Toward an Understanding of Leisure

Recently I have found myself in a position to experience more leisure.  It is ironic – I have been busy about the work of spreading the “gospel” of leisure for the last five years (for a codified example, see the Circe website for the CD “Leisure – the Basis of Schooling” by yours truly) and now that I have more…well…frankly, I don’t know what to do with it.

I think this is the malaise of our generation.  We are not a people of leisure but work.  Not work in the best sense – that would be great.  But we are masters of busyness.  Joseph Pieper’s landmark writing Leisure: the Basis of Culture is revealing.  He says that we have mistaken “busyness for productivity”.  Ouch.  Yes, we have.  Yes, I have.

True productivity orders work…and thoughts…and actions.  It is the Sabbath rest that gives us an opportunity to contemplate the work that did last week and will do this week.  It is that time that the post-industrial West deems as superfluous, early in the morning, that should be setting the agenda for the day in order to accomplish something.  The last thing I want is another day of “busyness” that accomplishes nothing.  How about you?