Importance of Being Lazy: In Praise of Play, Leisure, and Vacations

Importance of Being Lazy: In Praise of Play, Leisure, and Vacations

Importance of Being Lazy: In Praise of Play, Leisure, and Vacations

Importance of Being Lazy: In Praise of Play, Leisure, and Vacations

Synopsis

The great American fantasy is about leisure: wooded getaways, Caribbean cruises, white-water rafting, the lights of Las Vegas.Yet one in four Americans does not take a vacation at all. We know how to work hard but not how to play.What we really need, argues Al Gini, is some time off. The Importance of Being Lazy takes us on family road trips, to Disneyland, on shopping sprees, on extreme sports adventures, and into the ultimate vacation - retirement - asking why we venerate vacations and why "doing nothing" is a fundamental human necessity.

Excerpt

I do not like work even when someone else does it.

—Mark Twain

Aristotle said, “We work in order to have leisure. ” Who of us can seriously disagree with this statement? Another line from Aristotle, “we are unleisurely in order to achieve leisure” Could anything be clearer? And yet according to the statistics generated by the Department of Labor, as adults there is nothing we do more with our lives than work. From approximately the ages of 21 to 70, we will spend our lives working. We will not sleep as much, spend as much time with our families, eat as much, or recreate and rest as much as we will work. Whether we love our work or hate it, succeed in it or fail, achieve fame or infamy through it, we are all, like Sisyphus, condemned to push and chase that thing we call our job, our career, our work all of our days. “Even those of us who desperately don’t want to work, ” said Ogden Nash, “must work in order to earn enough money so that they won’t have to work anymore!” Like it or not, our collective leitmotif is not leisure but labor!

America has always been a land and a society of contrasts and paradoxes. One of the most glaring conflicts in our con

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