Wasting Your Leisure Time
By Professor Abné M. Eisenberg
Published: July 31, 2013   |
Updated: July 31, 2013 at 02:00 PM
It's not a matter of having too little time, but how it is misused. People today have the same number of hours in a day as did Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Mother Teresa, and Albert Einstein. While the time-frame in which they lived was different, the way they managed their time enabled them to become famously prolific.
Prehistorically, Neanderthals were so busy hunting for food and sheltering themselves from the elements, they had little or no leisure time. However, even when trying to survive commanded most of their efforts, their innate creativity surfaced in the form of cave painting and tool making.
Once human life became more organized and civilized, leisure became both a luxury and a challenge. Archeologists have given us documentary proof that every culture had its own way of dealing with leisure.
Today, our lifestyle has given us a generous helping of leisure in which to do the things we enjoy. Unfortunately, most people squander it by watching too much television, surfing the Internet, doing needless shopping, gambling, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or sleeping. These indulgences rob them of the time they could use doing things that are more worthwhile.
Because modernity progresses at such a break-neck speed, keeping up is a challenge. Generous windows of leisure can only be created by intelligently structuring time. Without leisure, life would be dull, dry, and unhealthy.
Too much of a good thing has its downside. If misused or abused, leisure can be a land mine. It has been said, “Idle hands are the Devil's workshop.” This charge can be applied to many of today's teenagers. They have too much leisure time on their hands and, as a result, fill it by getting into various kinds of mischief.
Leisure also plays a prominent role among retirees. Having worked their entire adult life, they discover that retirement lacks the structure to which they were accustomed. To be faced with unstructured time after years of specific scheduling seems as if one were in a free-fall into the unknown. Retirement!
- Psychologists tell us that many retirees are not emotionally prepared to cope with the demands of a life in retirement. Getting up in the morning and having to plan a day demands developing a completely new mind-set. They soon discover that their newfound leisure can be filled with activities such as volunteering, early-bird specials, gardening, reading, exercising, watching television, computer-surfing, or joining a wide variety of support groups.