We in the modern West have vocations and avocations, and they get in each other’s way. They don’t have to, and they probably shouldn’t. Instead of having a few people working themselves to death while others are out of work, we could spread out that workload. We would lift people out of unemployment and give the currently employed a chance to pursue their passions — writing, art, sports, etc — many of which have a positive impact on society as a whole.
Perhaps I’m not alone in thinking this way:
Bertrand Russell, in his 1932 essay, “In Praise of Idleness,” offered a positive view of “idleness” and leisure, lamenting “the modern man thinks that everything ought to be done for the sake of something else, and never for its own sake.” He also argued that “the road to happiness and prosperity lies in an organized diminution of work.” If we reduced our workday to four hours, he suggested, we would have the leisure time to think and reflect on every topic, especially the social injustices around us and the manipulations of the state.