Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sex at Dawn's Dr. Chris Ryan: Laziness As A Virtue

laziness as a virtueIn the recent Tangentially Speaking with Dr. Chris Ryan (the author of the popular Sex at Dawn) there is a lot of talk about laziness and why we should embrace it. Why spend our time working hard simply for the sake of working hard? This could be one of the biggest problems of society today, and it's driven by an economy that without ethics. I don't mean ethics as in BP oil spills, predatory loans, and the raping of the landscape for cheap knick-knacks (though that kind of ethic is definitely important). This time I mean ethics as in the morality of rigidity in thinking and in action.
Too much of the way we work is stuck in the days of Ford's assembly line. For example, take any job (an investor, a teacher, a sewage worker, or a doctor) and there is bound to be protocol to follow. Be here this many of hours. If X goes wrong always do Y. Sacrifice quality for the bottom line. Things like that.

Politics are the same. A liberal is expected to make only liberal decisions. No room for fluctuation. Bigger government is always good. Strict gun laws everywhere. Abortions for all. Things like that.
In fact, the politician and the CEO are no different. The politician has to worry about his own stock holders called voters. He can't support legal weed because on the whole it might hurt the value of his brand, otherwise known as his party.

To end the ramble and bring it back to the issue at hand, there's really no escaping the fact that we spend our time not on what's best for us and the people around us, but instead on trying to keep our image elevated and our status in "our party" respected (whether that's the group of scotch drinking investor buddies, the teaching staff you have nothing in common with, the sewage workers labor union, or the head surgeon). When we engage in this attitude we do nobody favors. Not the world at large, not the individuals on the receiving end of our skills, and especially not ourselves.

So what can we learn from this? Simple. Learn to shift gears. Learn to put it into fifth only when necessary. But please also learn to be intelligently lazy. Learn to love the slow hum of first, too, for when we're in first gear we can relax, we can look off into the distance and appreciate the world around us. We can come up with the next big idea that went buzzing by the folks locked into high gear, nothing more than a blur.

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