The popular thinking of “work hard, play later” may not always hold true. Russell highlights the fact that people work too much in the world, rather than making time in their busy lives for relaxation or recreation. Interpreting Russell’s essay, I unquestionably agree with his ideas of the kinds of overloaded work performed in America and the distinctive difference between liberal and servile activity.
Russell breaks down the meaning of work into two categories: people who perform labor, and people who tell others to do work. Although the laborer or employee of both kinds of work may make different salaries or come from different social classes, both can exhaust themselves in too much work and not enough time to themselves. These same workers would have a hard time trying to fill their days if they cut down their working time to add more leisure time. Servile activity becomes intuition for common working men because they think everything ought to be done for the sake of something else. On the other hand, Russell explains how free activity, or liberal activity, should not be frowned upon just because it is done for a persons own sake.
Sometimes, I become so wrapped up in school work that I do not set aside leisure time for myself. I believe the expression “all things are good in moderation” applies to Russell’s ideas on balancing work with recreation. Everyone needs relaxation or enjoyable time in their every day lives. The hardest part of doing so concerns giving up a few hours of the work day for leisure.