A triumph of esperanza over adversity

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It was a saying that intrigued me as I was growing up: everyone can remember where they were and what they were doing when they found out President Kennedy had been assassinated.

Even if we weren’t around in 1963, we can all think of news stories that have stopped us in our tracks. These include the shooting of John Lennon, the death of Princess Diana and, of course, 9/11 – the Kennedy Moment for my own generation. 

But why should such memorable news always be such bad news? Why doesn’t good news have the same impact as a Kennedy Moment? I say this because I think we witnessed a really ‘good’ news story today. The rescue of the Chilean miners brought a smile to my face and a lump to my throat more than any news story that I can remember.

So what makes this story such a good news story?

Almost all the news emerging about the incident since the story broke has shown a triumph of the human spirit: unstinting efforts being made by everyone involved (both underground and aboveground), a nation – if not a world – united in support, work colleagues becoming a band of brothers and a rescue that occurred two months before it was expected. If that doesn’t rouse emotions and stir the blood, I don’t know what will. It’s enough to make everyone feel estupendo.

So let’s take a moment to savour this good news story: if history has taught us anything, it’s that they don’t occur very often…