Moving into the second session of summer classes, my Leisure in Society class has me thinking about what we consider to be a part of our leisure, and if we place enough importance in taking time away from our busy lives to enjoy our free time.
During Ancient Greek times, Aristotle was a voice in stating what leisure was all about. Leisure didn't have to have a purpose, but we performed it to benefit ourselves. Most of what consisted of leisure during this time involved some form of learning. But, in today's society, leisure seems to be defined as something else. We find things that we're passionate or interested in that are outside of work.
Many American's are told that our purpose in this life is to work hard, love your family, and country. Spending time enjoying the little and big things in life aren't emphasized enough. I work to make money in order to enjoy the free time that I have. Unfortunately, our idea of free time is filled with watching TV, and following different social media outlets. We move from channel to channel and scroll up and down, without really thinking about whether or not this is an enjoyable activity that can put us in a pleasurable state.
What are these activities actually doing to fulfill our lives? If these activities truly make you feel happy inside, by all means, continue. If you've found that there is something missing during the free hours you have of a day, look into activities that will fulfill you. I find that getting outside to walk my dog, ride my bike, or go hiking are activities that make me feel good about myself. They also allow me time to contemplate life, and sometimes to see new places. There are so many activities in the world that can create pleasure in life to take you away from work or stressful school assignment.
Take a few moments to contemplate what makes you feel happy or fulfilled outside of your normal work schedule. Do something that will make you look back and feel glad that you had that experience.