Live to Work, or Work to Live?
January 18, 2015 8 Comments
I find myself agreeing with this almost completely, it something that so many have lost in our breakneck, get it done, materialistic society. I doubt our society will recover until we again find the balance spoken of here.
Once upon a time in the Western world, exposure to “the beautiful” was an important element in the development and formation of men. The ideal man was also an educated man, and an educated man knew something about, and appreciated, good art, good music, good literature, and good taste (and perhaps also good wine). The Romantics of the nineteenth century added to this resume a man who had the capacity to be intoxicated by the beauty of nature. Many of the great works of art and music of that time period reflect this. Then there was the “gentleman” who valued beauty in speech and in writing, even if his language sometimes descended into a dry, mechanic artificiality.
By contrast, today’s tech-savvy, fast-food fed, materialistic West places more emphasis on money, things, efficiency, and instant gratification, and as a result the importance formerly placed on that seemingly impractical entity referred to by dusty old philosophers, intellectuals, and artists as “the beautiful” has greatly diminished. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen captured this modern mentality well when he said that “Saints are impractical; artists and philosophers are impractical. The world has room for only the practical.” Who today, in the hustle and bustle of modern life, has the need for a quiet walk through woods in the early morning just as the sun begins to pierce through the fog and nature’s symphony is at its peak? Complicating matters even more is the irony that the modern man, in his attempt to “protect” his “manliness,” shies away from any lengthy talk about “the beautiful” in a floppy attempt to protect his masculine toughness—while in reality demonstrating just how shaky that masculinity really is.