No Such Thing as Laziness?

I found a strange article about a week ago that I thought I’d share: Laziness Does Not Exist. I’m somewhat disinclined to believe the author’s premise that there is no such thing as laziness. The author believes that behind every “lazy” person there is a legitimate excuse as to why they won’t or can’t do something. For instance, if someone doesn’t want to leave the house one day, does that mean they’re lazy? Not necessarily. It could mean that they’re tired or that they’re burned out or that they could be legitimately suffering from agoraphobia. If a student procrastinates on writing an essay, it could be because he is afraid of failure or unsure of what exactly to write, not because he’s plain old lazy.

As I said, I don’t know if I agree. Webster’s defines lazy as “disinclined to activity or exertion: not energetic or vigorous,” but it doesn’t expound on why the person feels that way, and perhaps that’s why we are now questioning the very concept of laziness. It seems to me that in our society today, we work very hard not to judge people. We have to be sensitive to their feelings and their neuroses and their pronouns and a thousand other things before we open our mouths and speak to them or open our brains and judge them. I read somewhere that people judge others because it is part of human nature: you make a judgment to size the person up. Are they a threat? Are they an ally or an enemy? Will they help or harm you? It’s not always bad to judge… sometimes it can even save your life.*

Back to laziness… I do agree that there are times when a person’s behavior looks lazy but really isn’t, due to any number of legitimate reasons. I also think there are times when someone is actually lazy and there’s no other excuse, like when you have energy, but you just don’t feel like doing something because… there really isn’t a concrete reason. You just can’t be bothered. Or when people prefer to live on government assistance, not because they are truly entitled to it or eligible for it, but because they are too lazy to work and are “working the system” instead.

What do you think? Does laziness exist? Or have we become too sophisticated to lazily throw that label around?

*And oddly enough, it often seems like the people who are so bent on being nonjudgmental are the very same people who will judge others for being judgmental. Go figure.