Is Scheduling Good for Our Families? by Cay Gibson


Evidently so. Has anyone been keeping up with the news on the Chilean Miners who have been trapped since the August 5th mine collapse? While reading about how these men are dealing with life 2,400 below ground, I have reconsidered the impact of scheduling within my home.

These men might not be rescued until Christmas time. That information took me 2,400 below light and life as I tried to imagine what it must be like for them and, in my own reality, to imagine what their families are experiencing so far south of us.

I pray for the men and their families daily. And I am thankful for light and life.

And—though it’s a gigantic (perhaps even desperate) leap of similarities—something that strikes me (in a peculiar, over-exaggerated way, of course) is the fact that the trapped miners have had to establish a routine, a schedule, to help breed a sense of normalcy and to help them with cope with their current state of affairs. It is not much different from the way we live as families, on a substantially larger scale, of course.

The need for normality is crucial for the survival of these 33 men. For those wanting to discuss this current event with their children and give them a hands-on perspective, here is a good link: How 33 Chilean Miners are Surviving.

Each man is given a job to do each day. Something as simple as washing their faces and brushing their teeth each morning sets the rhythm for the day. There is a rule that no man begins eating until all have food in hand. A mine vehicle’s hood has become a desk where decisions are made. The buddy system has been installed in order to care for one another. They eat together, work together, pray together, make decisions together, and play makeshift dominoes together.

Does your family?

An expert on traumatic stress, psychologist John Fairbank from Duke University, speaks, “What we’re seeing them do now is trying to normalize their situation, giving it a routine, a structure and a purpose.”

Families can use this code during the stress of everyday life: routine, structure, and a purpose.

A purpose! I find this mind-tingling ironic that, in the end, in every situation, humans need a purpose. Our purpose in life is the gift of Hope that was left at the bottom of Pandora’s box. It’s the filagree of Hope which we cling to that says we have a purpose here on earth, that we are more than the worms which irrigate the earth and the ants and bees which slave under a hierarchy of structure and purpose.

Copyright 2010 Cay Gibson


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1 Comment

  1. autumn Carroll on

    Great article,Cay! I simply fall apart without routine-so much so that I have wondered if it was healthy or not.
    This answers my questions to the dilemma ~

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