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Leisure time=Free time well used (antithesis of wasting time!) – warsong

Well so many terms have been distorted but I think this one takes the cake. Leisure time was used for people to better themselves, but now people use to hurt themselves. It is interesting how people are self destructive.

Leisure time by Gleaves Whitney
Whole Article:

This requires explanation because, unfortunately, "leisure" has become one of the most deflated words in currency. In common parlance, it simply means free time; it's a neutral term without moral edge. The word's impoverishment is apparent in its adjectival use: We speak of leisurewear, leisure suits, and Leisure World. But previous generations that went through the rigors of a classical education were likely introduced to a more challenging concept of the word. The ancient Greeks believed leisure is much more than free time. It is free time well used, free time with a moral mission. In the Politics, Aristotle makes this arresting assertion:

"The first principle of all action is leisure.. Leisure is better than occupation and is its end; and therefore the question must be asked, what ought we to do when at leisure? Clearly we ought not to be amusing ourselves, for then amusement would be the end of life."

Aristotelians see human time divided into three major spheres: (1) working for a living, (2) recovering from working for a living, and (3) leisure time. Leisure is the highest use of time. It is the antithesis of "wasting time" or "killing time" with diversions and amusements. Nor is it rest and relaxation; the downtime we need to recover from work should really be considered an extension of work.

Leisure is time beyond that which is needed to recover from work. It is the time when we can detach ourselves from immediate needs and concerns, and pursue beauty, truth, and goodness for their own sake. Thus understood, leisure is recreational in the old sense of the word, and indispensable to achieving our human potential.

Over the centuries, Aristotle's idea of leisure would capture the imagination of many a writer. Thinkers as various as Plutarch, Hobbes, and Thoreau would unpack its meaning. Most would stress that leisure is inseparable from education. This is why our word for school is derived from the Greek word for leisure and learned discussion, schole. One must be taught that leisure is the purposeful use of free time to improve oneself intellectually, morally, and spiritually; that it is habituating the mind to seek higher over lower pleasures; that it is training the heart to find fulfillment in virtue over vice; that it is educating the intellect to discern between ordered and disordered attachments. This purposeful use of our free time, of our leisure, increases our share of wisdom and virtue. Befitting free men and women, true leisure is indispensable to a self-governing polity.

Religious thinkers have written at length about leisure. For them leisure includes the time one spends at prayer and at worship, restoring a right relationship with the Creator. Leisure is a kind of spiritual work, revealed in the word "liturgy," which is derived from the ancient Greek word for "work." This, too, is recreational in the old sense. The official Catechism of the Catholic Church observes:

The sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite. It is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money. .With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities. .The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement.

For religious writers, leisure is serious business. The Mexican priest Marcial Maciel urges the faithful to examine their conscience about the use of time:

"I am convinced that when we appear before the Lord, one of the first points which we will have to account for will be the use we have made of the time that was ours.. On that day we will not be blamed for perhaps missing an opportunity to earn a million dollars, but yes, for having lost a minute.

It seems terrible to me that someone could appear before God and offer Him as the product of 80 years of life, what he could have perhaps produced in only 20 or 40.. I consider this a very grave sin.* "

In the last century, some of the most insightful essays about leisure were written by the German Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper. His Leisure the Basis of Culture, which is still in print, makes an amazing claim. It argues that leisure is the foundation of our civilization. For it is in leisure that our minds are habituated to the beautiful, the true, and the good. Pieper observes that three conditions are necessary for there to be leisure: (1) government that is not coercive, (2) property or income that is higher than a subsistence level so that people have free time, and (3) the opportunity to overcome "internal poverty" through a liberal-arts education.

The liberal arts are essential to leisure, yet leisure is not just a function of knowledge. Even after acquiring knowledge of beauty, truth, and goodness, people must have the will to pursue them. It is an historical truism that the ruling classes of ancient societies lost the ability to govern as they lost the will to use their time well; they sank into decadence and could no longer mount a defense of their lives or civilization.



Posts: 208
From: Scotland
Registered: 10-26-2002
Very interesting post. I just have one question though, how do we know that we are spending leisure time effectively?
For example I could spend all my spare time creating a business that really helped people and could lead to me not having to be a wage slave 3 years from now. I would see that as effective use of my time but because money is involved it wouldn't fit the criterior given.

If the dream is big enough the facts don't count.-Dexter Yager

Thanks for the reply. I would think more people would appreciate a topic like this but maybe many are afraid of it.
Well like part of the topic says if we die and God asks us what we did in life would we say we did something which should have taken 5 years instead of an entire life to do.

I would think you know how. Well if your time is spend on to help improve you or others then its good, if you use it to do nothing that is meaningful as much like watch TV, play games, listen to music only, drinking etc then it does not benefit. And I would think to improve ones spirit and mind than strength is more beneficial.

As for your business what kind is it? I think you are spending your time to better yourself and others. Obviously you are not getting results right away but you are working on it. But at least you try to do productive things. Obviously you need money to do it and to make money you need money. Maybe you can see it as one step back two steps forward.