Lets start by looking at definitions for the terms “Paraplegia” and “Laziness”. Paraplegia is paralysis from the waist down. Paraplegic people usually need to use a wheelchair to get around. Laziness, on the other hand, is inactivity resulting from a dislike of work.
For the purposes of this article, we will only look at the question of the “career world.” We want to compare the relative impact of Paraplegia vs Laziness on a person’s overall ability to be successful in their career.
Lets imagine two individuals, A and B. Both of them are just starting out their careers at the age of 18. Both have just graduated from high school. So how are they different?
Person A is paraplegic and uses a wheelchair to get around. Person A (lets call him Alex) is “reasonably industrious”. In other words, he is not a workaholic, but he is not lazy, either. To put some numbers on it, we could say that Alex is willing to stay focused for 40 hours every week at his job. Because Alex is “reasonably industrious”, he is also willing to devote some time (after work, on his own) to improve his work skills and/or to research switching to a different career that he might find more suitable. On an average day, he might spend an extra 30 minutes doing this (so it works out to a total of 2 or 3 hours a week.) The manager knows that he can trust Alex to stay on task even when he is not being watched.
Person B is fully healthy in all respects, except that he has a bit of a lazy streak in him. Person B (lets call him Boris) is, in fact, lazy. To put some numbers on it, Boris is not very interested in putting in a 40 hour work week. Boris really dislikes anything that sounds like work or study. And what about spending some extra time (on his own, after work) to improve his career skills and/or to research a more suitable career? Boris states that he prefers to spend his after-work hours by “relaxing and not thinking about work”. Of course, Boris does actually work (because he needs money to pay his bills), but he views his workday experience as a boring chore. While at work, Boris stays alert for opportunities to either “cut-corners” or to “pass-off” his tasks to his co-workers. The manager has to keep a close eye on Boris, because, as he says, “its the only way to get any work out of him.”
Now, fast-forward in your mind 25 years. Which of the following three scenarios do you think is more likely?
- Alex (in a wheelchair) is probably more successful (in his career) than Boris.
- Alex is probably less successful than Boris.
- Alex and Boris probably have about the same career success.
Most people would agree that #1 is the most likely scenario. If that is the case, then it looks like it is fair to say that, so far as one’s career is concerned, Laziness is a more severe handicap than Paraplegia.