Recreation, Leisure and Play

3835 words 16 pages

The idea of leisure has been in existence for many centuries and has come to have many different meanings depending on the period in history or the civilization that it originated from. From as early as Ancient Greece, Rome or Babylonia, the term we now know as leisure has existed in some form or another. As has been widely noted in introductory recreation texts, schole was both the ancient Greek word for leisure meaning, “serious activity without the pressure of necessity” and is the root of the English word for school (Godbey, 2003). To the ancient Greeks, leisure, education, and culture were intertwined. In other words, learning was available only for the rich, people with the wealth to afford free time. Leisure, as we
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• Do having priorities that are not in sync with our desires negate our free will?

These questions came after having a conversation with my friend. She told me that when you are a parent, you have obligations to your children that may interfere with your free time. This is where the damn breaks open and it is up to the individual to decide. Her question was, “What if my needs as a parent cannot be fulfilled because I have work to make sure my kids are fed and clothed?” I feel that even though you have the responsibility as a parent to provide for your children, you made the decision to have a child knowing full well the obligations and responsibilities that would ultimately come with that decision. Free time, who would have thought two little words, would bring up so many questions?

My Definition of Leisure

After contemplating on the various definitions of the term leisure I propose the following:

Leisure is the phenomenon experienced by all self aware beings whose decisions are based out of free will, whether those decisions are made in the conscious or subconscious mind of the individual.


Recreation is any activity which is relaxing to humans or provides diversions from their normal routine, and in many ways is also a therapeutic refreshment of one's body or mind. Any activity can potentially be a recreational one. Vacations to exotic islands, sporting events, meditation, watching television, or playing


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