Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Need For Rest and Leisure

Koreans are tired. They have the longest working hours, and children the  longest hours for study. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in its survey of 18 countries showed that Koreans had the least hours of sleep for both adults and children. Korea in the last 50 years was the country that achieved the  fastest  rate of growth,  a sign of their diligence, and if they did not achieve this success with sacrificing even sleep would it have been normal? The  leading role in this leap in progress are now the elders in our society, and of 91 countries, Korea was listed as the 67th  in welfare programs for the elderly, which the columnist considers a big embarrassment.

The columnist is an educator who writes in Window from the Ark of the Catholic Times. Our present competitive society directs us to will what we want to achieve, but at a great price, sacrificing leisure and overworking; often times feeling guilty for resting and becoming addicted to work. The environment  in which they work, pushing for efficiency and production leads a large percentage of the work force to feel burnt out. 

At this stage there is a loss of desire. Similar to an excess of voltage in an electric line which causes the fuse to blow. The worker loses the meaning for life, and runs out of energy.

Burnout Syndrome does not only affect the person but his family, the work place and society.When together with others we have the meeting of a tired society. This becomes contagious, easily spreads and we have the making of psychological problems. 

Rest and leisure are not a waste of time. Why is it that we don't understand the reason for rest and leisure?  He mentions a study made that showed that those who have leisure and sufficient sleep are better able to fight off dementia: the best and cheapest way of fighting off the aging of the brain.

God made us to play. He shows us a number of passages where we have the day of rest, festivities, dancing, and banquets.There is a need for a rhythm in life of work and rest. We are  made to  celebrate-- homo festivus. The Sabbath Day is the best example of this. He concludes the article by asking the church to take notice of the  seriousness and sorrow in  society and help the tired ones to enjoy the creation that God has given us.                                                                          
“I praise the dance, for it frees people from the heaviness of matter and binds the isolated to community” [Augustine]

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