The End of Hobbies?

Well, maybe not the end but how many people now use all of their extra time on social media instead of cultivating a new or existing hobby? Do you think that you will ever regret not spending more time on social media? Let’s look briefly at some of the benefits of a hobby.

1. Sense of mastery and mystery. Hobbies can elicit both. Awe at how good someone’s skills can get and how it is never-ending. Hobbies that involve mastery of skills or competition like chess or game playing. Then there is mystery, where you struggle to understand something that is very hard to understand, but you know in that struggle is benefit to the mind and maybe soul. Things like Talmud study in my tradition, which is an obligation but for many is also something that is done daily in the spirit of a hobby that fosters growth. Gardening, for example, can be both mastery and mystery. Reading can also be both. Meditation, also can be both.

2. Connection with like-minded people. Anytime one aspires to a great skill or knowledge, one needs to connect with others to gauge skill level and make connection.

3. Elevating consciousness. Like it or not, we are not meant to live in one active mode of consciousness and are meant to go between various states of higher consciousness.

I used build small model cars as a child and the concentration like consciousness of those hours I look back very fondly on. Why? Nothing else mattered, time become non-existent, I felt centered completely in my body and in my movements and craft, I craved even harder and harder challenges as my skills increased, and my mind and body was pursuing an aim that was beautiful to me. Maybe, our Creator would want most of life to be this way?

Now it is religious texts and medical literature that does that for me. I also study qigong now which is definitely in the mystery and mastery category as the movements elevate my consciousness to another level of seeming unending progression and discovery. I also now do hydroponic growing at home which also is a mystery and mastery hobby as I engage with the lives of my plants. This is time well spent and though my work during the time of seeing patients and running my food business doesn’t spur in me the benefits of the above as often as I would like, it is the time spent in my hobbies that give me the strength to pursue the goals in this other arena of my life. I feel a definite lack when I don’t engage in my hobbies.

And what among many things is it that detracts from this? Time wasted on social media, in gossip even if true, and on gluttony of the senses which also includes overly indulging in entertainment. There also seems to be guilt in some that you are being selfish by taking on a hobby. You aren’t!! So don’t crucify yourself on someone else’s ideal who sees pursue of mastery or time devoted beyond work as useless. Filling your life with knowledge, skill pursuit, and connection makes you have a richer life. Nuff said.

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Jonathan Carp, MD

Dermatologist, health food entrepreneur, beach addict, and health teacher.