What Lessons Can We Learn from the Chilean Miners? We need Urzualian-type Leadership

News of the rescue currently underway in Chile of the 33 miners who were entombed for 69 days has brought tears to many people’s eyes.  On the surface it appears that all of us like a good story and thus far this has all the makings. We have heroism on the highest levels, both amongst the miners and the teams of people who came together to rescue them. Thus far a horrific tragedy seems headed to a happy ending and while I’m sure there are complications that one could pull out and focus on, most of us are really in need of hero or heroes hence we aren’t gonna go there.

It’s all about sticking to the narrative encompassing the themes of heroism, teamwork and problem solved that we need to stick with.

When watching the nonstop coverage, I cant help but look the story from a variety angles starting with asking why so much coverage?  Aside from the devastating 8.8 earthquake that tilted the planet off its axis this past February many of us here in the US never gave a damn about anything going on in this country. Even with the quake, very few of us sought out or paid attention to any of the heroism going on then. Over the years there’s been lots of tragedy with successful outcomes but for whatever reason this one was inserted into our news cycles and subsequently our consciousness.

I’ll be cynical and say most news outlets covered this story because it netted them high ratings. It fit all the criteria and whatever way this turned out, successful or tragic, the end result would be the same all of us would be glued to our TV sets sharing this experience. What I find most interesting is how we’re sticking to the script no matter what. No one is questioning anyone’s ulterior motives for the rescue, including the President Sebastian Pinera who pushed pretty hard for this. Was he doing it for political points or because he cared?  We’ve heard the stories about the mistresses and wives meeting for the first time while they anxiously await their loved one to surface. The running joke is miners like Yonni Barrios are going from one tight situation into another.

But that’s neither here nor there.. Like I said its all about the heroism and problem solved themes that we’re keeping front and center. But on a deeper level why are we touched and more importantly what lessons should be learned and applied to the Chilean mine rescue?

The first thing that came to mind was teamwork and people coming together. I think deep down in side all of us yearn for the days when we can all truly come together with the attitude that together we rise as individuals we perish. Being each others proverbial keeper is the order of the day..It’s what made this rescue after 69 days possible. How many of us picked up on this lesson and will apply it to everyday life?

Shift foreman Luis Urzua... We need more Urzualian leadership in our world where we have shared sacrifice in times of need

The other thing that stood out was shared sacrifice. I was struck my the leadership that of the shift foreman Luis Urzua who is credited with saving everyone by rationing out supplies and laying out early plans of action for the first 17 days when the miners weren’t in contact with anyone. Hearing how he encouraged everyone to pull together is more than heart warming.

The reason Urzua is going last is because the miners finally decided on a system where the strong and more experienced would go first to help pave the way and correct any unforeseen problems. The weakest would go next so they could be helped and rescued by those behind them and those ahead. In other words there would be a human safety net for those who were weakest. Urzua would go last not because its pride thing, but because he demonstrated a type of strength that reminded us that those who have the most may also give of themselves the most. They have the experience and strength and thus can afford to..I wonder if we picked up on that lesson?

It wasn’t lost on me these types of heroic attributes were taking place as many of us are experiencing the worse economic downturn since the recession of the 1930s. It also wasn’t lost on me that this was playing out while we’re hearing stories that banks who we bailed are now garnering record-breaking profits for the second year in a row with little if any intention of sharing the resources. we keep hearing about those who have the most are hoarding and hoarding. It makes me wonder where’s the Luis Urzua for Wall Street?

These miners stayed underground for 69 days. Most of us can’t sit still for 5 minutes. They sat in this hole and decided with the help of strong experienced leadership that they were gonna pull together and see to it all 33 miners leave. If you was weak they were gonna help. If your freaked out someone would comfort you. But seeing how these miners sitting in that hole for such long time gel together as a team was a lesson for the ages.

