Leisures in Modern times

Leisure is an important part of life. Leisure is not idleness nor non activity but it implies an activity which is meaningful, fruitful and enjoyable. Leisure time is a time of personal fulfilment and pleasure. It is freedom from monotony, boredom and drudgery of life. It is a time when one pursues what one likes most. It is as important as the work itself which forms our means of livelihood.

The modern age of automation, better standard of living and longevity has further broadened and liberalized the concept of leisure. The wonderful scientific and technological inventions, discoveries and developments have reduced the hours of working and consequently man has now more time to enjoy leisure and hobbies. But to make a meaningful use of leisure time is nothing short of an art. Very few people know how to make best use of the leisure time. One needs to develop a proper perspective to make most meaningful and satisfying use of the spare moments.

Different people spend their leisure in different ways. Some people have no definite idea or plan in this respect. Some others may treat this period as a time of rest and sleep. To many others it is a time of some creative and aesthetic pursuit and inner fulfilment and growth. They play music, grow plants, write poems, practice meditation or render social service. To many it is time for simple entertainment and they go to theatres, see movies or exchange visits with friends and relatives.

But in this age of electronics most of the people spend their leisure before their television sets. The craze and popularity of television is rapidly increasing further and further. A great part of their free time is being spent in viewing programmes on the idiot box. There are interesting serials, spicy films, dances, chat shows, interviews, various types of information, latest news, weather forecasts, analysis of events and happenings and many more things all the 24 hours of the day. There are scores of channels to choose from. One has to do nothing. There is neither mental exercise nor physical activity. You have to just sit and watch things happen on the small screen. Even children are great TV enthusiasts. They have cartoon films and other programmes to keep them glued to their TV sets.

Such a craze and popularity of TV has created many social, psychological, physical, family and mental problems. It has marginalised reading, social activities and outdoor hobbies to a great extent. It is particularly harmful for children. They spend 3-4 hours or more daily in viewing television programmes. Consequently, they grow mature before their age, acquire lots of knowledge but never grow wisdom and lose much of their valuable fun, pleasure and enjoyment peculiar to childhood.

These days leisure has grown into a big business and industry. People have invested huge sums of money in developing luxury hotels, motels, holiday homes, video games resorts, golf courses, places of water sports, fun and health clubs. There are package tours, chartered flights and other attractions to make your spare time really interesting, enjoyable, exciting and memorable.

Our life is now far more free and leisurely than it was for our forefathers. But this abundance of leisure and spare time may turn into a curse if not used properly and wisely in some pleasant, enjoyable and healthy hobby. It is after day’s hard work that one enjoys one’s leisure the most. Rest is sweetest only after exhaustion. Leisure provides us with a rare opportunity to satisfy our inner spiritual and aesthetic demands. But problem is how many of us are really well equipped to meet these demands?

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