In order to grasp what will occur if leisure, recreation and sport were voided from society it is best to get knowledge of why it is important to have it available and where it came from. Historically, leisure, recreation and sport was most significantly founded and developed in the ancient Greek era. The Greek belief system is what has majorly influences today’s concepts, in that setting aside time to enjoy music, art and other activities performed during leisure time is a critical aspect of living a “good life” and is physically and spiritually thought to be a key to absolute happiness. For example, the Olympics were developed to appreciate the gods and goddess, and concentrate on the art of maintaining a strong physical and mental form. The Roman’s also influenced today’s perception of what leisure is supposed to be. They believed that bringing citizens together in stadiums to watch competitive battles of the gladiators, and even coordinate bread and circuses, would implement a positive vibe to distract them from revolting against the Roman Empire.
The historical concepts have not changed drastically over the centuries. The concept of human happiness and “good living” are still relevant today. Individuals continue to use leisure, recreation and sport as a means of relaxation, pleasure, self expression and freedom. Understanding how recreation, leisure and sport have important affects on the intrinsic self is critical to understanding what will occur if they were gone.
Focusing on a community and its workers, they would be faced with long duration work hours. The weekends would no longer be for relaxation and amusement but rather, work and concentration. Some could debate that this would be a great thing, more work equals greater income for communities, however, consumer dependant agencies, especially small privately owned businesses, would depreciate in value due to the elimination of “free time” for consumers to shop and spend. Marketing strategies would have to be revised and commercialization of the media would be more focused towards business rather than individual consumers.
Leisure delivery systems would also be affected; they would no longer have the importance of providing products and services to the public. Workers and coordinators of swimming pools, skating rinks, mountain trails, art galleries and theatres would no longer be imperative to provide service for leisure activities within a community. Events such as the Olympics, which is greatly beneficial to the economy and relies heavily on these services, would no longer have access to them. This would cause a major depreciation in the media and a lack of financial support towards the athletes and we would basically have no need for the Olympics.
Taking a more in-depth look into the community, mainly towards families and family members, there would be a prominent problem with dysfunction and disagreement due to the long hours spent at work and the lack of time spent with each other. Emotional, financial and physical support would be unavailable. This would cause a rise in stress and other health related illnesses, along with a rise in irritation and aggravation leading to destructive behaviors.
Individually, there would be an increase in depression rates, loss in control of emotions and a high increase in heart disease and high blood pressure. The lack of time spent outside of work would lead to an inexistent social life. People would suffer from psychological illnesses leading to things like suicide and obesity. Health care systems in the economy would no longer be free and the price of Medicare and other health insurances would be astronomically expensive compared to today’s systems. Organized recreation and sport would no longer be available for young athletes to get involved in. The feeling of loneliness and having no identity or personality would be an issue due to the lack of social interaction between adolescence, which again, leads to the social-psycho matters that can be very harmful to the body. With a lack of activity and recreation, important skills would not be learned; sharing and critical thinking in real-world scenarios would not be properly developed.
On a positive note, deviant behaviors would decrease. Behaviors such as the abuse of pornography, drugs and binge drinking would no longer be a major problem. This would leave a decrease in crime rates in communities. Furthermore, due to the fact that most, not all, homeless people are on the street because of their abusive behavior, the homeless rates would decrease as well.
To continue with the positive side of having no recreation, sport and leisure, the educational system would be phenomenal. Although we would spend less time getting involved in artistic classes such as music, visual art and physical education, students would be spending more time in school learning business and work related skills and at home would be spending time completing school work, unlike today where leisure time is mainly spent on the computer, playing video games, and/or watching television. My life was build around recreation, leisure and sport activity. I started at a young age, being introduced to drawing and musical instruments. My family was greatly involved in sport and had placed me into hockey at the age of 4 ½. Cross country skiing, pond hockey and family trips around the Maritimes were also great family past times. This developed a strong bond between us, a type respect and dependence grew from being involved in each others lives.
Not only was family important, but friends were also a huge influence on my life. School, hockey and other activities was where I met some of my best friends to date. We spent countless hours going to dinners, sleepovers, sporting events and movies, all which allowed me to develop healthy social skills. The more we grew together and were involved in recreation and sport, allowed for me to expand my interest in fitness and healthy living, which in turn lead me to the University kinesiology program and the passion for physical education and fitness.
Although my life did not revolve around video games and television as much as it may for some kids, it still had an impact on my life. The eligibility to watch a favorite television show or sporting event on my time off from school work is a great relaxation. Technology has progressed so much over the centuries; inventions like the cell phone, texting and the internet have created countless possibilities for me to communicate to family or friends that are miles away.
Recreation, leisure and sport have manipulated humanity in many ways, both positively and negatively over the centuries. Life would be completely altered and, to me, unbelievably tedious and uninteresting if it were to be taken away. Society is based around diversity, technology and media, as well as the notion that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Creativity and unity is promoted through school systems, families as well as communities and is a major contributor to how we are living today. Society depends on networking and entrepreneurship as a means of furthering to reach success. Additionally, individuals rely on the implication of support from families as well as friends in times of distress. All of these contributing factors are examples of how we survive in the present day and have been developed from having the time to participate in recreation, leisure and sport. The impression it has had is tremendously important and society would not be able to operate in its absence.