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    Posted May 16, 2014 by
    Istanbul, Turkey

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    A Lesson on Humility

    I think for a good portion of you, I am the only Turkish friend you associate with so I want to give anyone that is interested a more personal view of the coal mine disaster in Soma, Turkey that I am sure all of you that follow the news have heard of by now.
    My heart feels heavy these days. It feels heavy because we know that hundreds are dead, but nobody can give an exact estimate because too many miners that entered the mine that day were unaccounted for. It feels heavy because people have died trying to rescue those that were trapped in the mines. It feels heavy because it is the worst coal mine disaster in terms of fatalities since 1972 when a series of explosions occured in a coal mine in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. It feels heavy because this coal mine disaster is not an isolated incident in this country and I do not see an improvement in the safety standards of coal mines here in the forseeble future.
    My heart is mostly heavy though because I have been reminded again over these past few days that humility is a trait that is truly invaluable and it is the people that have died in those mines that could have provided me proper life lessons on how to be humble. It has taken such a disaster to remind me that it is not the title that makes a person valuable but a person’s character and understanding of humility. I have much more to learn from the miner that insisted on taking off his shoes while on the stretcher after just being rescued so that the stretcher would be clean for the next survivor rather than a Minister of Energy and Natural Resources that plays with the numbers to make the death toll seam less. I have much more to learn from the miner that delays his visit to the hospital to see his wife with the hope that he can save a few more lives by staying back rather than the Executive Board of the company that owns the mine in Soma that explains the company had closed the one emergency chamber they had for the miners to escape into because they were preparing a new one. I have much more to learn from the miner who was shouting for the rescue team to leave him behind and rescue his fellow miner who was still trapped because his fellow miner and the miner’s wife were expecting their first child rather than a Prime Minister that defends the coal mine disaster as a common occurrence and sites a United Kingdom coal mine disaster in 1866 as proof of the common occurrence.
    My heart is heavy for everything I have mentioned above, but it took a disaster like this for me to see that I lost hundreds of potential life teachers in that coal mine and this is the heaviest burden of all...
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