There’s a disease that has spread across much of the world. It started in the first third of the 1900’s. People began to notice changes in the lives of people who had this disease. Its spread stopped for a while by World War 2. But once the war ended, the disease picked up again. It spread widely throughout North America in the 1950’s. From there it spread to Europe, Australia and New Zealand. It continued to spread through the end of the century. Then in the 2000’s it spread into parts of Asia. Now it’s going into parts of India, China, Africa and South America. I wonder if any of us here today have this disease?
The first person to identify it was a man named Jay B. Nash. In 1938 he wrote a book with the disease’s name as its title. He wrote “the machine age has, of course, already supplied an unexampled wealth of leisure and what happens? The average man who has time on his hands turns out to be a spectator, a watcher of somebody else, merely because that is the easiest thing. . . . Instead of expressing, he is willing to sit back and have his leisure time pursuits slapped on him like mustard – external, temporary and in the end “dust in the mouth.”
Nash labelled the disease ...