Active Play or Passive Entertainment?
Our diurnal existence is divided into two phases, as distinct as day and night. We call them work and play. We work so many hours a day. And, when we have allowed the necessary minimum for such activities as eating and shopping, the rest we spend in various activities which are known as recreations, an elegant word which disguises the fact that we usually do not even play in our hours of leisure, but spend them in various forms of passive enjoyment or entertainment―not playing football but watching football matches;not acting but theatre-going;Not walking but riding in a motor coach.
We need to make, therefore, a hard-and-fast distinction not only between work and play but equally between active play and passive entertainment. It is, I suppose, the decline of active play―of amateur sport―and the enormous growth of purely receptive entertainment which has given rise to a sociological interest in the problem. If the greater part of the population, instead of indulging in sport, spend their hours of leisure viewing television programmers, there will inevitably be a decline in health and physique.
We have to live art if we would be affected by art. We have to paint rather than look at paintings, to play instruments rather than go to concerts, to dance and sing and act ourselves, engaging all our senses in the ritual and discipline of the arts. Then something may begin to happen to us：to work upon our bodies and soul.