Sunday, July 30, 2017

It's a Gift

This is the main question, with what activity one's leisure is filled.

— Aristotle

Judging from friends' Facebook posts, we're amusing ourselves to death.

But that's an illusion.

The fact is, we're working—if we're working—more than ever. Not always by choice, but often.

In Leisure, the Basis of Culture, the philosopher Josef Pieper blamed careerism on our "refusal to accept a gift, no matter where it comes from.”

We've been brainwashed by advertisers to believe everything worth anything you earn, like some goddamn badge. We even treat leisure as something to earn, sharing selfies from our exotic travels like they were medals of achievement.

It's a sign of pride, the worst of the seven deadly sins.

But you don't earn leisure. It's a gift. And it isn't time off to "recharge the battery." As Pieper believed, it is the battery.

"Leisure lives on affirmation," Pieper said.

To be “at leisure” is one of humanity's defining abilities.

You can't really give at work until you're willing to receive the gift of leisure.

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