October 14, 2010
As the world watched in awe and wonder as each miner rose to the surface to be greeted by family, friends and politicians, every man experienced a second birth, a second beginning to life.
Who could not shed a tear as wife hugged father, father embraced son, son greeted mother for the first time in 69 days.
But what does it teach us about human nature? Yes, the will to live and the joy at witnessing the survival of complete strangers thousands of miles way tells us about our common humanity. But it also teaches us that each of the 33 men has a story, a life, a past and a future. Each man is a unique and indispensable human being.
Tomorrow 33 men could be killed by a car bomb or a suicide bomb in Kabul and no-one outside their family and friends will know their names or care. This is because we don't know their story, we don't see them as priceless individuals but as statistics.
So when we look to the Middle East conflict, let us be inspired to recognise that every life is special and every death of an innocent is a tragedy. Let us not dehumanise the 'other' so we no longer care about his or her story, past and future, hopes and aspirations.
The Chilean miners have taught us a valuable lesson about how precious life is.
We must all learn from their example to value life. This is why death cults are so evil because they negate what is human; that common spark which makes us shed a tear of joy when a stranger in a hard hat emerges from a capsule and kisses his young son.
Embrace life, not death.