Laziness is Actually Fear

Kaitlin Lee, Staff Writer

Did you know the word “paresse” means “laziness” in French? I learned that in my French class. I also learned from my French teacher that she never allows her students to use the word “lazy” in her class, in French or in Anglais. To her, “laziness” doesn’t exist. People are not actually lazy, but rather, fearful.

At first, I was not sure what to make of this. After all, I’ve always associated laziness to sleeping in on weekends, watching Netflix in pajamas, and staying indoors to do nothing. “Lazy” was a trait I attributed to myself, and I never thought myself to necessarily stay indoors because I was afraid, but because I enjoyed doing so. But maybe my French teacher was talking about a different type of “lazy”. Maybe she was more speaking about “procrastination”.

One of the deadly sins is Sloth, and even to this day it is one of the hardest sins to fully define. In the olden days the more popular definition of Sloth was having the capability to act, either through wisdom or strength, but not doing so. Although its modern usage is just “inactivity”, it can also mean “apathy” and “indifference”, which then is expressed through laziness and idleness. I thought more about why someone would seemingly become apathetic, and I found that fear is actually a good source of it.

Think about it: when students are stressed about a deadline, what do they do despite their stress? They go waste time, and do activities such as watching Youtube videos or playing a video game. Or if someone is afraid of public speaking, most of the time they try to avoid any form of public speaking. One of the most common ways that people avoid things they are afraid of is by not doing them at all. They put on blinders and pretend their fears don’t exist because their anxieties tell them that they only hurt them. As in, they turn apathetic to the things they fear by just ignoring them in general.

However, any adult will tell you that you can’t live your life like this. Everyone talks about conquering your fears because if you don’t conquer them, they will conquer you. However, I don’t see many people speak about how you also can’t let your fear force you to procrastinate and ignore your problems. Instead, they attribute procrastination to laziness without actually looking deeply into what causes it.

I will tell from my first-hand experience that I procrastinate specifically because I am lazy. Although it might be considered sacrilegious to admit it in an article, I will say that when other people edit my articles, I sometimes avoid reading the edits or suggestions. Even if I see the notifications, I turn a blind eye and watch another cooking video. Why do I do this? Because I am afraid of criticism, since to me, criticism means that I didn’t do well enough. Of course, I know that isn’t true, but I am still afraid of it. That’s why I always wait at the last minute to correct my articles when I feel I have to do it.

To me, it’s incredibly important that we acknowledge that procrastination doesn’t mean that we don’t care. It can sometimes mean that we are afraid of certain consequences or we have irrational fears that prevent us from being more active and in pursuit. But we shouldn’t let anxiety control us by dictating what we will or will not do. So, the next time you are stressed about a test and decide to cope through watching yet another Buzzfeed video, choose instead to look at your anxiety as an exciting challenge and push yourself to face your fears.