Dorothy Sayers was a writer in the 20th century. Sayers used the example of an artist, who “lives to work,” to create. The work is not primarily done in leisure. Yet, work is what gives an artist life, sometimes literally. Just as God has created humans not because He was required to, but because He had the desire to, humankind works in the same way to create and give meaning to life because we were created in His image.
Sayers talks about the intolerable leisure of her day through the invention and use labor saving technology. She defines an individual’s leisure time as, “The entertainment to which we passively listen, the game we can watch without taking part in it, the occupation, however meaningless, which one can relieve us from the trouble of thinking” (409-410). For example, an individual’s choice to “painlessly kill the time we have saved” through today’s entertainment and one’s ability to watch a game “without taking part in it” were frowned upon by Sayers, but she may approve an individual’s choice to learn how to sew (409-410).
In Dorothy Sayers’ time, the leisure time and work mentioned above allows those who work in the factories to find meaning in life through active, creative work. But for the artist “there is no distinction between work and living.” When one finds a job he or she enjoys, they will not work a day in their life. In conclusion, work can be a job or a calling. God has given humans many gifts including the gift to create. God may be calling a person in many different directions outside of an occupation.
Through the reflection and class discussion of Dorothy Sayers’ view point on “leisure time”, I have concluded that I do not fully agree with what she said. I agree that, just as God created humans, humankind has the same desire to create. Through new creations and inventions, the definition and use of “leisure time” has changed. Today, leisure time can be described as productive time to pick up new hobbies or to be a time to relax, like a stereotypical college student laying in a hammock under the sun. However, leisure time has become an experience to side-step real world experiences and interaction, “to eat away at life,” and to result in boredom.