web analytics
April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Who You Calling Lazy?


Family-logo

Share Button

Have you ever experienced a scenario similar to the following?

“My son, Ari (fictitious name) had been making an effort to study so he could get good grades. We arranged for twice a week tutoring in the evening, and that was after a long day at school. He wants to succeed. All children want to succeed. He’d like to see comments such as “great job” at the top of his homework. He’d also prefer having test sheets with fewer red X’s and “F’s” at the top of his papers (circled for emphasis in the event the “F” goes unnoticed).

“Despite the tutoring, review work and efforts Ari had put in, his teacher’s evaluations seemed to contain comments such as: ‘He’s just lazy; if only he would try harder.’ I observed him daily. He was so down on himself and very frustrated.

“Eventually the tutoring stopped and so did Ari’s studying. Why would he want to study if his grades were so low? The kids made fun of him, and his teachers kept reminding him that he had a lazy streak. I tried so hard, praising him for his efforts; however his father echoed the same sentiments as the educators. Ari’s behavior issues began escalating and we were told to seek a new school for the next year.

“Months into the new school year, Ari missed a lot of school. Getting him out of bed and out of the house was a daily ordeal. His father made sure to ‘remind’ him that he was being lazy. And Ari, well, he was simply matching the image that had been created for him.”

How many of us have heard or uttered some of the following comments:

“He’s lazy; that’s why he’s not doing anything.”

“She’s not helping me because she’s lazy.”

“S/he could do better academically but s/he’s lazy.”

“I’m too lazy to pick myself up.”

Oh, and let us not forget those descriptive expressions which, when spoken, provide us with a pre-conceived and pre-judged image and/or perception of others (or even ourselves) as in the following examples:

“He’s not working because he’s a lazy bum.”

“She’s a lazy good-for-nothing, that’s why she ____ (fill in the blank with a judgment of your choice).”

I’m curious. As you read these terms, what specific image/s do you conjure up in your mind? And even if in your mind’s eye you are not associating these comments with anyone specific, when you think of these statements, what thoughts come up for you?

Isn’t it interesting that the word, lazy, seems to be used exclusively in conjunction with negativity? And I wonder when we hear such comments as those mentioned above, or when we communicate using such language, how many of us reflect on the connotation of the word? Do we ever question those descriptive labels or do we simply take the word at face value based on a worldview perception? Well that is exactly what we will be exploring in this article: What is laziness? What lurks behind the term? And how can we avoid being judgmental of people who we perceive as lazy?

Webster’s dictionary defines lazy as resistant/not disposed to work or exertion, idleness, sluggish, slow-moving, indolence and slothful. Keep in mind that laziness is a state of being and these definitions are mere synonyms for that state. So now that we know how the dictionary explains the word, I thought it would be interesting to hear what people have to say on the matter. How does the populace perceive laziness? And for that, I requested the assistance of a few people in my community.

Five individuals were kind enough to help me explore the topic by responding to the following question: “How do you define lazy and what does laziness mean to you?” Oh, and to you, my dear readers please feel free to answer this question, too, and notice how your ideas differ from the five responses that are presented below. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer. Each person has opinions and thoughts based on his/her map of the world. (On an interesting note, all of the respondents indicated that their descriptions were influenced by vivid images of individuals with whom they were acquainted.)

So How do you define lazy and what does laziness mean to you?

“Lazy is lacking motivation and good spirit, acting lethargic and getting distracted. I think people who are lazy aren’t happy. They don’t understand and embrace their sense of responsibility to themselves, their work or toward theirs role in life (i.e., family, school).” – “M”

“If you put off tomorrow what you can do today, as opposed to being diligent and getting things done, that’s called lazy. If someone can do something for me instead of me doing it – that makes me lazy.” – “E”

“Laziness is staying in bed late; not putting in a full day and making the most of your time; someone capable but not putting in the fullest of his/her potential. As far as I’m concerned, I’m usually diligent. And when I sleep till 8:30 on Shabbos morning, I refer to that (i.e., myself) as lazy.” – “N”

“Lazy is someone who is in low gear, mixed up and lacks energy. In fact, a person who is unmotivated can be perceived as lazy because he has reduced activity, is sedentary and lacks physical energy. Actually, I don’t like the word; it’s too negative.” – “S”

“I act lazy when I just don’t want to do something at all. This is not procrastination. I know it’s due to an insecurity which is higher than the drive in me to move forward (and my drive is very high). After working on this issue for several years, currently, when something threatens my sense of insecurity, I will deliberately undertake the task.” – “S”

