- Uses of leisure.
To be at one’s leisure is to be free from one’s duties or. occupation. It means that one is at liberty to do or not to do anything. It is liberation from our routine jobs and responsibilities. It is, in short, to be at one’s ease. Hence it shows that leisure is a very desirable thing. We are happy to be relieved from our jobs and duties. The student is at leisure when he finishes his studies for the day; the lawyer is at leisure when he comes home from the court; the doctor is, perphaps the only person who has no leisure because he is a fornı of social service which demands all his time, day or night, sun or rain, whatever it might be. We never know when people fall ill or meet with accidents, and so the doctor is one exception, proving the rule that everyone has some time at his disposal which he may use as be like.
The uses of leisure are various. Generally, people use their leisure in pursuing their pet hobbies. They go out for walks, so dig in their gardens, or play at cards and indulge in outdoor or indoor games. Many people simply do nothing in their leisure. They take complete rest, which is often needed by people whose jobs are strenuous, physically or mentally. It is a good thing to rest thus so that one will be prepared for one’s job after some time. But the uses of leisure might take other forms. For example, many people, do as strenuous à work as they do in their routine hours. Such people use their for training themselves in linies other than their own. Freedom from employment for such people is not at all freedom. It is simply a change from one type of labor to another type. And truly, this is the best use of leisure. Rest does not mean, and should not mean, cessation of activities. It is simply change for work which brings real relief. And this relief is good for body, mind and spirit. This is the creative use of leisure. The pursuit of hobbies is, therefore, one of the very best employment of one’s leisure.
Life is full of opportunities, and he, who uses these will succeed in life, and be as beacon light for others. It is not desirable for men to misuse and waste their time. Life is short and ideals of life are infinite. Each chooses his own and finds fulfilkment if each utilises his minutes for realising his ideals. The words of Kipling come home to us when we think of using leisure: Says he to one and all:
“If you can fill the unforgiving minute:
With sixty.seconds’ worth of distance run,
You will be a man, my son!”
That is a very noble and inspiring message. Great men have become greater by following this ideal. They are afraid of the ‘unforgiving minute,’ for time waits for nobody, big or small. We must catch time by the forelock and make it yield results. Men are not meant to rest in this life. Youth in particular must never rest. The body then is fit and responsive. It can stand a good deal of strain. Our aim should be a youth of labour and an age of ease.
But unfortunately, not all people imagine what the right use of leisure is. Most of us simply waste our time when we get free from jobs and duties for the day. We think that doing nothing is a glorious exercise of our liberty. We feel that labour is compulsory, tyrannical and tiresome. We therefore must be idle and think we are resting. But idleness of this kind is no real rest. It only increases restlessness. A mind is never at rest but when it is labouring, thinking, feeling and imagining. They say that an idle man’s brain is the Devil’s workshop. They say that Satan finds mischief for idle hands to do. And they, it seem, are quite right. If we sit idle, our desires and fancies begin to work. And when desire begin to work, the only way to control them is to limit them to some form of labour. Otherwise we will be victims of idle desires empty dreams and fruitless fancies. We should therefore keep our minds busy in the right path, for busy always our minds are, whether we will or not. The lelisure we get should not therefore be wasted in silence or idling.
Some of the popular types of using leisure are novel reading, theatre-going and pleasure-hunting. These are good when properly exercised. But the danger of indulging in such desires is that they render us slaves to such pastimes. A pastime is not merely any device that helps us to pass time. It must be a good way of passing our time. Time not only passed but often kills and slaughters it, as we often do thinking that we are having a good time. Time spent can never be a good time.
Life is said to be leisurely in the East. It is so. It is in the West that time is money and time is measured in minutes and seconds. That is perhaps one reason why the West has progressed much ahead in many fields of activity. We have only recently begun appreciating the value of time. If we have to build a progressive nation we will have to use our time more rationally than many of us now do. If every citizen employs his leisure in nation-building activities, however small his quota of contribution, there is no doubt that our plans will have a brighter chance of success. There is much to do in our country. We have to catch up with other nations which have gone ahead in the race of life. We should therefore, make our people aware of the value of time. We should teach them to utilise every hour of their life for building up their own fortunes. In this mighty task, it is certain that the right use of leisure period will help much in making us progressive. Let us hope that the time now wasted in idle pastimes will be better used and that by such a process of life we will be a better nation.
All this, however, does not mean that we should bar over serious in our outlook. It does not all mean that we should be pleasures and recreations. No, we only wish to protect ourselves from that danger of waste which is certain if we abuse our leisure. By all means should we seek relief from labour by all means should we enjoy our well-earned leisure and rest. But it should be an enjoyment as leisure and not a waste or perversion of it. Creative labour is recreation, and we should try our best to attain this ideal.