Laziness: The Lost Artform
Lazy Test No. 1
Other forms of "laziness" and being "lazy" that we should salute, not condemn
Idleness, slothfulness and laziness are all seen in a dim view in the Bible. I cannot take on the Bible and expect to win my mortal argument, so I will leave it be. For now.
I want to do something rather bizarre. Present laziness in a completely-different light than you are accustomed to reading.
I’m serious. I’m not playing around.
My main focus is this: Laziness is, to me, a lost artform. It really is.
And in today’s “win at all cost,” workaholic, over-achieving, type “A” personalities, laziness has somehow been pushed aside so a handful of hard-working people can gain some amount of self-gratification by their 60-hour work weeks, skipped lunches and getting home to the wife and kids around 11:30 p.m. six nights a week, and sometimes Sunday.
I grew-up in an era where it was not uncommon to hear an older person say, “looka there at ol’ Ned. Just lying there in the shade while his neighbors are all in the fields a working themselves to death.”
Little did these “salt of the earth” folks realize that “Ned,” was a man who actually “marched to the beat of a silent drummer.”
“Ned,” didn’t comply with rules of society. Even if it meant that he went without food, water or clothing.
“Ned” was among the brave souls who paved “new trails of laziness” and paid the price by being scorned, ridiculed by a people who didn’t bother to sit down and ask him “why are you so lazy, ‘Ned’?”
If only these people had taken the time to get inside “Ned’s” thoughts, then maybe I wouldn’t be forced to write this story.
Before I go any further, I need to take a fifteen-minute “breather” so I can compose myself. Telling “Ned’s” misunderstood story has really affected me.
Thank you for that. I’m back.
“Ned,” was, I admit, a rebel of sorts. When his dad, “Cicero” and brother, “George,” hitched-up their mules to plow “the lower 40,” “Ned,”was content to sit under the huge oak tree at the edge of the yard and watch these men do manual labor while he soaked-up the cool shade given by the massive tree.
Well? Have you ever pondered what might have happened if “Ned,” had not been the one who sat in the shade? You and I would be whispering, “‘Ned,’ is sure wasteful to just risk sunstroke behind a plow in the broiling sun when there was a cool shade nearby.”
You know this is true. Humans always love to speak before they investigate. Maybe that’s the problem. Lack of understanding.
Wait a second. I feel sad right now thinking of how “Ned” was treated for not helping “Cicero” and “George” do that tough work in plowing their field so I am in need of another fifteen-minute break.
See you in a jiffy.
Whew, that helped. I’m back.
Now before we delve any deeper into the study of laziness, please humor me as I share a few truth’s about laziness. And being lazy.
Laziness is not as easy to spot as you think. What looks like a person trying to shirk some responsibility may turn out to be a person expressing themselves in an artful way. Example: “‘Jimmy,” get out of bed. We need to go and mow our yard. Hurry up,” yells a responsible dad of the mid-50’s.
“Jimmy,” his only son, “does” hear his dad call for him, but just turns over and goes back to sleep due to it being Saturday morning, his time to sleep.
“Jimmy’s” impatient dad comes back in thirty-minutes. “Jim,’ I said to get out of bed . . .now,” and this time, “Jimmy,” wipes the sleep out of his eyes and replies, “dad, uhhh, I don’t feel well. My tummy hurts.”
The dad only laughs and manually-drags “Jimmy” out of bed, forces him to walk behind a stubborn push-mower and cut grass that otherwise would have looked just as good to leave it be.
“Jimmy” feels faint. Stumbles back to the front porch. Then collapses. His dad runs to his side. “son, are you okay?” he screams.
Then the dad makes a monumental decision. “no more mowing for you, young man. Back inside near the General Electric (free plug) air conditioner,” he says with authority.
All’s well that end’s well.
After an afternoon of napping under the cool air, “Jimmy” recovers nicely and his dad has learned a valuable life lesson: Not all teenagers are lazy. And not all teenage boys always lie about a stomach ache.
Are you getting my point?
It’s really not fair of us to prematurely judge anyone who only “looks” lazy. It takes conclusive proof. Ask my practicing, honest attorney. They will be quick to tell you that many cases are lost due to a lack of conclusive evidence.
Here are some “Unknown Laziness Facts,” that everyone should know.
There are, contrary to popular belief, degrees of laziness. This is a true fact.
Common Laziness - is easily-defined as your wife or boss giving you some dreaded-project and you put it off for a couple of hours. “We” are all guilty of this one, but when we finally get to work on the project, we are no longer lazy, but just guilty of some healthy procrastination.
