Investing in Leisure Time

2014-04-16 02:25

It is generally conceded by both philosophy and psychology that people are more completely revealed in their carefree and leisure time pursuits than in any other activity.

We have arrived in a period of holidays in the year. Like December period, the month of April up to May 1 is a period of holidays. It is a period of leisure time and recreation. For most it is a time away from work, business or study.

And what is our conduct in this period? How do we utilize our holidays?

Our conduct in such carefree times is not far fetched – it is noticeable and speaks loudly. We are living from the outside in rather than from the inside out. There is such a hole of hunger that reveals itself during times of recess and leisure. This is the period where many people are up and up grasping things with the hope of deriving happiness from such.

Others indulge in parties: every social incident, including the purchase of a new car, even a second hand car, or a tumble dryer for the household, deaths, birth, a promotion in the office, weddings, occasioned huge celebrations; if a new house had just been bought and ready for occupation, it had to be "warmed," and if it is a car that is bought, it had to be "washed", not with soap and water of course, but carton loads of alcohol, greedily consumed by neighbours, friends and family who are called upon to share in the glory of success. But what are such parties about in essence?

In such parties and social gatherings, there are gladiatorial conversations that revolves around “my Mercedes is better than yours” type. Such vain self cannibalization of conversations creates pressure to get into more debts and psychological stress - buying the latest car for genuflection.

Those things are the very opposite of what leisure time is all about. We have been disconnected from the source and have become enemies of the very thing we think we are embracing. We need to go back to the source for discovery of the original meaning so that we can heal ourselves and communities.

The original meaning of leisure time represents time for education and recreation in its fullest sense: the enjoyment of books, the pleasure of the outdoors in the forests for deep meditation and connection with nature and so on. It was positive time for positive reflection and positive growth not destruction.

It is play time. Play is self-discovery and unfoldment of our personal beings through interesting, satisfying activities that “re-creates” our personal beings hence it is called recreation. Play is a form of education in the animal world. Play is essential education when used for what it means. Times of leisure and recreation should by all means induce growth.

Greek thought, or rather ancient Greek philosophers from whom our modern world is modeled were greatest loafers because they dared to live unhurriedly and carefree. They used every opportunity for education and personal mastery and personal greatness. We have replaced those precious moments of loafing for avarice, vain glory and personal wreckage.

Leisure is fun. But the word fun has been so misused, corrupted and abused that I better not use it. The word has come to mean destructiveness, tearing down process of body and soul: a wreckage time of bad behavior, waywardness and bad conduct. You go to villages and townships you find the whole communities resembles rivers of alcohol - it seems in every street there is a tavern or shebeen with drunken brawl and loud vanity music playing in the background. From those things stems all our social problems because those things get into the subconscious mind and becomes personal driving force: They reveal the nature of the people loudly and that cannot be denied. Such  acidic cocktail of corrosive values and morals.

We remain frozen in our filth, claiming not to understand why in spite of our pretenses to efforts, we are not moving forward.

Happiness and joyful living comes from balanced living. It is not a thing of itself that may be trapped or captured. It is rather an essence or perfume that comes from normal, vigorous, active and positive participation in a wide variety of positive interests and pursuits for never ending growth and learning that comes from the sole purpose of helping us remember and reclaim the greatness that we have sadly lost through the drudgery of daily life.

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