Leisure: the Basis of Culture

It’s a great book and it’s completely true. What civilization affords us is enough space in our day to play and create all the stuff that makes us human. You need to have enough goof off time in your day to dream up The Lord of the Rings, or the wheel, or written language, or relativity. It is a mark of a civilization that somebody like Geert Chatrou is able to cultivate an awesome ability to whistle (and thereby bless the world) rather than be forced into some deadly job in a bureaucracy where his gifts go unheard, crushed and ignored:

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  • Michael J. Lichens

    I love Pieper! If you can, also read his work on festivity (In Tune With the World).

  • Marcus Letz

    Indeed. This reminds me of a talk I once heard by Fr. Thomas Dubay wherein he made the point that our work ought to support our leisure, not the other way around. Leisure, properly understood, is the height of human experience.

  • Faith Roberts

    I gotta show this to my 13 yo son. He is already a great whistler. He can whistle two notes at once (like those Buddhist throat singers, another thing he’s taught himself to do!) and he just taught himself how to hit the high note in some song from one of the Zelda games (needing a three octave range). This guy will totally freak him out!

  • Cantorboy

    Very cool, but……..
    once again you just had to remind me that I have indeed wasted my whole life. Guess I was due.