Fatigue and Leisure
IT has been said that this is the Age of Anxiety. As we advance in knowledge, as we develop culturally, and as our civilization evolves, we are beset by new fears and new dangers. Almost every day brings with it something new for us to worry about. We hear of wars and rumors of wars, and of missiles and sputniks hurtling around high overhead. We listen to talk of atom bombs and hydrogen bombs that can destroy us altogether. We have perhaps, too much power, and too little judgment to enable us to control that power. As a result of our fears, we seek various panaceas to make living less frightening and more satisfying. In the United States one in ten of us receives psychiatric help at some time during his life, and an even greater proportion of us take tranquilizers or sedatives from time to time to find peace.
Our search for peace of mind is so great that books on this subject become best sellers. Many of us use alcohol moderately as a socially acceptable tranquilizer, but millions of Americans are alcoholics. Each year for 20,000 of us the struggle for balanced living becomes unendurable, and suicide becomes the final effort; many more than this number attempt to commit suicide. It has been said that we all are neurotic—with the possible exception, of course, of a few psychiatrists—and indeed, if one is not neurotic, then one is dull—out of fashion. “Normality,” someone has said, “is . . .