Sunday, April 4, 2010

Fixing the US, Part V: We Need Leisure Time!

Here is a comment I posted on a New York Times blog entry by Paul Krugman. Krugman points out that European social systems are designed to allow their citizens a good deal of leisure; yet here in the United States, we work harder in constant stress.


Posted by: Owl Who Laughs
Location: Maine

For tens of thousands of years, the hunter-gatherer lifestyle fostered a good deal of leisure. Humans were not designed to toil into exhaustion at an incessant pace, one that gobbles up most of life and annihilates countless opportunities for meaning, passion, and depth.

Only in countries that embrace free market extremes, such as the United States, where the pursuit of money is sadly prioritized far above the pursuit of virtue, could this question of the relevance of leisure even be debated. It indicts us that this is an issue.

Future anthropologists will look back on our obsession--wasting our lives in a funnel of stress, hassle and bustle--as remotely as we look back on the Roman practice of ogling mass slaughter in the Arena.

Being born is like winning the lottery. To squander your existence after achieving such a gift is anathema to the deepest principles and intuitions of beauty and dignity.

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