This I Believe

Jason - Briarcliff, New York
Entered on June 1, 2007

The Fine Art of Being Lazy

There are people in this world who try their hardest at every task set before them, giving their all, all of the time. There are people who, no matter how small or trivial the task, will exert themselves until their metaphorical forehead is shiny with sweat. These are people who embody the true American spirit – the belief that hard work and perseverance will ultimately pay off in rather large dividends. Unfortunately, I’m not one of these people. I am, in fact, comfortably situated opposite these individuals on the “working” spectrum. I believe in being lazy.

I believe in my own, special brand of laziness – which is not to be confused with the fourth deadly sin that bears the same name. My own, personal definition of being lazy cannot be found in any source, be it an unabridged dictionary, a multi-volume encyclopedia, or even a leather-bound tome taken from Emerson’s personal library. Laziness to me is not merely slacking off at every presented opportunity; laziness is going out of my way just to have that opportunity to slack off.

If there’s a shortcut to accomplish the same task in a shorter amount of time with less effort, I’m there. But only if doing so does not sacrifice overall quality. If it’s possible for me to take time out and unwind, I’m going to do just that. But only if there aren’t more pressing matters to attend to. It’s all about efficiency and prioritization. The ability to work quickly and effectively, to focus on what needs to be done and to get it done, is what allows me to be truly lazy.

Throughout my life I have strived to be as lazy as I possibly can. And I believe that I’m a better person for it. I’m constantly working to create opportunities for myself to be lazy, whether it’s catching a movie with my friends, going out to dinner with my family, or just taking a nap. Being lazy lets me forget about the pressures of daily life so that I can relax and truly enjoy myself.

Not everyone will agree with my take on life, and I respect that. As a student in the increasingly competitive high school environment, I’ve taken a considerable amount of flak for my inherent laziness. So maybe I could be the valedictorian of my class if I studied a little more, and maybe I could be the captain of the varsity track team if I trained a little harder. But those things shouldn’t matter, and they don’t. I’m exactly where I want to be right now, and that’s definitely enough for me.

I believe that I shouldn’t have to work myself to death just to live. I believe that sometimes, doing nothing is just as satisfying and self-fulfilling as doing something. And most of all, I believe in being lazy, because doing so has gotten me to where I am today.