Leisure Quotes

Quotes tagged as "leisure" Showing 1-30 of 148
Heraclitus
“Time is a game played beautifully by children.”
Heraclitus, Fragments

Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Anne Brontë
“Reading is my favourite occupation, when I have leisure for it and books to read.”
Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey

Abraham Lincoln
“My father taught me to work, but not to love it. I never did like to work, and I don't deny it. I'd rather read, tell stories, crack jokes, talk, laugh -- anything but work.”
Abraham Lincoln

Tom Petty
“I've learned one thing, and that's to quit worrying about stupid things. You have four years to be irresponsible here, relax. Work is for people with jobs. You'll never remember class time, but you'll remember the time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So stay out late. Go out with your friends on a Tuesday when you have a paper due on Wednesday. Spend money you don't have. Drink 'til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does...”
Tom Petty

George MacDonald
“Certainly work is not always required of a man. There is such a thing as a sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.”
George Mac Donald, Wilfrid Cumbermede

Masanobu Fukuoka
“I do not particularly like the word 'work.' Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.”
Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution

Elisabeth Elliot
“Work is a blessing. God has so arranged the world that work is necessary, and He gives us hands and strength to do it. The enjoyment of leisure would be nothing if we had only leisure. It is the joy of work well done that enables us to enjoy rest, just as it is the experiences of hunger and thirst that make food and drink such pleasures.”
Elisabeth Elliot, Discipline: The Glad Surrender

Charles Bukowski
“In the old days, before I was married, or knew a lot of women, I would just pull down all the shades and go to bed for three or four days. I'd get up to shit. I'd eat a can of beans, go back to bed, just stay there for three or four days. Then I'd put on my clothes and I'd walk outside, and the sunlight was brilliant, and the sounds were great. I felt powerful, like a recharged battery. But you know the first bring-down? The first human face I saw on the sidewalk, I lost half my charge right there.”
Charles Bukowski, Charles Bukowski: Sunlight Here I Am: Interviews and Encounters 1963-1993

“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both.”
L.P. Jacks

George Orwell
“A plongeur is a slave, and a wasted slave, doing stupid and largely unnecessary work. He is kept at work, ultimately, because of a vague feeling that he would be dangerous if he had leisure. And educated people, who should be on his side, acquiesce in the process, because they know nothing about him and consequently are afraid of him.”
George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London

Francine Jay
“My goal is no longer to get more done, but rather to have less to do.”
Francine Jay, Miss Minimalist: Inspiration to Downsize, Declutter, and Simplify

Wendell Berry
“My wish simply is to live my life as fully as I can. In both our work and our leisure, I think, we should be so employed. And in our time this means that we must save ourselves from the products that we are asked to buy in order, ultimately, to replace ourselves.”
Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

J.G. Ballard
“If their work is satisfying people don't need leisure in the old-fashioned sense. No one ever asks what Newton or Darwin did to relax, or how Bach spent his weekends. At Eden-Olympia work is the ultimate play, and play the ultimate work.”
J.G. Ballard, Super-Cannes

Aldo Leopold
“What is a hobby anyway? Where is the line of demarcation between hobbies and ordinary normal pursuits? I have been unable to answer this question to my own satisfaction. At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant. Certainly many of our most satisfying avocations today consist of making something by hand which machines can usually make more quickly and cheaply, and sometimes better. Nevertheless I must in fairness admit that in a different age the mere fashioning of a machine might have been an excellent hobby... Today the invention of a new machine, however noteworthy to industry, would, as a hobby, be trite stuff. Perhaps we have here the real inwardness of our own question: A hobby is a defiance of the contemporary. It is an assertion of those permanent values which the momentary eddies of social evolution have contravened or overlooked. If this is true, then we may also say that every hobbyist is inherently a radical, and that his tribe is inherently a minority.

