Lessons from the Mine 2016

Mike and Berbero, the village man.

While I was taking a lot of rest this weekend and recovering from the sudden malaria attack two days ago, I saw this movie — Mine 2016.

If you have the time, it’s a good movie to see. I’m not a movie freak but when I see one, I love to learn as much as I can from it.

It was a story of two US marines who failed on their mission to kill a wanted terrorist far out in the desert regions of Middle East.

One was a deadly sniper, Mike and the other was his ever ebullient partner, Tommy. They missed their primary target, escaped their adversary during a shootout and trekked for hours across the hot, harsh desert.

They encountered a very strong sandstorm on their way to the nearest village to get water. Just after the sandstorm, Mike picked up an old piece of zinc sheet that was carried across some distance by the sandstorm. He looked closely at it and saw a danger sign on the other side of the sheet with an inscription he didn’t understand.

Tommy came over to him to figure out what his friend was looking at and told him it was the sign of a minefield. But as a jovial guy, he didn’t take the sign seriously.

In fact, he was mocking Mike for being too serious as he accidentally stepped on a landmine. BOOM! Tommy lost both legs in the explosion while Mike quickly caught himself as he felt his left foot stepped on one too. He was in total shock and his best buddy Tommy cried out loud in serious pains.

He was confused and in shock but could not move to help his friend or risk losing his own feet. Tommy cried continuously in pains and when it was too much to bear, he told Mike to stay alive and then took his life with his pistol. Mike was doubly shocked.

After a while, he managed to get to Tommy’s bag and made contact with his superiors for rescue but he didn’t know he was in for another bad news. His superior said the best time they could make it to his position would be in 52 hours due to the bad weather and sandstorms. He pleaded and nearly cried out of frustration but that wouldn’t change anything he already heard.

While he was still standing there, he saw a man, probably from the village some distance away, who told him consistently to take the next step. To Mike, this dude was just a lunatic who didn’t understand a thing about landmines. The man smiled and as he was about to walk away, Mike called him to help him with water.

Fortunately for Mike, the guy understood some English and it made it so much easier to bear the pain. The kind village man got him water, advised him again to take his next step but Mike knew it would mean death and stood solidly on his foot. The man smiled at him and went on his way.

How much worse could things get ?! Just how much ?! He’s standing on a mine with nobody but himself in a lonely desert. There were sandstorms, wolves attacked him, he had lots of terrible hallucinations, even armed bandits almost killed him at some point. His water finished and he nearly drank his urine for thirst. His left leg was swollen from the lack of movement for so many hours. Time seemed to no longer fly but crawled to a halt. OMG!

The biggest blow to his will came when it was 7 hours left for his rescue team to arrive, his superior called and said it would take 17 more hours so he should just hang in there. What the heck?!

Mike couldn’t take it anymore. He was completely drained of every last bit of strength in him and as he was about to fall to the ground ( thus detonating the bomb under his feet ), that same village man caught him in time.

The man held Mike up, treated his wounds, gave him water and once again asked him to take his next step and don’t be afraid. Mike just looked at him without any reply. His only mission was to stay alive by not stepping away from that landmine.

After his last round of hallucinations and harsh conditions, he gave up. Let whatever would happen happen quickly. He moved his left foot a little and stepped away, eagerly waiting for the big blast that would end all his pain and suffering.

He landed on the desert sands and heard …. NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. It was not a mine. He was deeply shocked that he was still alive. He went back and dug the spot he stepped on. He found nothing but an old, rusty beverage tin with a toy soldier inside it.

He laughed and laughed and laughed to tears. How could such nonsense be the reason why he suffered and feared death for so long? He couldn’t believe he was in so much pain for nothing. Few hours later the rescue team came and picked him up. He was treated and flown back to the US where he met his love again. End of story.

After I saw the movie, I was asking myself some key questions such as:

What is it that I’m so afraid of letting go right now that is keeping me from the future I dream of ? What is the source of that fear ? What past memories am I playing over and over in my mind that is now a trap for me ? Are those scripts real or am I hallucinating like Mike ? And on and on.

I expect our answers to those questions to be different as we are from different backgrounds and have different environments but the key thing is to always know what your true fears are and face them in the best possible way to move forward.

Assess yourself and take your next steps!

Happy reading!