“The Polynesian islanders had probably the highest standards of leisure in the world,” wrote anthropologist, F.M. Keesing. I was struck by that phrase….”the highest standards of leisure in the world.”*
I wonder sometimes in our busy, instant world what kind of value we place on “leisure“, or if leisure has become part of the fabric of our busyness, something to schedule or shoehorn into our busy lives.
Play or leisure is still something to be valued in our culture but are we really able to exhale, to relax, to be “lazy” without judging ourselves or sensing that others are judging us?
As a result of our technology– centric new world, we are being dragged by our wireless extensions of laptops, cellphones, games, and twitter-feeds into a ‘seemless” metaverse where work, play, and family seem to be converging into one world.
I sat at a casual lunch with a friend the other day in which the conversation was constantly being interrupted by texts and vibrations that included children, bosses, and employees.
Of course, we all are told that we need to unplug from technology in order to be able to “reboot” our lives. We have all read about the “30 day experiments” , the weekend unplugs where individuals, people groups, families embark on the process together.
But might it also be that we need to also keep in mind that “leisure” is not a dirty word, that it can be an aspirational pursuit in a world that values connectivity over peace. Could it be that we make play something like sports where we put the gadgets away to concentrate on the ball on the court or the play.
I asked a mom the other day why she had a big, clunky pink otter covering her iphone. She said she didn’t want to get it wet if it fell into the ocean on one of her walks on the beach.
Just perhaps, we could find those half hours or hours where we converse over lunch without interruption, or take a walk without at otter.
It really is okay to not always have a plan and to take a rest from the busyness of the world in which we live.