This, however, is serious: Becoming serious is a grievous fault in hobbyists. It is an axiom that no hobby should either seek or need rational justification. To wish to do it is reason enough. To find reasons why it is useful or beneficial converts it at once from an avocation into an industry–lowers it at once to the ignominious category of an 'exercise' undertaken for health, power, or profit. Lifting dumbbells is not a hobby. It is a confession of subservience, not an assertion of liberty.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There

Winston S. Churchill
“Golf is a game whose aim is to hit a very small ball into an ever smaller hole, with weapons singularly ill-designed for the purpose”
Winston S. Churchill

Wendell Berry
“We can say without exaggeration that the present national ambition of the United States is unemployment. People live for quitting time, for weekends, for vacations, and for retirement; moreover, this ambition seems to be classless, as true in the executive suites as on the assembly lines. One works not because the work is necessary, valuable, useful to a desirable end, or because one loves to do it, but only to be able to quit - a condition that a saner time would regard as infernal, a condemnation.”
Wendell Berry, Bringing it to the Table: On Farming and Food

CrimethInc.
“A day unemployed is like a bagel- even when it's bad, it's still pretty good...”
CrimethInc., Evasion

Henry David Thoreau
“This world is a place of business. What an infinite bustle! I am awaked almost every night by the panting of the locomotive. It interrupts my dreams. There is no sabbath. It would be glorious to see mankind at leisure for once. It is nothing but work, work, work. I cannot easily buy a blank-book to write thoughts in; they are commonly ruled for dollars and cents. An Irishman, seeing me making a minute in the fields, took it for granted that I was calculating my wages. If a man was tossed out of a window when an infant, and so made a cripple for life, or scared out of his wits by the Indians, it is regretted chiefly because he was thus incapacitated for—business! I think that there is nothing, not even crime, more opposed to poetry, to philosophy, ay, to life itself, than this incessant business.”
Henry David Thoreau, Life Without Principle

Virginia Woolf
“If you are losing your leisure, look out! -- It may be you are losing your soul.”
Virginia Woolf

Wilkie Collins
“The dull people decided years and years ago, as everyone knows, that novel-writing was the lowest species of literary exertion, and that novel reading was a dangerous luxury and an utter waste of time.”
Wilkie Collins, My Miscellanies

Amit Kalantri
“The job of feets is walking, but their hobby is dancing.”
Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words

W.H. Davies
“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.”
W.H. Davies, Common Joys and Other Poems

Elfriede Jelinek
“Sunday, the day for the language of leisure.”
Elfriede Jelinek, The Piano Teacher

Thorstein Veblen
“The quasi-peaceable gentleman of leisure, then, not only consumes of the staff of life beyond the minimum required for subsistence and physical efficiency, but his consumption also undergoes a specialisation as regards the quality of the goods consumed. He consumes freely and of the best, in food, drink, narcotics, shelter, services, ornaments, apparel, weapons and accoutrements, amusements, amulets, and idols or divinities.”
Thorstein Veblen

Ha-Joon Chang
“Above a certain level of income, the relative value of material consumption vis-a-vis leisure time is diminished, so earning a higher income at the cost of working longer hours may reduce the quality of your life. More importantly, the fact that the citizens of a country work longer than others in comparable countries does not necessarily mean that they like working longer hours. They may be compelled to work long hours, even if they actually want to take longer holidays.”
Ha-Joon Chang, 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism

Patrick Leigh Fermor
“I found my mind wandering at games; loved boxing and was good at it; and in summer, having chosen rowing instead of cricket, lay peacefully by the Stour, well upstream of the rhythmic creaking and the exhortation, reading Lily Christine and Gibbon and gossiping with kindred lotus-eaters under the willow-branches.”
Patrick Leigh Fermor, A Time of Gifts

A.E. Housman
“To stand up straight and tread the turning mill,
To lie flat and know nothing and be still,
Are the two trades of man; and which is worse
I know not, but I know that both are ill.”
A.E. Housman, More Poems

Robert Graves
“To resist the social pressure now put even on one's leisure time, requires a tougher upbringing and a more obstinate willfulness about going one's own way, than ever before.”
Robert Graves

Hannah Arendt
“The relatively new trouble with mass society is perhaps even more serious, but not because of the masses themselves, but because this society is essentially a consumers’ society where leisure time is used no longer for self-perfection or acquisition of more social status, but for more and more consumption and more and more entertainment…To believe that such a society will become more “cultured” as time goes on and education has done its work, is, I think, a fatal mistake. The point is that a consumers’ society cannot possibly know how to take care of a world and the things which belong exclusively to the space of worldly appearances, because its central attitude toward all objects, the attitude of consumption, spells ruin to everything it touches.”
Hannah Arendt, Between Past and Future

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