Some Perks To Living A Life of Leisure (Day 171)

(photo credit: Cincinnati-Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum “Angel in Contemplation” by David Ohmer on

One of my favorite websites/blogs is called “Brainpickings” and is written and curated by a woman called Maria Popova. She calls it “my one-woman labor of love–a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why.”

While reading today’s post, I came across a few lines that really made me think. I often find that I can’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to cultural norms. I am so embedded in our culture and the behavior that it drives that I can’t see what is often right in front of me. (that was a rather clunky way to say what I want to say, but it’s all I’ve got for now.)

What Popova has to say about leisure is not at all clunky and gave me some food for thought for the day. Here’s a piece of what she had to say (you can read the entire post by clicking here):

“Today, in our culture of productivity-fetishism, we have succumbed to the tyrannical notion of “work/life balance” and have come to see the very notion of “leisure” not as essential to the human spirit but as self-indulgent luxury reserved for the privileged or deplorable idleness reserved for the lazy. And yet the most significant human achievements between Aristotle’s time and our own — our greatest art, the most enduring ideas of philosophy, the spark for every technological breakthrough — originated in leisure, in moments of unburdened contemplation, of absolute presence with the universe within one’s own mind and absolute attentiveness to life without, be it Galileo inventing modern timekeeping after watching a pendulum swing in a cathedral or Oliver Sacks illuminating music’s incredible effects on the mind while hiking in a Norwegian fjord.”

In the words of the fictional Linda Richman from Saturday Night Live’s Coffee Talk, “Talk amongst yourselves.”


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