It's hard work being lazy | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 01, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:22 PM, March 01, 2019

It's hard work being lazy

People say—and it is always people and not a lion or a cat or a cockroach that says things. People are lazy. They use words to get away without actually doing anything. Animals prefer to do things, roar later. Or not make any noise at all in case of the penguin that carries an egg across Antarctica. People love to say things. And what they say is that laziness is a bad thing, almost like being the headpiece of the current President of the United Stakes of Liberty. Is it though? I say laziness has its place in making the world a better place. But it is terribly hard work to be perfectly lazy.

First things first. What is perfectly lazy? Have you ever had one of those moments when you ate a plate of kacchi with the soft mutton doused in light dollops of tamarind sauce? And then it rains briefly leaving our dusty Bangladeshi city smelling nice, cool and dust-free. And then you lie down and close your eyes to take the greatest nap in the world. That there is perfection. And that there is what laziness is supposed to be like, perfect without any impending stress looming over your head. Otherwise, not doing things just gets you in trouble. Like every time my wife asks me to do something and I close my eyes hoping for the greatest nap in the world. It becomes really annoying when wives become mad at husbands only after the tenth or so reminder; married men relate.

Being lazy is a lot of work. This article of mine is based on laziness, and to get the highly accurate material for it, I had to work at being lazy for over three decades. That kind of dedication does not come easy or cheap. It is not for the faint of heart. Well, maybe it is precisely for the faint of heart because otherwise they will just get flustered and die. Or worse, complain. Anyone complaining in your vicinity is a terrible deterrent to acquiring the greatest nap in the world.

Many confuse procrastination with being lazy. They are not the same thing just like the way going to jail for breast implants is not the same as democracy (true story, maybe). Procrastination is delaying the inevitable. Like the time I rescued a dog and the wife asked me to put it up for adoption because it bit me. I delayed a little while… for about two years. And now the dog won't leave while occasionally peeing on my wife's plants, killing them murderously. Who gets into trouble? The dog and then me, in order of magnitude.

People procrastinate like ostriches hide their heads under the sand. They hope if you ignore something long enough it will go away. Here's a secret to life you may not have been told of: good things go away, bad worrying things that cause your hair to fall out from stress never go away.

Examples: Remember the delicious taste of that very expensive steak? Yeah, that goes away.

Those three weeks before the accounting exam in university that you hoped would go away? The weeks definitively went away along with my, or your, chance of scoring a decent grade.

Herpes and lice? Yeah, that will not go away no matter how much you ignore it. You procrastinate there and you end up socially and possibly really dead. Bad things do not go away. Proved.

You cannot procrastinate AND be lazy. It is one or the other. Lazy is a higher state of functioning. Being perfectly lazy is being efficient. You cannot cut corners. Imagine being a typical construction company manager here where you avoid mixing the cement properly resulting in a collapse of the bridge you helped build. And then people die and you go to jail and the open showering area has soap bars lying on the floor. Worse, there is no soap. That is not laziness but a gross negligence of your own fate.

Lazy people find the quick solutions and the shortest routes. Great lazy people make sure they do not have to look at it twice. Or they find a sound scientific reason why certain things are pointless. Which in turn requires a lot of planning somewhere in the rear recesses of your mind. Being committed to the art of laziness means making sure nothing comes back to bite you in the rear. Like the time I was asked to put up two new lamp shades in the living room. Instead I paid a guy to do the thing from the money I made to write articles like these. In the meantime, I got to sleep feeling everything is nicely balanced. Laziness is definitely an art and it is very hard work. I would not recommend it for everyone.


Ehsanur Raza Ronny is a confused dad, all round car guy, model car builder and cartoonist. Currently Editor of Shift (automobiles), Bytes (technology) and Next Step (career) for The Daily Star.

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