My very ability to work tirelessly hour after hour is a product of decades of better-than-average medical care, a high-protein diet, and workouts in gyms that charge $400 or $500 a year. If I am now a productive fake member of the working class, it’s because I haven’t been working, in any hard physical sense, long enough.
Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and dimed: On (not) getting by in America
“If you want to be fit, just fire your cleaning lady and do it yourself.” “Ho ho,” is all I say, since… I can’t explain that this form of exercise is totally asymmetrical, brutally repetitive, and as likely to destroy the musculoskeletal structure as to strengthen it.
Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed: On (not) getting by in America
“I think we need some kind of adversity in our lives. We need the threat of falling off a cliff, physically. Like how people go on holidays where the main idea isn’t relaxation, but the feeling of life being threatened, by say, malaria, or a tiger attack, food poisoning, robbing. You know, thrill seeking.”
Andrew Cheah, “Anaesthesia” in Best New Singaporean Short Stories Volume Two
We weren’t made for the office cubicle. Maybe that’s why depression is an urban disease. We lack adversity — and even more so now.
Leisure, in the true, now almost forgotten sense of the word, is activity without extrinsic end, “purposiveness without purpose,” as Kant put it. The sculptor engrossed I cutting marble, the teacher intent on imparting a difficult idea, the musician struggling with a score, a scientist exploring the mysteries of space and time – such people have no other aim than to do what they are doing well. They may receive an income for their efforts, but that income is not what motivates them. In our terms, they are engaged in leisure, not toil.
Robert and Edward Skidelsky, How much is enough?
I do wonder, why am I spending my free time, typing excerpts from books and putting them on the internet? I suppose it is an activity with an end in itself. Perhaps it gives me satisfaction of some form.
A bit like how people edit articles on Wikipedia or upload music online for free.