The whole nation was kept on the edge of its collective seat this week as the saga of Sago unfolded. Our hearts beat in sympathetic unison with the inhabitants of that tiny community in West Virginia as they waited anxiously for news of their loved ones who were trapped in a coal mine.
Anxiety turned to rejoicing as the word came back “12…alive”. Three hours later the celebration was devastated as they received the word that only one had survived. Of all of the emotions that one feels during a time like this, it seems that anger came boiling to the surface for many.
In the aftermath, many have scrambled to point the blame: the media and politicians involved claim innocence due to ignorance, the mine owners lay the responsibility on faulty communications and rescue workers who jumped the gun on releasing the news. Even the pastor of Sago Baptist Church who did his best to minister to those grieving families has caught some flack.
It is human nature, I suppose, when one is hurting to lash out. The media, politicians, mine owners and others involved need to remember what is important here: the emotional and spiritual needs of those who lost loved ones in this tragedy. Their feelings supercede any need to escape culpability for miscommunication. Rather than pointing fingers and denying responsibility, perhaps all involved will simply offer a prayer for those who were left behind.
Time will tell who was wrong.