Laziness Does Not Exist!

The Myth of Laziness (Mel Levine, M.D.) is a new book that takes the view that laziness does not exist. According to the Amazon summary:

[Dr] Levine scoffs at the perception that any [one] is lazy, stating that “everybody yearns to be productive.” These [people], according to Levine, are simply experiencing “output failure” due to different neuro-developmental weaknesses.

Lets assume that laziness does not actually exist. Now lets run a little thought-experiment. We’ll take as an example, a job that most people really dislike, say “working in an un-airconditioned warehouse during a heat-wave.” Lets imagine that the workers all have really good health insurance. They have just been informed that “laziness does not actually exist”, ergo, any lazy-like behavoir is actually just a symptom of a mental or physical health condition. Now, lets listen in to a dialogue between two warehouse workers, Billy and Harvey:

Billy: Hey Harv, I just got some great news!
Harvey: Yeah, what is it?
Billy: “Laziness does not actually exist.”
Harvey: Com’on man, don’t jerk my chain. We still need to unload this truck before lunchtime.
Billy: No! Really dude – “laziness does not actually exist.” I just got this letter from Human Resources. Let me read it to you:

To: All XYZ-Company Employees
From: Mr Big, HR Director
Subject: Laziness does not actually exist

Hello XYZ Team Members!  There is great news: “Laziness does not actually exist!”   Behavior that seems like laziness is actually just a symptom of a underlying emotional or mental or physical illness.   Of course, here at XYZ Corp, we are very concerned about the health and well-being of all of our Team Members, which is why we have a very generous health insurance package.   So, in particular, if anyone feels like they might be suffering from “laziness”, then we would like you to know that help is available.   You no longer need to suffer in silence!  Your health is important to you and to us!   So, if anyone does feel kind of lazy, please make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible.  Of course, if the symptoms are really severe then please call 911 right away.

[Ten minutes later 2 ambulances show up at the back of the warehouse!!!]

Your thoughts?


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One Response to Laziness Does Not Exist!

  1. firefox says:

    So, it looks like there are only 2 possibilities – either laziness does exist (as a personal moral failure), or it does not. Another way to look at it might be to think about responsibility vs irresponsibility. Can one exist without the other? In the story, I would be interested to see what would happen when the EMT’s check out the workers. The EMT’s will ask “so, what are your symptoms?” And then the workers will say (if they are being honest) “well, I kind of dont really like the work – so I would rather not do it … and here is a letter that tells us taht laziness does not really exist … so, uh …”

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