- Examples of Hobbies.
- Importance of Hobbies.
There are many ways of passing one’s time when one has done one’s duties in the day’s job. Every one has some job or other to do in his life. These jobs are directed to carn money for our maintenance. They are all very serious jobs, requiring effort and concentration of energy, mental or physical, or both. They are certain to tire us. When we have finished our quota of our day’s work, we feel tired. We want rest and entertainment. The things that we do at such times of rest and entertainment are called our hobbies. They are things which help us pass time delightfully. They are, therefore, described as pastimes. They are done in order to give pleasure, not money or fame or any such things. They are labours of love. They are not means to some ends. They are therefore distinguished from jobs and professions which we are dutybound to perform. They are not mean to bring any profit as such. They are done to bring pleasure. They are in the nature of games or plays but they are not mean to be done regularly. Even games are played for exercise for breaking records or winning prizes. But hobbies are endless games. They have no end or aim. The essence of a hobby is its aimlessness. It is a pastime pure and unmixed. It is a favourite pursuit chosen by us. It is not a job imposed by anyone. It is a job of our choice, and freedom of choice is its most distinguishing feature.
There are many hobbies in the world. They are as numerous as there are men and women with varying tastes and preferences. Hobbies are matters of wholly individual tastc. Some of the more common forms of these are gardening, stamp collecting, photography, novel-reading, collecting autographs, long walks, mountaineering, learning of languages, travelling, collecting first editions, rare manuscripts, sporting, fishing, acting, singing, dancing etc, etc. Everyone of these has its own special attractions. Each offers the minimum of pleasure to those who pursue these several favourite pastimes. They are the most absorbing of all pursuits. The pleasure derived from them is pure and unmixed. Some people get disappointed even in the pursuit of hobbies. For example, if a collector of autographs is unable to procure the signature of some great person he is wrong. The essence of a hobby is undiluted pleasure. There may be trouble in collecting different things, but the trouble is more than compensated by the sheer delight of possession.
What is the importance of cultivating hobbies? Their importance is manifold and manysided. For one thing the pursuit of hobbies gives us rest and relaxation from the drudgery and boredom of our daily occupations. Our jobs and duties of everyday life are none of our own choosing. It is very raer that we get the jobs and duties that we like. They are mostly thrust upon us by circumstances. Do we not see that the works we are called on to do are done not because we like doing them but because hunger and want force us to do the same? We are slaves of circumstances and necessity in the world. We are like bits of wood driven along the currents of circumstances. Such being our life, hobbies free-from the prison of circumstance. We are free to choose what we like. No one forces us to follow a hobby, and if any one does so, it ceases to be a hobby, for, it becomes a job. So freedom, real, lovable freedom is the essence of hobbies. They liberate us from the tyranny of existence and launch us upon the seas of adventure in our own chosen course. We are masters of our own selves as long as we are pursuing our beloved hobbies, though they are only for a short time everyday. But this quality of happiness we get in these brief moments is supremely valuable.
However the greatest delight and importance of hobbies is psychological. The point here is significant. Hobbies give us the opportunity of using our leisure most creatively. This is their most important function. They are the healthiest type of recreation. They truly recreate us. They give the best direction to our minds and energies when these are not employed in our daily jobs. The problem of leisure is a very thorny one. Of course, most of us do not get leisure at all. But many of us do get leisure, and the problem is how to use spare time at our disposal. Some of us kill time when we have time to spare! This is very strange and very sad. When we are free from daily work we should find a good way of using such free time. Hobbies come in hand for using such time. Time used in hobbies enriches us. It is the true type of self-culture. Our minds are proverbially the Devil’s workshop when they are left idle. They are left after they finish the daily job imposed by hunger. The precious little time of leisure that we get should not be misused. It should be utilised for bettering ourselves culturally and spiritually. To be spiritful is not wholly to be religious orsaintly. It is not given to ordinary men or women to be saints and spiritual mystics. But it is possible for everyone to cultivate the mind and soul and become truly spiritual in a very easy manner. This can be done by pursuing hobbies. For hobbies not only give delight, they give knowledge and enlightment. Real enlightment comes when the things we do are done with love and pleasure. From this point of view, hobbies become the agencies by which we become cultured in the simplest and truest sense of the word. There is really no limit to the progress we can make in the way. We become truly happy in a world which is for most of us a very unhappy place. This is so because we are not free to choose the jobs we like to do. This is why hobbies become So supremely important.
Considered from any point of view, hobbies are the gateway through which we pass from the world of work and care to a world of work and pleasure. All pleasurable work is really no work at all. It is a kind of play. It is the right type of work in which we exercise our body and mind most fruitfully. In an ideal society, everyone might get the job he loves to do. In such a perfect society there is still place for hobbies. This is so because even the work we love might become exhausting after some time. The nature of our body and mind is such that we are tired after certain time in any kind of work. It is at such time that we begin to see the value of hobbies. Hobbies really are change of work. They are work for they require both bodily and mental effort. But the differnce is that such work is not continued beyond a certain limit. When we have done day’s job, of which we are really satisfied. And when we have spent our time in our hobbies we are in position to bring our appointed jobs. Thus changes of work give us the needed recreation which sends us refreshed for work. Hobbies serve this most important purpose.
Let us by all means, choose our hobbies and pursue them in the precious moments of leisure we get. Hobbies thus pursued are most enjoyable. They widen our outlook of life. They increase our appetite for experience. They drive away depression. They fill vacant minds with pleasant ideas. They train our motions and passions. They a make us seekers of beauty, for there is nothing more beautiful than our pet hobbies. No matter how poor our worldly existence, we can become happy in the pursuit of favourite pastime. This is to become spiritually rich.
Finally a word of caustion seems to be called for. And here it is. Let us not permit our hobbies to become expensive beyond our means. We must ride our hobby horses but we must not ride, them beyond certain limit. We must not allow our hobbies to interfere with our daily duties. Hobbies are our modes of escape from the drudgery of occupations. But daily occupations must be gone through no matter, how difficult or tiresome. Life is not a bed of thornless roses. Let us not complain about thorns. Let us be thankful that there are roses even if there are thorns. So let us face life and do our duties, however thorny they might be. Let us come back from daily duties to our dead hobbies. Let us use our hobbies to recreate our exhausted energies in such a way that we go to our daily jobs and duties with renewed vigour. Let our hobbies be the sweet dreams which brighten our dull and dreary monotony of daily life. So only shall we have wisely used our hobbies. They are tonic stuff and should not become drugs.