Information, Celebration, Inspiration (Academy President’s Blog)

10.13.10 - Of Mockingbird, Miners and a Mention

Of Mockingbird and Miners

Atticus Finch, from the beautiful novel To Kill a Mockingbird tells his children: “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

Today I can’t help but think about the Chilean miners and the team of engineers, technicians, doctors, specialists and family members who are working in Chile to bring up to the surface 33 miners trapped for 70 days.  As I write this, the sixteenth man has been lifted out of the earth.  His mother is hugging him and he is thanking the rescuers.  Talk about real courage.

Working as an educator, I admit, I hope for heroes for our young people.  I hope for real life lessons where we can teach that humanity is good and that the world can be a community.  Today is a good day for courage and for heroes. 

The miners stayed faithful and optimistic that they would be rescued.  They believed in each other and they believed their fellow humans wouldn't forget them.  The rescuers are to be admired for working day and night to first locate the 33 and then to coordinate a rescue that encompassed all needs and possible challenges that the men could face. 

And, the media is to be admired for just letting the pictures talk and sharing such good news. 

I have been fascinated to learn how the men spent their time and managed their lives while below the surface.   As I understand it, they began to take responsibility for one another while living in the dark, underground community.  One man served as spiritual director, another man played the role of scribe, still another man shared his sense of humor and another was responsible for medical reports and the list goes on.

And these last few days the world has watched and participated—in fact, the rescuers are not all Chilean.  They are not all South American.  In fact, the rescue team includes people from around the world, including right here in Colorado.  And thanks to technology today, we have all been witnesses to these extraordinary moments.

Thinking about Atticus Finch’s advice to his children, there were days in the beginning that the miners and the rescuers might have thought that they were licked, but they pressed on anyway.  And, now here they are, having seen it through. And this time, they won--and we won.   Now, that’s real courage, Atticus Finch style.

And a Mention…

Hope you had a chance to see USA Today on October 12 and read about Condoleezza Rice’s new autobiography,Extraordinary, Ordinary People.  We are grateful to learn that she included a nice comment about St. Mary’s Academy, where she graduated in 1971.  How nice to have an alumna say about her alma mater in a national newspaper:  “The rigorous academics at St. Mary’s Academy prepared me well for college.”

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