I followed the Kim family story from the point where Kati Kim and the kids were rescued. I followed with interest the search for James Kim. I could identify with a man worried about his family. I was saddened by the discovery of his body. He died trying to find help for his family. I have read and even participated in discussions about what mistakes he made and how he should have done things differently.
Though I am in the high tech industry, I did not know who James Kim was other than a man stuck in the wilderness with his family. I am saddened by his death and hope that Kati and the kids find peace in the loss of their husband and father. I feel sorrow as I wonder about what James was thinking in his final hours and minutes. It must have been horrible.
I read the timeline of events leading up to the departure of James Kim in search of help. Reading through it I realized that I could have easily ended up in the same place. Hindsight bias has us thinking that James and Kati should have been able to see what was going to happen, should have made better choices. However, reading through the sequence of events I realized that they were trying to think things through and make good choices. They made a lot of good choices. They made enough good choices that Kati and the kids survived almost two weeks without preparation.
I can easily see where I might have been James. Knowing about the Kim’s experience, if I find myself in the situation James and his family did, I will very likely handle it differently than I might have. Assuming that I remember. However, I will not forget that I could have been James. I hope that those commenting in the news stories and blog entries about James and his family will bear in mind that they are looking at the event with the advantage of hindsight. James and Kati were working the problem through with foresight. I believe they all did well. Better than most of us would have.
Be strong Kati. James believed in you. Your devotion and commitment to each other and your family is admirable. A quality lacking in the world today. My prayers are with you. May you go with God.
[posted with ecto]