As with many things, I’m not a fan of the word lazy. Often, and ironically, it’s a bit of a cop-out and usually pretty dang rude or inaccurate. Sure, go ahead and call the person struggling with chronic illness and/or severe exhaustion lazy for not being able to function at the same level as someone who is well. I’m sure you would be doing so much better in their shoes. (And sure, I’ll bet you totally know who is and who isn’t dealing with these things just by looking at or talking to them. Because it’s always so obvious, right?)
Likewise, laziness can be something of a weapon to use against oneself. “Oh, I did poorly on that test because I was too lazy to study, I’m so stupid”. Even if you theoretically could have studied more, that doesn’t reflect on your worth or intelligence. In my experience, the sort of person who says this sort of thing to themselves is more likely to be depressed or distressed or something along those lines than genuinely lazy. It’s unreasonable to expect someone to be perfect at school when their personal life is in ruins, or if they’re struggling to meet some of their basic needs.
But what if someone is well, is having most of their needs met in a healthy fashion, etc etc etc. No underlying problems, just someone who truly and freely chooses to spend their time on things that are not productive. What if they’re really just genuinely lazy?
First of all, I just want to say that if you’re reading this because you’re actually worried that you might “just be lazy”, the fact that you’re worried and unsure about it means you’re probably not. I hope you can find someone trustworthy to talk to about this.
Back to the point. If you are really, truly just lazy, you just so prefer the coziness of your chair or bed or what have you to the difficulties of life: who the crap has the right to care?
I’m serious. It’s your own business how you spend your time. Sure, there are consequences for making the active choice to be lazy over meeting your responsibilities, but you’re the one who will have to bear the brunt of them. You’re an autonomous human being. It’s not illegal to not care as much about school as about resting or your hobbies or whatever else.
There are very few situations in which a person is obligated to go to school. As far as legal obligations go, the only situations I can think of are being within the age range that school is compulsory and if you’ve signed some sort of a contract. Even then, you presumably have a certain amount of latitude in the amount of time you invest in your education. (And if you don’t, you likely have personal problems far outside the scope of this blog.)
Frankly, if you want to coast through the productive part of life, getting C’s in school and getting a job where all you really are is paid so that you have time to invest in your hobbies and other parts of your life: freakin’ go for it. Being passionate and working hard are fantastic things. But taking care of yourself and smelling the roses are also fantastic. Shame on anyone who tells you otherwise.
All of that being said, I do wonder how many people there are in the world who this advice actually applies to. There are so, so many other personal problems that get shafted and ignored under the label of “lazy”. If you don’t feel like you’re making a conscious choice to be lazy or to keep school/work from being a priority, if you feel trapped, if you feel like you’re just doing your best and it’s never good enough but if you just tried a little harder… I doubt you’re lazy. I really, truly doubt it.
But if you got one thing out of this article, I hope it’s this: even if you were lazy, that would be okay.