26 February 2013

Some thoughts on laziness

I suppose that lazy people may be getting the most out of life, but it's hard for me to imagine how. I can't imagine not having any drive or ambition to accomplish anything, and having the desire to engage only in passive activities, always being a spectator, never acting. Laziness, in many cases, leads to poor health, low self-esteem, lack of hope, and low self-confidence, among other things that I just don't see. It also robs a person of a sense of accomplishment, a sense of self-worth, and self-development. How are you going to learn anything or pick up a new skill or develop a talent if you're too lazy to get up and do something?

Many people are very harsh with lazy people, and I have to admit that my initial thoughts about laziness are usually rather judgmental. I know, though, that many people who seem to be lazy are just picking a passive way of dealing with fears or insecurities or frustrations--people with learning disabilities, for example, often seem lazy because of the high levels of frustration they encounter when trying to accomplish "simple" tasks. A person who's afraid of other people or of social situations may choose a passive approach to everything so that they won't have to take any risks. A slow learner may prefer appearing lazy to appearing stupid--if I don't do the work at all, no one will criticize my performance.

In addition, many people suffer from diseases or illnesses, many undiagnosed, that may deprive them of energy and make it seem as if they're being lazy. People with lyme disease or iron deficiencies or any other such ailments may appear to be quite lazy, especially if they forego activities that their friends and families partake in. These problems are especially troublesome if they're undiagnosed, for no one can see or know of a specific cause of a person's inactivity.

Of course, all of the possible causes (save the physiological) don't justify a life without accomplishment. Nor does knowing that you're being lazy because of fear compensate for what you miss out on in life because of your unwillingness to act. The key to dealing with laziness is taking action, and the key to taking action is finding the motivation to do so. What do we do, though, when a person simply doesn't want to be motivated to do anything? What do we do about the person at work who isn't willing to do his or her share of the current task? What do we do about the student who doesn't do the homework because he or she prefers to lay around, talking on the cell phone or watching TV?

And how do we define "lazy"?

My definition most certainly would be different than yours.

Of course, the answers aren't simple. Most people have heard the lectures and the begging and the pleading and the "it's your life--waste it in front of the tube if you want to" spiels, and there's not much more we can do. Hopefully, we can be understanding enough to help them to see just what they're missing in life, and just how things could be if they were to change their patterns of behavior. They're missing out on a lot in life, and many of them don't realize just what they're missing, because they've never experienced it. How can we motivate them? How can we show them just what their lives would be like if they were to take some risks, to act, to live their lives themselves rather than vicariously through entertainment media?

I don't know the answers to those questions, but I do know that if laziness is the determiner of your behavior, then you're missing out on much of what this beautiful world has to offer. Please take your place in the world and be a positive influence to others. Help to teach others of the beauty of living life and of being active in life, not the boredom and tedium of being lazy.

As a footnote, one of the greatest tragedies for me to witness is the effect of lazy parents on their children. I've seen many children growing up slovenly and lazy because they've learned the patterns from their parents. We need to be stronger role models to these kids than to some others--we need to let them see how much the world offers, and help them realize that they'll miss it all if they continue to emulate their parents. It's difficult, but for their sake, it's necessary.

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