Why is Laziness Such a Bad Word?

Posted on December 07 2017

I just got done reading an article in defense of laziness.  Bill Gates has been quoted saying "I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job... because he will find an easy way to do it." I find this to be true when dealing with a certain type of lazy person. These are people who understand the fact that having time to do nothing is the result of a lot of work.

However, not just any work. Work that has purpose and direction. Any one has the ability to be hard working and can do so while completing a bunch of random tasks. But do these small tasks actually matter? What is the end goal of all that hard work? What is the purpose behind the tasks meant to be completed?

I have always worked hard and completed tasks that I have laid out in front of myself so that I can be lazy later. I don't work hard and complete a tasks only to set another. When we do this, we get caught in this cycle of work that never ends. Before long, we begin just setting goals that have no actual reason other than to say we are moving forward.

I am a lazy person but only when I have worked to get to that point. This reminds me of the story of the fisherman and the businessman.

There was once a businessman who was sitting by the beach in a small Brazilian village.
As he sat, he saw a Brazilian fisherman rowing a small boat towards the shore having caught quite few big fish.

The businessman was impressed and asked the fisherman, “How long does it take you to catch so many fish?”

The fisherman replied, “Oh, just a short while.”

“Then why don’t you stay longer at sea and catch even more?” The businessman was astonished.

“This is enough to feed my whole family,” the fisherman said.

The businessman then asked, “So, what do you do for the rest of the day?”

The fisherman replied, “Well, I usually wake up early in the morning, go out to sea and catch a few fish, then go back and play with my kids. In the afternoon, I take a nap with my wife, and evening comes, I join my buddies in the village for a drink — we play guitar, sing and dance throughout the night.”

The businessman offered a suggestion to the fisherman.
“I am a PhD in business management. I could help you to become a more successful person. From now on, you should spend more time at sea and try to catch as many fish as possible. When you have saved enough money, you could buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish. Soon you will be able to afford to buy more boats, set up your own company, your own production plant for canned food and distribution network. By then, you will have moved out of this village and to Sao Paulo, where you can set up HQ to manage your other branches.”

The fisherman continues, “And after that?”

The businessman laughs heartily, “After that, you can live like a king in your own house, and when the time is right, you can go public and float your shares in the Stock Exchange, and you will be rich.”

The fisherman asks, “And after that?”

The businessman says, “After that, you can finally retire, you can move to a house by the fishing village, wake up early in the morning, catch a few fish, then return home to play with kids, have a nice afternoon nap with your wife, and when evening comes, you can join your buddies for a drink, play the guitar, sing and dance throughout the night!”

The fisherman was puzzled, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”

Take what you want from the story above but it speaks mounds to the idea that laziness isn't always a vice. Sometimes, the lazy person may just have cracked the code to the life we have always been chasing.




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