality shows continue to showcase entitlement, dysfunction and bizarre behavior. If I watch too much news, I start to think that the next image that I see will be of Nero fiddling on a roof. It is easy to forget that many people have good hearts, work through their problems with integrity and do the best they can with what they have. We need to focus more on man’s ability to be kind, empathic, and generous. Our minds need a break from the relentless messages that permeate our airwaves that focus on the dark side of humanity. I don’t expect not to be informed of things that could be hurtful or harmful, but please let’s start sprinkling some good news in between the mayhem. It just might make us feel that we are more the same than separate.
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