Meanwhile back at home in what is deemed the most powerful nation on earth, many of us are going on a second or third year of sitting in an economic hole and instead of encountering Urzualian type leadership, we’re running across people who got out the ‘economic hole’ (bailouts) thanks to our shared sacrifice who once reaching the surface have pulled up the ladder and left the shaft.

Chilean Miners came together as a team and made sure the weakest among them was accounted for

As I’m writing this more miners are being rescued. No one is leaving that shaft till the last one is up and accounted for. No one is running around suggesting that the miners were at fault and thus deserved to wallow in the shaft and die. It’s all about making sure everyone is alive and well.

Could you imagine with all this showing of support and donation of resources if one of those miners who was rescued a year  found himself facing a similar situation where he was making decisions and he decided to NOT rescue those in need? Could you imagine if one of those rescued miners a year down the road faced with similar circumstances decided to tell a new crew of miners stuck in the shaft to pull their own selves up?

Think it can’t and won’t happen? Look at our friends on Wall Street, look at our pompous friends in congress who wanna cut your unemployment while not cutting their salaries. Take a look at those folks who were actually whining on TV that there was a temporary hold on foreclosures to make sure all the paperwork was legal. Hence it meant that thjose crying wouldn’t be able to immediately benefit from the misfortune of others.

Think it can’t and won’t happen? Take a look at the million dollar a year pundits who come on TV every night crying about shared sacrifice, calling evil and socialistic and that its unfair that they have to pay a few extra dollars in taxes and how they’re sick and tired of helping out those in need.

Think it can’t and won’t happen? See if your sneering and rolling your eyes when you hear stories about the poor and downtrodden among us and you entertain the thought that perhaps they deserve to be there because they didn’t make ‘wise choices’. See if your thinking these thoughts and somehow forgotten the day that a Luis Urzua came into your life and helped you out of a hole

Something to ponder

Dave D


22 comments on “What Lessons Can We Learn from the Chilean Miners? We need Urzualian-type Leadership

  1. One thing that is also left out in the coverage, and in your article is that all these guys gave credit God for being Saved. They wore Jesus on their shirts (literally). Could that have been a source for Luis Urzua? I do agree with your points, I just want to add to them.

  2. Death makes all humans get their shit together. It ain’t got shit to do with no supernatural bullshit. Most of these miners are indigneous people who were forced to give up their relgious believes. All this bullshit aabout jesus and god once again shows how deeply programed these bros are. Some were even talking about going back to the mines,in spite of all the money and other resouces that will be throw at them.
    This technology that was used to save them wasn’t used to keep the mines safe.But of course most people don’t even think about that. This contiunes drone about god and jesus is a sad commentary on the backward state of so many people of color.

  3. Great article Davey D! All I could think of was AMEN!! AMEN!!

    And why do we have so many people that want to be all “chiefs” and no “indians”? One answer is greed. Another answer is people forget God is a God of order, and everyone want to play by their own rules. They claim to worship God, but fail to follow what he say. Only want to use certain scriptures to benefit them. Great job again!


  4. Jose, on October 13, 2010 at 2:35 pm Said:

    One thing that is also left out in the coverage, and in your article is that all these guys gave credit God for being Saved. They wore Jesus on their shirts (literally). Could that have been a source for Luis Urzua? I do agree with your points, I just want to add to them.


    I know. That’s the only thing I didn’t like about them. We had to have known they’re not perfect. Nonetheless, I’m glad they’re safe. They’re alive and have more time to drop their nutty religious beliefs and start being more enlightened citizens of the world. God didn’t save them from hole. Science did. They sent a freaking Jetsons tube down there and pulled them up. Chalk one up for the nerds.

  5. Fulani….
    Well I must confess… I am a living and sad commentary about Jesus. I am a drone, I was “forced” to believe my religious belief, mmm hmmm. I am programmed. I admit it. No problem here. I guess I am backward. mmm hmmm…

    Sometimes I am a “chief” sometimes I am an “Indian”, but either way, I do my best to listen. Yes God is the god of Order… I do my best to listen and Obey..
    mmm hmmm

  6. I fail to see why so many take issue with ones belief in God..If one chooses not to belief so be its a choice, but why down the next man’s take.. If they was down there for 69 days and give glory to God what’s the problem? If the said they gave glory to Allah would that be better or Wantanka would we not trip.. Belief in a higher power has been with us from our human inception..Jesus teaching brings no harm to the next man so what’s the deal really?

