Friday Vs Pieper

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When I first started working, I promised myself that I’d never be “that person”—you know, the one who lived for the weekends. As time went by, however, I found myself increasingly looking forward Friday rituals—“TGIF!” emails, the Starbucks run to celebrate the end of the week, weekend to-do lists. It did not take long for me to get from my Friday fixation to asking myself about the purpose of life. In Leisure, Basis of Culture, Josef Pieper, a twentieth century German Catholic philosopher, talks about a connection between leisure and the world of work (i.e., world of utilitarian measures). For Pieper, leisure and the world of work are two fundamentally different ways of approaching reality, and our understanding of human existence is derived from one or the other.…show more content…
He recognizes both that it is necessary for sustainment of life and that God created man with the ability to do work. It is good for me to remember to be thankful for my job on Monday’s as well as Friday’s. But those who find meaning only in how much they produce or how far ahead they get have forgotten what it means to be human. Life cannot be reduced to a formula to maximize output, and if we allow ourselves to forget that we are not just functionaries, we are subjecting ourselves to slavery of the mind and a kind of spiritual impoverishment, according to Piper. Only when we step outside of the routine do we encounter mystery, wonder, and hope, which arise only from contemplation. These experiences are what foster our ability for leisure, and on Pieper’s thesis, as leisure develops, so does culture. He sees the two as almost synonymous, defining culture as human achievement that transcends utility: poetry, art, music, education. Piper argues that the greatest capacity for culture comes from philosophy, because it is contemplation of reality. Though culture is not more important than our real need to work, it should be our capacity for leisure which defines

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