The world is certainly transfixed with the rescue of the 33 miners in Chile. The media in the Middle East is covering the event just as intently as U.S. news outlets. Patrons in a Bengali restaurant I recently visited were intently watching reports on their television.

Rarely does an event capture the hearts and minds of the entire world’s population. I can only think of a handful of such moments in time — Sept. 11 and the death of Princess Diana come to mind. I’m told the return of the ill-fated Apollo 13 similarly captured the whole world’s attention. Can anyone think of other examples?

Perhaps this planet’s inhabitants innately look for a reason to feel connected to one another. Events like the mine rescue–and the shared joy we feel in their rescue–help us to remember that we’re not that different from each other.