The Worst Vice

 

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I don’t particularly like to criticize people, simply because there’s a certain level of arrogance and narcissism that is required, which I lack, to critique another person’s behavior or life choices, particularly when you don’t know peoples’ pasts or what it is like to be inside their head, and to view the world through their eyes. Of course, we’re talking about harmless vices here that people possess, like envy or gluttony, not actual evil personality traits like a cruel or sadist streak that deserve to be denounced regardless of how terrible of a childhood, for instance, the people who possess them might have had.

But there is one vice, however, a vice very common in society, deeply common, unfortunately, which irks me to my core. Nothing in the world apart from ignorance itself irritates me more. The very thought of it sets my teeth on edge, and brings upon me the urge to tear down the wallpaper in my room like a maniac or wish I had hypnotism powers so I waltz around and make certain, unruly people do my bidding like a tiny despot. Whenever I see this trait, this “character flaw”, in someone, I see red. Honestly, I do. I begin to feel quite murderous in their presence and have to excuse myself immediately before I say something I probably shouldn’t (so it’s lucky my social circle is so limited; otherwise I’d probably have high blood pressure by now). So what is this ghastly, terrible failing so often found in certain human characters that has a habit of getting an ordinarily shy and timid dreamer like myself so worked up? It is this: laziness.

I abhor laziness in people. Loathe it. Detest it. I would flush it down the toilet a million times if I could—in fact, I wish I could flush lazy people down the toilet, sometimes. To me, there is nothing more odious than a man or woman who spends his or her life in an idle manner, drifting from pleasure to pleasure, without any goals or passions, who simply desires for existence to be spent in a relaxed and dreamy haze, and does not seek to achieve anything, to do anything, to even try to contribute, in some way, to general human society, and leave some mark behind on the world, no matter how miniscule, after they are dead and gone. Conversely, as you might expect, I deeply respect those who are industrious, passionate and hardworking even in the face of the apparent meaninglessness of life, who get up each morning and still go about their business and attempt to put something of themselves out into the world while they are alive to benefit the lives of others.

The work itself doesn’t matter; that is an irrelevancy. It doesn’t matter whether you spend your life pouring your heart into finger puppetry or wizardry or physics or mathematics—all that matters is that you are passionate about something, and that passion spurs you to work hard to make or create or discover or change something, so that by the end of your life the world and society will be altered in a positive way, no matter how slightly, simply because you existed.

It is my life philosophy, you see, the core of who I am: to work to please myself and, more importantly, to please others. Everything that has brought me joy in life, from the bed I sleep on to the books I read to the food I consume, were created by other people, and my gratitude for the sum of human effort that has led to the person I am today is so immense that the thought of not giving back to a world that has given me so much is—is unimaginable. Utterly, utterly unimaginable.

And yet you have people, drifting about like disgusting spores across the face of the planet, who don’t make or do anything that benefits other people or animals or the world or the environment, yet consume endlessly and to their heart’s content. A lot of billionaires in the world, for instance, came about their money through a nifty bit of maneuvering on the financial markets and so forth, buying and selling particular things at the right time; and now, they wallow in money up to their ears, living in mansions with pools that chug water faster than thirsty rhinoceros and purchase snazzy luxury planes and goods (which required hours of human effort to make) all without lifting a finger of their own to give anything back to the world. It’s very disgusting. It’s so disgusting I could throw up.

However it’s not just billionaires who are lazy—there are plenty of ordinary citizens who possess the despicable trait, too, who spend their days in idleness and pleasure. Now, housewives are not lazy. At least, most of them are not. Taking care of the home and looking after children is, in my opinion, a worthy endeavor, and should not be looked down upon. But there are certain people floating about who live on government welfare or their spouse’s income simply because they are too lazy to find and keep a job, rather than due to any actual illness or disability, who spend their days watching television and eating, or reading, doing nothing, making nothing, helping no-one, and it is these people who I also cannot stand. I see them all the time; some of them even exist in my immediate family. And laziness in such adults is a very ugly thing to see. The way they loll about on their couches in front of the television, consume takeaway food, consume what others made and created without giving anything back to the world, puts one in the mind of putrescent, fat slugs, parasites upon the skin of the planet.

Perhaps my way of putting things is a little harsh, but every word of it is a reflection of my true feelings regarding the vice of laziness. Above all, I believe the key to happiness is to have a passion, and to work very hard at it until the end of your days, ejecting a little bit of soul out into the world for others to use, marvel at, or enjoy. Thankfully most people do want to contribute to humanity and do want to work and do have passions, so while there might be some bad grapes in the bunch, most of the crop will turn out fine, and flourish, and keep this whole show we’ve got here going.

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