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Leisure time and young people

"What are you doing in your free time?" This is a common question I receive from a variety of people. To their surprise, they always receive the response: "I do not have any free time unless I am on vacation". "But this is not reasonable" they say flabbergasted. I suppose that I am not the rule but the exception and that "normal" young people do have free time; not having free time may be bad, but having a lot of free time (which remains vacant and is not spent in any constructive and uplifting activity) may be even worse having immensely bad consequences on somebody's future.

Leisure time is needed

When all work is proceeded!

Marta Ferreira, Portugal

All people need leisure time because we need to rest and relax, engage in enjoyable and amusing activities and get away from the boring daily routine. Our soul needs to take a breath in order to maintain its health. However, if a young person enjoys a vast amount of free time, this can prove a double-edged sword; it can lead to many bad situations which are prone to have a tremendous effect on his development as a future responsible citizen. This is because an abnormally high amount of leisure time is difficult to be filled with good activities so many young people tend to engage in bad ones. "Idleness is the source of evil," states a Greek proverb and this attitude is right because young people are full of energy which needs to be channelled in constructive and positive ways. Otherwise, it may be channelled to dangerous things. It is vital that a balance exists in all things in life.

What follows is an effort to point out what young people do in their leisure time worldwide. The questions to be answered were:

  1. Do young people have a lot of free time in your country?
  2. How do young people spend their leisure time?
  3. Do you believe that they spend this time in a constructive way?

The answers I received were:

What comes as a conclusion from all the above is that young people share the same activities worldwide while the amount of their free time fluctuates and mostly depends on how strict the demands of their school are.

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Reconstruction: July-August-September 2002

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