After reading In Praise of Idleness by Bertrand Russell, I both agreed and disagreed with many of the thoughts that he discussed in this essay. One particular passage that interested me is when Russell suggested that he thinks working hours should be reduced to four hours each day and that the remaining hours should be devoted towards leisure. At first, I didn’t really agree with this statement. Most people work full day shifts that are much longer than 4 hours, and to only work 4 hours a day seems like nothing. I originally agreed with the opposite perspective the author offered, where he said that some people would not know what to do with their time if they worked only 4 hours out of a 24 hour day. I personally think that at first, the transition might be difficult to go from 8 or 9 hour shifts to 4 hour ones. One might not know what to do with the spare time. However, I think that the extra hours would eventually be beneficial. One could use the time to spend time with their families, sleep, or pursue hobbies that they might not have been able to if they worked full days.
This passage especially struck me because the cutting down of hours in the work day reminds me of college in a way. In high school, each day that I had was very structured. I had school from 8-2:30, then I had sports right after until 5:30, then I had dance rehearsal until 8 or 9. I still would have to squeeze in time for homework, eating and sleeping. During the week I never had any time to watch TV or hang out with my friends or just relax. Now that I’m in college, I have so much more time because of only having 2 or 3 classes each day so I can use my extra leisure time to exercise, talk to people, and relax. Thinking about myself in a situation with extra leisure time convinced me to agree with Bertrand Russell’s idea of a 4 hour work day.