Could there be a connection to a LIFE without leisure and some of the conflicts that we are witnessing in the world today? Could we trace many of the world’s problems to the fact that we are “too busy“ to solve them? The Greeks defined school (skol), meaning leisure. From those first leisure activities in the town square came the creation of the world’s first democracy. Socrates was to have said, “The unexamined mind is not worth living”. He felt it was important to take time for inward attention and “know thyself”. Studying history leads to the insight that there is a connection to the most flourishing periods of history and literacy, thought, and ideas. A review of the renaissance period reveals that taking time to read led to an increase in literacy. Taking time to read and think can lead to the generation of the imagination. Ideas lead to creativity and innovation, which leads to prosperity. This led to more leisure, which led to greater demands for the arts and literature. This period of time was very productive for inventions. Could there be a connection to leisure and mental fitness ?
What has happened to today’s world? It seems like we are slaves to our own technology. Are humans actually supposed to be attached to all of our technological devices? Today’s view of success appears to be defined by our busyness. I heard a saying, “the person who cannot see the ultimate becomes a slave to the immediate.” On one of Chris Brady’s audios, he sites a quote from Henry David Thoreau, “It’s not so much to be busy, so too are the ants.” Could there be a link to all this ‘busyness’ and the rise of anxiety and stress? What is the impact on our families and the economy from being so busy? One study showed that 80% of families in the U.S. did not buy a book. This leads to functional illiteracy, which effects all of us. It appears that being busy can be linked to the changes made in the school system’s curriculum’s’ around 1913 when it shifted the emphasis to career training instead of focusing on classical liberal education. This shift created an emphasis on jobs instead of the classical education. This led to training instead of courses that stimulated thought. Professor of Business Administration at the University of Southern California, Warren Bennis said, "The educational system is really better at training than educating." What was the motivation for this change?
A friend of mine recently described a scene that says it all. He was at Orrin Woodward’s house on a promotion when he witnessed something profound. Taking a mid day break Orrin was lying on the hammock while his book was closed on his chest. My friend overheard Orrin’s wife Laurie asking their son Jordon not to disturb Orrin while he was on the hammock, “Don’t bother your dad while he is working”. Hans Finzel said, “Leaders are paid to be dreamers.” How many of us take the time to reflect or contemplate? When was the last time you had one hour of sustained silence? When the conscious mind is relaxed, the subconscious mind takes over. When was the last time you took time to ponder? Dreaming is reality to the subconscious mind. In many ways your business is your dream. Orrin says, “Always make your dream bigger than your income.” Dreaming doesn’t waste time, it saves time. When you take time to dream, you develop something that was not there before in conscious thinking.
Without leisure, the imagination cannot be nurtured. Einstein said, “ The imagination is more powerful than knowledge.” The imagination is the key to man’s success. It’s the source of human improvement. It prevents us from ever being satisfied with our past attainments. Destroy this faculty and the condition of man will become stationary. Maybe we are seeing the first symptoms of the lack of imagination in the problems we are witnessing in the family, finances, or the declining state of the community. What would happen if there was a community that would challenge each of our mental imaginations to learn to grow sound ideas that resulted in improvements to relationships, friendships, family, or finances. I recently read that Newton’s discovery of the spectrum of light came from watching a child’s bubbles, when he observed the rainbows. When was the last time you took the time to smell the roses? There just might be something more to a LIFE of leisure. God Bless, George Guzzardo