    I give thanks for many of the things I overcome to Jesus..what is he saying that preventing me from being all that I can be..

  7. it’s been said that heaven helps those who help themselves, but i have to say that Jose’s attempt to spin a story about humanity finally doing something right into into an advertisement for God™ is kinda pathetic.

    The reality is God doesnt save people, people save themselves.

    If they want to credit God or or Jesus or Mr. Potato Head after the fact, fine, but i don’t recall reading that a thunderbolt magically opened up the chasm, angels descended down into the mine, and gently lifted the miners up while cherubim played harps and lyres.

    the issue isnt belief in a higher power, it’s people who try to use that belief to control other people’s thoughts and actions.

    Davey, you use God and Jesus somewhat interchangeably, what’s the deal with that? AFAIK, Jesus is not God, but a prophet. If Jesus’ teachings helped you overcome some issues , that’s great. maybe for his next act, he’ll cure diabetes among black people.

    And, it’s particularly ironic to say no one has ever been harmed by people claiming religious superiority, i.e. Christian colonizers of Africa and Latin America, who were acting under what they interpreted Jesus’ teachings to be.

    Ask yourself: did God or Jesus want Cortez et al. to conquer and commit genocide against indigenous peoples? Didnt the Catholic church persecute scientists such as Gallileo? and, how is God or Jesus helping the victims of pedophiliac priests?


  8. ^^^^ I undertsand what you are saying in terms of history and such, but this is not about that nor is about me or somekind of agenda. All I am doing is pointing something that is left out. I do think you have an agenda, and maybe you have some issues in certain areas.. I say so respectfully.

  9. jose, thanks for your response, but you do have an agenda. that much is clear.

    why did you feel the need to bring religion into this?

    you speculate whether Jesus could “have been a source for Luis Urzua”–which, technically speaking, goes beyond just “pointing [to] something that is left out.”

    obviously, upholding humanity wasn’t enough for you, no, you sought to broaden the debate by referencing God and Jesus–both loaded terms.

    problem is, when you bring in religious references you also bring in the history of religion and how it has been used against indigenous peoples as a vehicle for genocide, brainwashing, etc.

    maybe you didnt intend to do so or werent prepared to address these larger implications. yet you cannot deny they are there.

    you might as well have on a sandwich board and a megaphone, because you come off like a religious nut who wants to insert Jesus into every single debate about anything.

    also, saying “God and science work hand in hand” is somewhat laughable. for one thing it’s an oxymoron, since God doesn’t actually work alongside scientists, wearing a lab coat and doing experiments to prove His existence.

    If you meant to say “religion and science work hand in hand,” there, too, i would beg to differ, since they are generally opposing terms–i.e. the debate over evolution (science) and Creationism (religion).

    getting back to the topic of this post–what lessons can we learn from the Chilean miners?–i would say that humanity can help itself is the biggest one.

  10. Sorry no agenda on my end… and I do not own a sandwich board. I know to some God and Jesus are loaded terms, they are not so loaded to me, so maybe that’s why I can speak without going apoplectic. I used to have similar views such as yours years ago, but I don’t anymore. I think we just share different world views and that’s fine, all I wanted to add to the conversation was just that. If others want to run with it and compare apples to oranges that’s ok too.

  11. We live in the wealthiest nation in human history, even with Wall Street corruption all of us ( relativity speaking) are some of the most privileged little fucks on the planet.

    When I see the miners I don’t think of how bad Wall Street is or feel inclined to use the miners hardship as an opportunity to push my own political agenda like this article does. I get inspired to acknowledge how good I have it and do something for myself, and think how I can “Game it” in a manner where others can pull from it.

