The word "recreation" is really a very beautiful
word.  It is defined in the dictionary as "the
process of giving new life to something, of
refreshing something, of restoring something."
This something, of course, is the whole person.

Bruno Hans Geba


We must be wise taskmasters and not require of ourselves what we cannot possibly perform.  Recreation we must have.  Otherwise, the strings of our soul, wound up to an unnatural tension, will break.

Elizabeth Prentiss

Our age has become so mechanical that this has also affected our recreation. People have gotten used to sitting down and watching a movie, a ball game, a television set. It may be good once in a while, but it certainly is not good all the time. Our own faculties, our imagination, our memory, the ability to do things with our mind and our hands–they need to be exercised. If we become too passive, we get dissatisfied.

Maria von Trapp
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers

Recreation's purpose is not to kill time, but to make life, not to keep a person occupied, but to keep them refreshed; not to offer an escape from life, but to provide a discovery of life.


Recreation is not a secondary concern for a democracy. It is a primary concern, for the kind of recreation a people make for themselves determines the kind of people they become and the kind of society they build.

Harry Allen Overstreet


Being able to provide for the family is important, but living
without recreation is like a car without gas.  It’s stopped and
parked waiting to be taking away.  So why not give it
some gas and take it to a wonderful place.

Lian Chin


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What we do during do during our working hours
determines what we have; what we do in our
leisure hours determines what we are.

George Eastman


The masters in the art of living make little distinction between
their work and their play, their labor and their leisure, their
mind and their body, their information and their recreation,
their love and their religion. They hardly know which is which.
They simply pursue their vision of excellence at whatever they
do, leaving others to decide whether they are working
or playing. To them, they're always doing both.

James A. Michener
(also attributed to L.P. Jacks)


Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are
as necessary as reading.  I will rather say more necessary
because health is worth more than learning.

Thomas Jefferson


A war fitness conference some time ago declared that the
highest form of recreation is to go to church. The word 
recreation should be written re-creation. More real rest can 
be gained from an hour and a quarter of worship under
these circumstances than by eighteen holes of golf.

Norman Vincent Peale

People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged
sooner or later to find time for illness.

John Wanamaker

Walking is the natural recreation for a person who
desires not absolutely to suppress his or her intellect
but to turn it out to play for a season.  All great
people of letters have therefore been enthusiastic walkers.

Leslie Stephen

Life is best enjoyed when time periods are evenly divided between
labor, sleep, and recreation. . . all people should spend one-third
of their time in recreation which is rebuilding,
voluntary activity, never idleness.

Brigham Young


I still need more healthy rest in order to work at my best.  My health
is the main capital I have and I want to administer it intelligently.

Ernest Hemingway


Practice, which some regard as a chore, should be approached
as just about the most pleasant recreation ever devised.

Babe Didrikson

The bow cannot always stand bent, nor can human
frailty subsist without some lawful recreation.

Miguel de Cervantes


Have you known how to take rest? You have done
more than he who hath taken empires and cities.

Michel de Montaigne


Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.

Bill Watterson

I have nothing to say against recreation in its proper place.  Certain forms
of recreation are needful and useful; but it is a wretched thing when
amusement becomes a vocation.  Amusement should be used to do us
good “like a medicine”:  it must never be used as the food of the person.
From early morning till late at night some spend their time in a round of
frivolities, or else their very work is simply carried on to furnish them
funds for their pleasures.  This is vicious.  Many have had all holy thoughts
and gracious resolutions stamped out by perpetual trifling.  Pleasure so
called is the murderer of thought.  This is the age of excessive amusement:
everybody craves for it, like a babe for its rattle.

Charles Spurgeon


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Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.



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