As we reflected on his changed lifestyle he lamented, “The only thing is, life like this makes a man lazy!” What an interesting perspective. Rather than look at his carefree life style as a release from responsibility and arduous work, he feels void of something important in his life.
In general, the term “lazy” might apply to many of us. We have specialists doing all sorts of regular things for us: lawn care, painting, auto mechanics, housekeeping/cleaners, dry cleaning; and even prepackaged meals. Many young people haven’t a clue how to cook anything except these prepackaged foods, and often this is the worst kind of fare! The younger generation has even been accused of being “cooking illiterate!”
Our lives overflow with scientific inventions, all in the name of progress. But one might argue, are they really all good? They can help us get things done more quickly, but somehow, in our progress we lose something. I asked an Amish relative recently: “Why do the Amish still rely primarily on the horse and buggy, even in today’s world?”
Her response: “First tradition. It’s the way it’s always been done. But it also keeps us in “community.” Because we choose to use a horse and buggy, our travel distance is only about 13-15 miles a day. It isn’t that a car is wrong. But a car makes it easier to ‘go out into the world.’ Ultimately we would become dependent on it rather than on our community.”
Our scientifically invented appliances are set up to lessen the work load. We have microwaves, (and I’m the first to admit I’d be lost without it!), dishwashers, bread makers, electric mixers and can openers, washers and dryers, (again, a must for me!), drip coffee makers, television for entertainment, computers for information, to name a few for what are commonly known as “conveniences.”
Are these conveniences really effective? Sometimes, yes, other times no, depending on the appliance. Further, we become so reliant on the ease of using these appliances; we often forget how to do the task without it. As my friend lamented, it causes us to be lazy and dependent on something other than ourselves! Physical labor is limited at best! Our young people often pay the greatest price since watching television and playing video games creates a lack of activity causing the issue of obesity.
We can change this, but it takes focused attention to educate ourselves and others. Perhaps lessons from our ancestors on how they accomplished formidable tasks rather than looking for someone (or something) to do another everyday activity for us, would be helpful.
My friend reminded me, that while I don’t suggest doing things like our predecessors from a century ago; perhaps a step back and some re-evaluation of my life style may be needed.