  12. i hear you Jose, but i’m not sure you understand what my worldviews are, because i haven’t stated them (yet) so any explanation on your part would be pure conjecture.

    for the sake of clarification, allow me to drop a jewel on you: you can’t be God, but you can be part of the god-body.

    if Allah = arm, leg, leg, arm, head, that’s god-body.
    if Jahovah is manifested through the tree of Life, that’s god-body.
    If Christ says he’s the son of Man with a heavenly father, that’s god-body.
    If Neter (often mistranslated as “god”) = blessed, divine spirit, that’s god-body.
    if Buddha = essence of nature, that’s god-body too.

    etc., etc.

    if humans want to give the act of Creation a form and call him/her/it the Creator, that’s still god-body.

    i could be skeptical/overly-scientific and say that God is merely a way of explaining natural phenomena such as electromagneticism, solar/lunar eclipses, and tidal patterns. but i believe there’s more to it than that.

    apologize if i’m going over your head, but it had to be said.

    feel free to believe whatever you want to believe.

  13. Thanks for that Dave, the response was mad phatt reals and enlightening and hot and shit, nuff respect yo’

    But being serious,

    If you want people to do something you should engage them as to why they should do it. I should do a lot of things that I don’t . Why should I or anyone give that shit a priority? What’s in it for me? While I’m typing this I’m listening to a talk by an entrepreneur that made 30 million dollars in his twenties doing things that in retrospect were very clever,very simple and very attainable.So, in the U.S. does in benefit me to listen to him, or a politician of another country who’s words are locked into the whims of his constituency and has absolutely no immediate tangible utility or relevance to someone like me trying to make a living?

    The problem with HipHop is it never grew up , it just got old and missed the boat.

  14. Watcher this article was widely read, picked up on a number of cites and the feedback was well received.. It served its purpose..it gave folks food for thought.. If it didn’t resonate with u.. so be it.. I’ll keep ur suggestion in mind, but I have no intention of trying to reach everyone..

  15. Jose, on October 14, 2010 at 1:56 pm Said:

    Sorry no agenda on my end…



  16. Jose, on October 14, 2010 at 1:56 pm Said:

    I used to have similar views such as yours years ago, but I don’t anymore.


    In other words, his views are childish. Jose, even if there were a god he wouldn’t like you anyway.

  17. What do you expect from such an unsophisticated humble culture? With a country like Chile, where many of it’s people are poorly educated working class, and their archaic religious beliefs play into their fascination of what they deem as authentic. Those miners, though they endured a miserable time trapped for so long, are sadly misled into believing that their “god” spared their lives. Here’s a case where “god” plays favorite once again. “God” won’t give a Jack shit unless you beg and plead in deep and relentless prayer hoping that mighty moon monster will cut you a deal. Oh, I’m smelling the bullshit! Prayer is always guaranteed to fail. If this “god” was truly an ominous, eternally loving entity, that kept an eagle’s eye on “his” fellow man, what the fuck is the need for prayer then? You mean that this “infinitely loving entity” won’t bother to lend a helping hand unless you beg and plead for help? There will always be simpletons lining the bowels of society. These people, the ignorant and shallow-minded will keep the very essence of this “god” character alive. Any scientist who claims that there is a “god” isn’t a scientist; merely somebody who spent years in school gaining knowledge in a relevant subject just to fuck it all up by believing in what isn’t. Now that’s sad!

  18. It seems like a nerve was struck with u Josh.. one that motivated u to deny something that simply wont be denied.. The proof of it it is the name calling “ignorant’ ‘unsophisticated’ all that good stuff..

    Its a clever ploy..but in the end it reflects a lack of confidence in ur belief there is no God.. No matter how u spin it, you and I both know what’s really real..

    Also ur definition of prayer is wrong…Even if we wanted to remove God from the equation and just focus on the power of visualizing and changing one mindset from negative to positive then prayer is essential..

    God saved them..Try him, he can save you from the unhappiness you seem to have..

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