Laziness is not real

By DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor

Some days I wake up and don’t want to get out of bed. Some days all I want to do is sit in front of a TV or open a book and get lost in another world. Some days I wake up and think of the slowly growing mountain of school work, of Lariat articles I have to write or edit, of job applications I have to finish, of bills I have to pay and I feel deflated.

And after laying in bed for what seems like too long or watching a television show that I’m no longer paying attention to, or rereading the same sentence over and over again because I can feel that list of things I haven’t done looming over me, I finally get up and try, and sometimes fail, to get started on that list and not feel “lazy.”

But here’s the thing. Laziness does not exist. It’s just a side effect of a society built on Protestant work ethic that is magnified by a capitalistic definition of productivity. We’re raised to believe that “laziness” is a sin and that you’re a failure if you’re not productive. That you have no worth if you don’t contribute to society.

It’s taken me a long time to realize that it’s not true. In their article “Laziness Does Not Exist,” Dr. Devon Price explains that there are obstacles in people’s lives that often lead to what society deems to be “lazy” behavior. “There are always barriers,” Price writes. “Recognizing those barriers — and viewing them as legitimate — is the first step to breaking ‘lazy’ behavior patterns.”

I really encourage y’all to read Price’s article, and if it resonates with you, they also have a book of the same title that goes more into depth. But the basic premise is that when people seem “lazy” to you, you don’t really know what’s going on in their lives.

“If a person’s behavior doesn’t make sense to you, it is because you are missing a part of their context,” Price writes.

Furthermore, the concept of laziness adds to the stigma around mental health as well as the mistreatment of the homeless population. How are people supposed to contribute and feel motivated to do something if they’re constantly being shamed and judged for the obstacles they have to face, most of which are not their fault. Most of which are placed on them by forces outside of their control.

The concept of laziness infuriates me. As the firstborn and only daughter of Mexican immigrants, being called “lazy” is a punch in the gut. I’ve had to work my entire life to be considered worthy of my successes, not just by society, but sometimes by own family as well. There are still times when I don’t feel good enough to be at a place like Baylor, to work for the Lariat, to be a sports journalist.

And while I do still struggle with getting things done and not procrastinating (take this very column for example — it was I assigned four days ago and I’m still turning it late) I know it’s not necessarily my fault. I know that I am worthy of the things that I’ve worked for even if I haven’t completely accepted them. I know I’m not lazy. I’m just tired of feeling like I have to fight for everything.