The Chilean Miners’ Business

Courage Resilience


None of us really know how we would react under dire circumstances. The answer only comes if fate chooses to put us in such a spot. But we can learn a lot from the actions of others who live to tell the tale. The incredible rescue and survival of the Chilean miners from the San Jose mine is a spotlight on the character of man. Stories that may be somewhat disappointing are likely to emerge at a later date but for now this is what we know:

  1. The miners chose NOT to be victims from the beginning. For 17 days without contact to the outside world they chose to live, to fight, and to move forward.
  2. They worked together as a team, recognizing they each had a role to play in surviving. Imagine the respect for self and others during the 69 days. Anything else would have torn them apart.
  3. They took 2 days worth of food and made it last 17. They chose to focus on what they had, not what they lacked. They had an abundant mind set in the scarcest environment.

The last miner up the rescue capsule, at his insistence, was the shift supervisor Luis Urzua. This man, while I obviously know little about him, likely embodies every element of the Character Triangle. His leadership was symbolized by his last act as shift supervisor. He chose to be first by being last.

While suffocating in total darkness sometimes generates the brightest light, you and I (thankfully) can embody and employ the aspects of self accountability, respect, and abundance daily without the need of a rescue capsule. What we need is the conscious presence and commitment to act that way daily.

Thank you to the Chilean miners and their competent and brave rescue team to remind us who we are and what living with character means.

Live the Triangle,