Hateful Laziness - is the same scenario but the smug and self-absorbed jerk who is to do the project, sneers at the wife or boss and says, “I’m not paid enough to do that,” and joins his fellow smug and self-absorbed jerks in the break room.
Lovable Laziness - is when an humble-hearted guy is given a tough task to do and eventually, he does it, but brings his wife a fresh flower from the yard. Or, "Pa Kettle," of the famous "Ma and Pa Kettle" comedy films where Pa was always napping and never working. That is a prime example of lovable laziness.
Pure, Unadulterated Laziness - is again with a slick-talking jerk who lures this innocent, trusting girl into being his wife. Then he changes right before her eyes. He quits his job at the “Quikie Time” convenience store, lays on the couch all day long watching game shows and after two or three days, “Jeannie Jo,” his bride from Kentucky says, “dearest, you gonna lay there all week?” “yeeep,” “jerk-o,” replies while yawning and then demands a back rub and his dinner brought to him by “Jeannie Jo.” This guy is the most-hated form of laziness.
Amnesia Laziness - is someone who people think has a high IQ for he (or she) is never working, but reading high-brow science books while their colleagues do their job. When confronted, the “forgetful” lazy person smiles and remarks, “ohhh, ha, ha, you wanted “me” to do that job, huh?”
Laziness and being lazy is not central to any one area or ethic background. As humans on top of the food chain, we are all lazy to a certain extent.
Laziness knows no skin color or accent. It’s because we can think is why “we” are prone to laziness. The poor, lowly beasts in the Amazon jungle areas are never lazy because they are not as intelligent as we are. If you watch the National Geographic Channel (on DirecTV), and a show starts with chimps, watch them as they sit atop the high limbs of a rubber tree. They only “look” lazy, but in reality are picking ticks and fleas from their neighbor’s back or ears. And “we” are the smarter creations?
Laziness has even affected our useage of slang and catch-phrases.
How many times have you heard . . .
“that lazy bum”
“too lazy for your own good.”
“you are nothing but a ‘lazy bones.’”
“just look at that lazy hound dog.”
“idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” (this term was originally “lazy” hands are the devil’s workshop.”
And speaking of the devil. Did you know that the devil has been blamed for centuries for “us” mortals being lazy?
True, blue fact.
I cannot figure this one out, because the devil is never lazy. He is always working to cause trouble somewhere in the world.
And we have even allowed our children to be mentally-conditioned about the evils of laziness. (e.g. grasshopper who lay on his porch and fiddled while the ant worked herself silly during the summer storing-away food for the winter.) It might be that the grasshopper was not that into eating that much and just enjoyed sharing his musical talent.
I wonder if the teachers who taught “laziness is next to ungodliness,” ever thought of that angle?
If you are worried about if “you” are lazy, just take this quick, easy “Laziness Test,” and be honest with your answers.
1. When your wife says, “I think we need to have a baby,” you suck air through your teeth, squint your eyes and reply, “I’d rather have a hamster.”
2. If you sleep more hours in one week that you work at your job or eat meals with your family, you are a lazy person.
3. If you make your wife videotape the morning worship service at church because you won’t get out of bed.
4. When going on family vacations, your wife does the packing, driving, cooking and getting all of the motel reservations.
5. You argue, “if God wanted our grass cut, why did He allow it to grow?” as a way of “lazing” your way out of cutting the yard.
6. You prefer slip-on shoes as opposed to lace-up’s because you are too lazy to bend over and tie the shoelaces.
7. In marital counseling, you constantly fall asleep.
8. You seldom answer the phone even if it’s within reach.
9. You whittle with an electric knife.
10. People think you and your couch are “joined at the hip.”
I you found yourself in more than three of these signals, then you are lazy.
I am sorry to tell you that laziness is incurable. Not even large amounts of manual labor can cure laziness.
But last week I stumbled upon a remarkable website that dealt with that one subject: Laziness. And what an eye-opening revelation I received.
I found out that the sociologists who designed this website willingly-shared their ten-year study of laziness at Indiana University and ways that lazy people can live happy, productive lives.
Just an easy, and free way to cope with and sometimes overcome laziness and the urge to be lazy.
These genius-minded doctors stated to just start each day with one . . .
oh no . . .help!
Zzzz - - -ZZZzzzZZZ - - -zzZZZZz
Lazy Test No. 2
More by this Author
Southern belles are special. And I know how to get a date with them.
(Just) talking about meddlers and busy bodies is not enough. It is time I did something about them.
A 3002-word essay on (a) fear of mine that I've carried since age seven.