Essay on Recreation, Leisure and Play

3846 Words Mar 27th, 2011 16 Pages
Leisure

The idea of leisure has been in existence for many centuries and has come to have many different meanings depending on the period in history or the civilization that it originated from. From as early as Ancient Greece, Rome or Babylonia, the term we now know as leisure has existed in some form or another. As has been widely noted in introductory recreation texts, schole was both the ancient Greek word for leisure meaning, “serious activity without the pressure of necessity” and is the root of the English word for school (Godbey, 2003). To the ancient Greeks, leisure, education, and culture were intertwined. In other words, learning was available only for the rich, people with the wealth to afford free time. Leisure, as we
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Conversely, is a person without a job always at leisure? Musicians, professional athletes, and the homeless are all specific examples of situations that may help answer these questions.

Leisure Defined as Time

Leisure defined as time may be the most commonly understood meaning of the word today because of its positive connotations (Martin, 1975). People often use the word leisure and the term free time interchangeably. On the surface this definition seems fine, but as you delve deeper and ask difficult questions, it starts to become less clear. What is free time? Free time is defined as time free of obligations or responsibilities, or time to do with what you please. As Neulinger stated his definition of leisure, performing the activity out of free will is the deciding factor for whether it is leisure or not. This idea brings this thought to mind. All human beings have been blessed with the gift of free will; a consciousness of who we are and of the decisions we make. Without consciousness we would still be aware of what is going on around us, but we would react to it in a reflexive, instinctive way. With consciousness, we can deliberately weigh what the senses tell us, and respond accordingly. If this definition holds true, shouldn’t all of life be considered leisure? Every decision, every action, comes from our decisions of our own free will. If we continue with this thought, some questions arise:

• Are there any