The Keep Sunday Special campaign began for religious reasons, but many people now see the benefits of having a rest day each week as a good idea. We of course still need emergency staff and priests and taxi drivers and carers to work some weekends. But our 24-7 society has left most people stressed and tired. Even a few decades ago, most shops shut on Sundays and you could enjoy a day to yourself, without worrying about work, 24-hour supermarkets, piped music, parking hazards etc. You don’t even have to make your rest day Sunday, but one day a week is good!
Also people who take jobs these days are asked to work Sundays, yet 91% of people would prefer not to. And as most small shops shut on Sundays, this gives the big supermarkets an advantage on taking their income from indie traders who need a day off. And because most big stores are out-of-town, this creates more traffic, as people drive to get there. In the Colombian city of Bogota, the former mayor created car-free Sundays, where 75 miles of roads are given over to walkers and cyclists.
In her book The Weekend Effect, Katrina Onstad writes of when she worked as an au pair in France. Many countries (France, Italy, Spain) are Catholic, so most things shut on Sunday, and even people who are not religious rest. Try having a Sunday off from the internet and social media, and don’t check your emails unless they are are urgent.
The Californian town of Loma Linda has one of the highest ratios of healthy people who live to 100 or more (even the local cardiac surgeon worked into his 90s, saying the only issue was the patient’s face, as they saw his face, just as they went under!) The town is Seventh Day Adventist, so most people are vegetarian (the local supermarket does not sell meat) but also everyone (unless for emergencies) rests on Sunday, as everything shuts down.
Unless employed for just the day, did you know that it’s illegal to fire someone who refuses to work Sundays (for any reason, not just religious?) You should give 3 months notice if you want to leave your job, and employers must notify staff in writing within 2 months of starting work, that they can opt out of working Sundays. It’s government law.
In Bologna (Italy), the co-operative workers’ movement produces a very different work culture. Shops tend to open early and shut later at night, but owners have a long lunch break with a good meal and wine. But shops also shut on Sundays. Yet despite all this extra free time, the area is financially better off than most regions of Italy, proving that such a philosophy works.
Sunday clears away the rust of the whole week. Joseph Addison
Today is Sunday, so please conduct yourself accordingly. Sleep in, sip tea, lay around in your pyjamas, listen to good music, and indulge yourself in an afternoon map. Anon
Do not let Sunday be taken from you. If your soul has no Sunday, it becomes an orphan. Albert Schweitzer