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cum dignitate otium, or Sabbath
Season 1: Education is for life
So, I discovered that otium was the Latin word for leisure, and although I have not encountered it in education talks, it seems to have been the word used by philosophers to mean precisely what Pieper in Leisure, the Basis of Culture was trying to convey: that to truly cultivate arts – including those of reading, thinking, and discussing – we must have a space apart from the cares of marketing, buying, and selling.
Otium – leisure – can mean idle amusement. Just as our word leisure can be used to talk about watching tv at night, so otium could carry similar connotations of mere unproductiveness. The phrase otium cum dignitas was a phrase used to distinguish the kind of leisure being discussed. It is a leisure that is with dignity, not a leisure of sloth or indolence. That is, it is a leisure characterized by worthiness, appropriateness, propriety, nobility, dignity, and self-respect.
In the classical world, otium cum dignities meant one had time apart from an income-earning job to read, think, discuss, and participate in politics. Such a state was either a retirement earned after a lifetime of occupation or came as a result of inheritance.
Cicero defines otium as a state of security and peace, of tranquility of mind, which is cultivated when one is not seeking profit and personal gain, but rather contemplating and having a mind at ease.
In the medieval period, this word otium came to be used primarily to indicate peace of mind – a leisure that is internal more than an external circumstance. Petrarch, writing in the 13th century, says that otium is ideally spent on nature appreciation, serious research, meditation, contemplation, writing, and friendship.
So in this phrase we have wrapped up both the concept of a space set apart from economic considerations or “getting ahead” and also the concept that leisure is internal, a way of being. I think we need both meanings in our lives.
Get all the mottos as pretty printables:
Read the original post: Living from Rest - cum dignitate otiumListen: Resources:
- Dr. Perrin's lecture "Eight Essential Principles of Classical Education
- Leisure, the Basis of Culture by Joseph Pieper
- Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
- Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung
- Teaching from Rest by Sarah Mackenzie
Simple Sanity Saver: Brain DumpSo, after you’ve completed your first, thorough brain dump and started processing it, what’s next? Are you done? Nope. Though you’re done with a thorough brain dump, at least until life throws you into the deep end again, you’re not done writing things down. Once everything is out of your head and on paper, the trick is to just write things down, right away so they never accumulate and clutter up your head again. I call it Ubiquitous Capture. It’s a habit that pays dividends the more you practice it. Ubiquitous means something that is everywhere - you’re never without it. Capture refers to jotting down your thoughts before they’ve escaped you. So, to practice ubiquitous capture is to write it all down, right away - and to do that, you need a notebook, an index card, an app - something - always at hand where you can write it down, right away. What will you keep always at hand so you are never without a method of writing down your ideas and commitments and thoughts before they elude you? As you learn to write it down, right away, you’ll make a brain dump a continual habit as well as a sanity saving strategy.
Declutter your head before you declutter anything else:
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