In this age of materialism, worries, and anxieties, man remains busy from dawn to dusk. After his day’s rat race, he wants to relax and restore himself and soothe his taut nerves. If he does not relax, his life can become dull and he himself can become peevish.
William Davies mourns such a way of man’s life in this way.
What is this life, full of care
We have no time to stand and stare.”William Davies
Ordinary remedies prescribed for the avoidance from worry and mental overstrain fall into two broad categories — gaiety and retreat. The purpose of both is to strengthen the tired parts of the mind by giving them rest. the first group contributes to the end by the active process of recreation; the second by the passive method of repose.
Outside the scope of both, there is a third method of achieving the same objective. It is done by using the remaining parts of the mind — those other than the tired ones. This method of restoration comes to be known as a hobby.
A hobby is a work which we do in our spare time not for money but solely for recreation and relaxation. It is an alternative occupation for the brain-worker to restore his psychic equilibrium.
Sir Winston Churchill defines hobby as “alternative mental activities.”
Different people pursue different hobbies according to their tastes and inclinations. Hobbies such as fishing, boating, small games, and hunting can be classed as being exclusive for men. Hobbies like knitting, needlework, interior decoration or home management are generally taken up by women. Hoppies like stamp collecting, photography, painting, wood carving, picture collecting, coin collecting, and the reading book can be pursued both by men and women. A hobby is a personal pursuit, undertaken more in isolation than in company, may vary from person to person in accordance with individual taste, temperament, nature of occupation and resources.
Sir Winston Churchill pursued painting as his hobby. Lord Salisbury’s hobby lay in the chemical laboratory, Einstein’s hobby was to play upon the Violin; while Bernard Shaw was immensely delighted in growing vegetables.
I pursue stamp collecting as my hobby. I started it in my late childhood. Once, when I was ten years old, I happened to see an album of stamps with my elder brother’s bosom friend. An urge prompted me and I also started collecting stamps. But I didn’t know how to classify and categorize them. I talked to my father who guided me on how to arrange them systematically. Since then, I have been devoting my spare time to it.
Some people consider it a very costly hobby as according to them, much of the money is spend to buy stamps. But to your great surprise, I have never spent a single penny on purchasing a stamp. My father works at the Embassy. He sends me stamps of different countries issued on different occasions. One of my uncles lives in Great Britain. He also keeps sending me stamps of different countries. Once, he presented me with an album of stamps on my birthday. Since then, I have added to them three times more.
I have friendly terms with the postman of our colony. Whenever a new and rare stamp is issued, he provided it to me whatever he may have to do. So, now, my albums contain two thousand stamps of different countries, and of different times.
I have fixed ten pages for each country. I have arranged the stamps, country wise, year-wise, month-wise and date wise. After returning from college, I spend an hour arranging the stamps to get ever-new enthusiasm. All tiredness of the day’s work vanishes and I feel refreshed and recharged, delighted and elated when I am in the company of my stamps.
I have a pen friend all over the world with whom I exchange stamps. I ask them curious questions about their countries which has increased my knowledge greatly. I have come to know of the cultures, customs, manners, traditions, and habits of the nations of the world. I have learned the history and geography of many countries.
I also surf the internet and try to find information about stamps, of different countries. Web surfing also increases my knowledge of stamp collecting. It also helps out to find more stamps that can be a valuable addition to my albums of stamps.
My stamps open before me a vast world of information and knowledge. They tell me the history of old people, old nations and old traditions. They tell me the stories of old times, old empires, old things, and old places. I can see the rise and fall of nations in the world. I can visualize the emergence of different countries on the map of the world. I can discern the sacrifices made by different nations for the sake of freedom.
In short, stamp collecting is a very cheap still royal hobby. It is an informative, re-creative, educative, instructive, stimulating as well as instigating hobby. I always remain in touch with the whole world. I can enjoy the company of great writers, poets, authors, playwrights and story writers. I get information, recreation, education and instructions remaining at home without stirring from my chair. I forget all the cares and worries of life when I am in the company of my stamps.