Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The waste of free time

I am currently reading Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It is very interesting - many things I have never thought of, along with many things that make me say "of course!"

Page 162 contains the most concise and clear conveyance of my views that I have ever seen. In part: "The tremendous leisure industry that has arisen in the last few generations has been designed to help fill free time with enjoyable experiences... instead of using our physical and mental resources to experience flow, most of us spend many hours each week watching celebrated athletes playing in enormous stadiums. Instead of making music, we listen to platinum records cut by millionaire musicians...This vicarious participation is able to mask, at least temporarily, the underlying emptiness of wasted time. But it is a very pale substitute for attention invested in real challenges...The energy that could be used to focus on complex goals, to provide for enjoyable growth, is squandered on patterns of stimulation that only mimic reality...Mass leisure, mass culture... are parasites of the mind. ... Their purpose is to make money for someone else. If we allow them to, they can suck out the marrow of our lives, leaving only feeble husks... 'The future,' wrote C.K. Brightbill, 'will belong not only to the educated man, but to the man who is educated to use his leisure wisely'."

Thank you, Dr. Csikszentmihalyi.

As I reach the years of my upper thirties, I am increasingly needing to find ways to understand myself better. It is very helpful to find expressions of others who have already been in the place I find myself now.

Back to something more challenging than typing a blog post...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post, truly inspiring! I'm heading for that book, looks like a great read!