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Where Has True Leisure Gone? Essay

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Where Has True Leisure Gone?

The phone rang--again. Josh tried desperately to concentrate on his driving while picking up his cell phone. He was already late to pick up Katie from soccer practice and had a project due the next day. His stress level had been rising lately. If only he could take some time off, but he was always too busy with too many things to do... Unfortunately, this appears to be the rising norm in today’s society as the work ethic and constant busyness of life have taken over, impeding on the amount of time that people spend in true leisure activities. In fact, people are misusing their leisure time and sacraficing it to the god of busyness. When we view how members of society like Josh act in their leisure time, we
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We can then observe which views hold the most merit, merge the best aspects of each, and combine them with a Christian perspective to achieve the best overall view.

Let us begin this discovery by inspecting the Greek culture. The Greeks regarded leisure as the privilege of learning. The groups who ascertained this leisure were the ones who were free from the restraints of everyday work. This usually included the wealthy because they could abstain from daily work and focus on learning from great teachers such as Aristotle and Plato. This definition of leisure continued into the Jewish culture, where the Pharisees and other teachers of the law were the only ones able to experience this leisure because they were not preoccupied with life’s everyday tasks. The common person wished desperately for this privilege. However, it remained just out of reach as he or she was so wrapped up with keeping the family clothed and nourished that he or she never had time for leisure. Tevya in “Fiddler of the Roof” expresses this plight of the poor in the song “If I were a Rich Man” when he dreams about sitting in the synagogue with the wise men and reading the Torah. Unfortunately, this desire is impossible, as he does not have the time to read but must spend all his time keeping his family alive instead (Oswalt 40).

The view of leisure changed over the centuries as the importance of work increased while leisure's value decreased. This view was very
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