This article warns that “the hectic pace of modern life has a detrimental effect on the human spirit.” Modern man has no time to spend free time in the lap of nature. It is a protest about our unnecessary commitment to worldly affairs and objects. Animals are better than us at enjoying what matters – fresh air, nature, stars. By being too preoccupied, we are missing the loveliness of the woods and streams, the feet of a girl dancing in the fields.
The poet in the above lines brings out the importance of leisure in our lives. This is basically what differentiates a man, from a machine. For a while a machine can work incessantly, man cannot. He needs some leisure, so that his body and mind can get some rest, from the stress and strain of everyday life. This not only provides relaxation, but at times helps in his work, by bringing forth new ideas and thoughts, conjectured while at leisure.
Thus, if we are able to plan our leisurely hours, it would not only make us happy, but also improve our working and our lifestyle. This would in turn have a positive bearing on our health and family life. It is on account of this fundamental truth, human psychology and progressive organisation, encourages their employees to take time off for leisure. They either sponsor their employees to take club membership, or send them on short vacations to exotic places, where they can be close to nature. It not only provides them the much required change from their daily routine, but also invigorates them, by injecting new life into their work. Leisure could be enjoyed in different ways. Some people would like to go to clubs or social gatherings, for greater social interaction. While others would prefer to go to a gym or play games, to exercise their body and mind. Still others would engage in catching up on their old hobby of reading books, or classics. The adventurous few would take to hiking, camping, tracking, gliding as all the above lends variety and adds an element of thrill into our life. It freshens our mind and lends variety to our life, which would otherwise be a drudgery of routine.
Life in the cities has become so mechanical, that we are going further and further away from nature. It is important for us that we appreciate nature by going out into the countryside. Those of us who have the time should take up some sort of social work, for this will not only bring inner satisfaction, but will also make us feel happy and content.
It is however unfortunate to see the younger generation not putting their leisure to proper use. It is quite common to find youngsters wiling away their time in the pursuit of illusionary enjoyment, that could be in the form of engaging in vices like gambling and drugs. This is indeed a dangerous way of killing time. For if we kill time, it will sooner or later kill us. This amounts to a criminal misuse of our leisure, and will be regretted someday.
A happy man is one who knows and appreciates the value of his leisurely hours. He consciously utilises this time in doing good deeds, like social welfare for the poor and underprivileged. He knows the true meaning of life, for in the words of P.J.Bailey, “We live in deeds not years, in thoughts nor breathes in feeling, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heartthrobs. He most lives who thinks most feels the noblest, acts the best”.
Richa Singh is a student pursuing Economics from Jamia Millia Islamia.
Edited by: Rutba Iqbal
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.