Lately, quite a bit lately, and before that too, I’m often told by those around me that I’m lazy. It’s mostly as a joke because it’s always the excuse that I use to get out of doing something. Usually I’m one of the more active people out there. I mean, sure, I don’t do any sports like a lot of people do, but that isn’t what I’d consider all that constitutes  a lack of laziness. I work out every day, can run like a champ when necessary, not to brag, often have to do a job which involves physical labor and, to boot, when I go to friend’s houses, I quite often end up walking the distance to get there, which is usually a mile minimum.

More recently, summer has started and so has my summer job. My mom, who only works during the school year because of her job, now has decided to work with my dad and on the few days when she can’t, I have to work for a  few hours. Being a job of labor, it isn’t something I particularly care for but it isn’t exactly hard. Just boring. I come home from working and I’m fine to keep going with the day like I normally would. My mom comes home bitching and complaining about how hard it is for her and how tough it is. Irritating point number one is that she’s a lot slower than me and complains a lot more than me on the job. I get paid minimum wage and she gets paid about four or five bucks an hour more than me. Bullshit? Oh yeah. No doubt. I just ignore it, or at least try to.

And then she always ends up starting into how I don’t like to work, about how lazy I am for not wanting to work the rest of my life as some mindless laborer who is money-hungry and unable to stop working. Only once have I lost my temper to turn the argument around and point out that just because I don’t want to labor, it doesn’t make me lazy. That there are plenty of people who make a living off of their thoughts and that those people aren’t lazy, that they have had a huge impact on the world.  Now, sure, most people wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing to have a great work ethic like my dad but when your opinion on life is pretty much that there is nothing more important than working, I think you have problems. Probably the reason that I never had a father-figure growing up in the formative years and when he was there it was mostly to snap something at me and storm away. Real nice guy. This isn’t a counselling session though, so I’m getting off the point a little and should stop ranting about this.

No, after seeing him and experiencing his job I’ve decided that I’d rather be a more intellectual figure. My goal is to be a writer in life. I have some preferences, but in general just a writer; there’s nothing I love doing as much as writing. My family  considers this sort of job to be lazy, which is what sparks my question: does is make you lazy to want to do something besides labor?

I personally don’t think so. I’ve always been more of a fan of intellectual activities than physical ones. Sure, the usual argument that nothing would get done if it weren’t for physical work does hold water, however, most action, meaningful action, comes  from deep thought. And even as far as physical labors go, what I’m doing isn’t something that is as large of a physical impact as Genghis Khan had when he invaded. Genghis Khan was someone who had physical actions that had an enormous impact on the world whereas my job isn’t something with the same physical impact. This is an unnecessary train of thought because my writing will never be as influential as the greats, it will never compare to Aristotle, Machiavelli, Shakespeare or any of the countless others.

But by going off the logic shown by my family, every author, including those listed above, would have been lazy people. So would any teacher, professor or manager. Sure, most people would realize  how essential these talents can be,  but they would find it easy to discount them as lazy.

I’ll cut off the last two paragraphs of useless rambling to pose the question once more: do you believe that mental labors are laziness? What do you think? Which is more important? If you are someone who believes that anything besides physical labor is laziness, I would love to hear your opinion and why you think that way more than anything. Get at it!