The infinite revolution of the wheel of life continues and man moves along with it, continuously being under enormous stress. He constantly longs for moments when he can leave his mind to roam free in the corridors of relaxation. The onuses beckon him and wherever he goes anxiety chases him. There is no respite whatsoever for him form his obligations. The necessity of leisure becomes imminent and comes as a breather in the choking atmosphere of worries.
Stevenson wrote an essay “An Apology for Idlers’ in which he ridicules the Victorian emphasis on too much work and too much craze for money making. Ruskin says that the commonest fact about our lives is, whatever we have, to have something else; ad wherever we are, to go somewhere else. Civilization seems to be on the verge of nervous breakdown. Something like and evil and an invisible driving force have robbed life of all rest and relaxation. Even when we are not physically overworked we are mentally so. It has robbed life of all its equipoise and equilibrium. Serenity and harmony are no more in life and taking our time to stand and star is required.
Whenever we find someone in mental dilemma he is advised to take a holiday to regroup his energy and start with a new vigor. There is no escaping work but the idea of getting obsessed with it shows its futility. The leisure hours need not be spent in vain as T.S. Eliot has rightly remarked about the longevity of being as “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons” but in pursuing all those interests that man has always craved fro. Some might find solace in holidaying, being in song with nature, arms and legs spread with sun beating down hard but with noting to worry about.
When the leisure ‘valley’ is short, one might get engrossed in a volume of fiction or be among the fragrance of flowers and the tenderness of the garden grass. The time spent with the near and dear ones a game of football in the backyard may well soothe the nerves of the mind. Diving into the depths of music and coming out humming the favorite tune instead of the usual curse for work might be the change one just needs. The utmost pleasure that is attained by not doing something which is a compulsion but what the heart itself yearns to do is the essence of leisure. It helps in recuperation as well as in increasing the sphere and variety of activities. The new lease of enthusiasm obtained after the concurrent periods of leisure after the concurrent periods of leisure helps in the better implementation of both physical and mental efforts in completing the mandatory routines.
The leisure periods should be intermittent to those of work and when the reverse becomes operative then such rest becomes burdening. A poem of Tennyson pictures an island where people do not work and are continuously resting. They are known as ‘Lotus Eaters’. To those who know work as the pith of life these ‘Lotus Eaters’ are not at all enviable. A idle mind and an idle body are a devil’s workshop. Unnecessary gossips, interference with others’ affairs, drinking and even addictions afflict such idle minds. Leisure, if being used an excuse for endurance, results in proliferation of vagrants and mendicants who corrode at the very principle of ‘Work is Worship’.
The substance of perceiving the enigma of spending the leisure time lies in eliminating tediousness and enjoying life rather than living it for the sake of it. The forethought requires utilizing the free time as a balm on the aching head as well as using the head for a positive outcome rather than letting it get diverted towards the wrong side of the coin.