Shifting gears, Psychology Today (March 2009) carried a brief, yet informative article. Titled The Myth of Laziness, Jenna Baddeley, in my humble opinion, spelled it out clearly and provided us with much food for thought. Here are some of her ideas on the subject of laziness:

“If laziness does exist, what are the criteria that define it? If a person with a high-powered, high-paying job comes home each day and lies on the couch for an hour or two to watch TV, is that person lazy? Or is he simply caring for himself by taking a well-deserved break? What about someone who lies on the couch all day? Is there anyone who does this out of laziness, or would we instead be concerned that such a person is clinically depressed?

“Too often, casual observers mistakenly attribute laziness to people who have mental illnesses like depression or anxiety disorders that impair their ability to work and be active. A person with compulsive hoarding, for example, is not ‘lazy’ about cleaning or organizing their home. For a person with compulsive hoarding, throwing away a paper cup may be dreadfully difficult and stressful. For such a person, throwing away five cups may require immense courage and hard work – it would certainly not be a task for the truly lazy.

“We attribute laziness to people when they have failed to do specific tasks that we value. We typically do not label people lazy when we have stopped to consider the fuller range of their activity and motivations.”

The next time you have the urge to refer to someone as “lazy,” especially if it is a struggling child, step back and consider that there is more to the subject than meets the eye.

Debbie Brown is a certified life coach specializing in parent coaching, and is an NLP Master Practitioner. She is available for private, confidential phone coaching sessions as well as lectures and group workshops. For further information or to express feelings regarding the Parental Perspective topic, Debbie may be contacted at lovetoughcoach@aol.com.

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Who You Calling Lazy?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
BDS targets Zabar's; Carole Zabar promotes BDS proponents.
All in the Family: BDS Protests Zabars; Carole Zabar Promotes BDS
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Debbie Brown
Family-logo

Having parented a struggling adolescent for several years, Yael was expecting that life would be different for her now twenty-year old son. She was, and still is, an excellent student, diligently applying the tools she has been gaining in our coaching sessions. Harmony and peace has returned to her home, and the relationship (with her son) she was working on mending has become a reality. Admittedly, she attributes the restored relationship to a parenting methodology she has undertaken — the love-tough approach.

Family-logo

Toxic Language Tishrei — and the yom tov pattern returns! Of which pattern am I speaking, you ask? If we were to identify the main aspects of each of the holidays during this month, generally speaking, and in rather simplistic behavioral terms, the pattern of the night and following day might look something along the […]

Recently, I asked a family friend, a financial advisor, to share with me his perspective on the importance of rapport in the world of sales. In a general way, I knew that successful salespeople maintain good rapport with their clients. And so I was curious. Was the need for developing rapport in business any different than doing so in a parent-child relationship? To that end, I posed the following questions: “How do you establish rapport with a new client? And what do you believe is a key issue to creating rapport?

A political figure refuses to comment on a current news story in which he is involved.. In the hope of avoiding a scuffle with her parents, a teenager, who has broken curfew, quietly opens up the front door. As she makes a mad dash to her room, she tries to avoid being noticed and questioned. In both situations, a lack of communication may be perceived as failure on the part of the individual to take responsibility for his/her actions, and/or an admission of guilt. In such cases when the person does not say yes, the message being conveyed to others can be perceived as noby default, and vice versa.

The Meaning of The Communication Is The Response It Elicits

In most homes, as women prepare to join the Seder (hopefully, somewhat rested), the anticipatory anxiety associated with the “P” word (pre-Pesach angst) is no longer. The cleaning, preparations, shopping and cooking are now a thing of the past. And finally, the Hagaddah’s legacy of yetzias Mitzrayim (exodus from Egypt) takes front stage.

What does it mean to be validated? In what areas of life can one expect to be validated? What attitude, behaviors or actions convey a message (or feeling) to someone that s/he is being validated? How does one validate, or invalidate? What benefits are there to validating and being validated – in the short term as well as long term?

In the first two parts of this four-part series, we discussed the need to validate someone who is mourning the loss of a loved one. Utilizing a Rabbinic illustration, we presented the story of Rav Yochanan ben Zakai when he sat shivah for his son. The focus was on his receiving consolation: why he received comfort from his one student, Rav Elazer ben Aruch, and not from his other four students. Now let us move to a Biblical backdrop as we continue.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/who-you-calling-lazy/2009/08/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: