I have been feeling a bit guilty recently about how lazy I’ve become, which is odd because I don’t usually bother with guilt : it’s the ultimate in wasted effort, and I’m either too lazy or have better things to do!!
A Google search for ‘lazy person’ gives you lots of fat men on sofas thus :
Language shows our culture’s disapproval of laziness : its opposites are desperately keen : hard-working, industrious, diligent, enthusiastic, motivated, ambitious. I have myself spent a fair bit of time over the last few days telling an eight year old that ‘I can’t be bothered’ is something to be ashamed about, not a proud boast.
I am, however, just reading The One Straw Revolution by Masunobe Fukuoka, which is an explanation of the author’s experience of natural farming (no digging, no chemicals, no compost, no weeding) : written in 1975, it’s really challenging some of my ideas about farming : number one being that it’s really hard work : get up at dawn to milk and feed and muck out : grinding work under the sun all day, very little reward, drop exhausted into bed. Fukuoka, though, being not just a farmer but a philosopher, took the view that our apparent need to be working constantly is part of our separation from nature, and that farming ought to leave ample free time for poetry, and enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
Capitalism, which was and is the primary separator of humans from nature, can’t tolerate this kind of laziness : we must all be occupied full time in chasing money, so we can buy stuff to support the economy, and fill the strange empty feeling inside us : it scares us with the threat of scarcity, and tells us that if we have nothing or do nothing we will be nothing.
Our own dear prime minister, all freshly fired up from two weeks of quaffing among the athletic elites in the olympic machine, has decreed that all children must do compulsory competitive team sports, ostensibly to make them more competitive in other areas of life. All the parents I saw interviewed said that for children, the emphasis should be on fun, not winning, but hey, what do they know? I want the emphasis of everything to be on fun, even for adults!
I have been a hard-working, industrious, diligent, enthusiastic, motivated, ambitious over-achiever ever since I discovered it got attention from adults. But you know what? I don’t think I can be bothered any more ; can I just have a few chickens and somewhere to grow food?