the greatest problems arising out of the social, economic, and industrial
conditions of our society is the wise use of spare time.
This problem is of vital importance not only for the individual bur for
society. Most people are now faced
with fewer working hours and therefore more spare time.
With a shorter working day, a personís physical and mental resources
are not exhausted. Choosing how to
use this extra time wisely is difficult because of the richness of the options
available: sources of amusement, facilities for games and sports, centers of art
and music, libraries, and schools where various skills may be learned.
to Increased Production and Consumption
function of leisure is largely determined by the kind and amount of free time
and by the ideas of the age. When
spare time consists of short breaks between long periods of sustained labor, its
function is thought of as recreation Ė relaxing the worker so that he can work
more efficiency after the break. When
the goals are efficiency of work, increased production, more power and more
wealth, the function of leisure is the same Ė to increase the productive power
of the worker. The purpose behind
the measures taken by many employers to secure better homes for their employees,
better working conditions, restrooms, and recreation is a higher standard of
to Human Development
function of leisure described above fails to touch the fundamental purpose of
all education and of all society. This
is the development of the complete individual.
The goal is a social order in which each individual shall be able to
realize the fullest potential of which he is capable and be recognized by others
for what he is, regardless of the circumstances in which he was born.
dominating function of leisure cannot continue to be merely recreation of
further work and increase in consumption of goods, but must center upon
appreciation, creation, and service since by such means the development of the
individual may be secured.
OF LEISURE-TIME ACTIVITIES
time activities comprise the entire range of human endeavor, for what is career
activity to one person may be a leisure-time activity to another.
In general, leisure activities include hobbies, avocations, sports,
recreation, reading, music, arts and crafts, and the entire range of creative
work. They also involve forms of
non-career public and personal service.
activities are those engaged in as a way to release from the daily routine of
labor; they are calculated to make a person forget.
They must, therefore, be absorbing and as different as possible from the
activities of a personís career. They
are, in a real sense, often re-creative, for they use muscles and nerve centers
not used in the usual daily tasks. By
far the great majority of men and women employ their leisure time in ways that
are purely or largely escape activities. Commercialized
recreation is largely given over to this type of activity and, therefore, a real
need for definite attention to and planning for the other constructive forms of
leisure-time activity exists.
Cultural and Appreciation Activities
cultural and appreciation activities are those engaged in to broaden the
outlook; widen the horizon; keep in touch with world movement or scientific
developments; enjoy music, art or literature; and maintain and deepen a
personís intellectual, moral and spiritual nature.
activities are those in which a person actively creates.
The field of such activities is wide and offers opportunity for everyone.
This category would include the production or composition of music,
painting and sculpture; working in wood, metal and other materials; cooking,
dressmaking and embroidery; writing and any other activity in which the person
is not a spectator but actually produces something, whether it is valuable or
activities, or things done for others, would include personal service for a
member of the family of a friend; public service for the city, state, nation, or
world; and activities for various clubs and social groups.
Many creative activities also become service activities.
In choosing among leisure-time activities, no one type should be engaged in exclusively. Everyone should select some of each type of activity that leads to actual development. For some, selecting an escape activity may even be wise, but it should not be the major part of a personís choice.
of Escape Activities
person burdened with care and anxiety, who works long, hard hours, escape
activities may restore health and ease the mind.
When such activities are chosen, they should be as different as possible
form activities in the daily job. Therefore,
a person who works indoors should choose a leisure that requires physical effort
and a person who works outdoors might choose an indoor, relatively quiet
of Service Activities
Contributing to the well-being and development of others is the purpose of service activities. Common citizenship duties may be viewed as a form of service activities. Service opportunities are available in business clubs, womenís clubs, parent-teacher associations, church organizations, and welfare drives, to mention only a few. The service occupations of teaching ministry, medicine, social work and law provide opportunities for all three forms of leisure activities Ė culture and appreciation, creation and service.
HERE to download the worksheet for leisure.