The Verdict: No One is Lazy


A jury wouldn’t find someone guilty of laziness because that’s a perception, not a fact.

Suppose a young man, James Littleton, is accused of being lazy, and it’s his day in court. The prosecution and defense are each going to have their turn to present their case, and then the jury will reach a verdict.

But guess what? The prosecution has no chance of winning a conviction. That’s because laziness is only a perception: Someone else deems that another person has not demonstrated the same level of work ethic or commitment to (whatever) the accuser believes is “appropriate.”

However, perception and fact are not the same.  Not only are there varying interpretations as to what constitutes enough work (so that someone is not viewed as “lazy”), but there are other variables that aren’t even likely considered when people pass such judgment.

Namely, people with incomplete lower brain development are always working much, much harder than what the rest of us can know. That’s because we can’t see how their brains are working overtime to compensate for one or more missing automatic brain functions.

People’s motivation to perform is also often linked to what they believe to be important. Here, it may be as simple as someone doesn’t share the same degree of interest as the person “accusing” him or her of being lazy and, therefore, puts forth less effort.

Or, perhaps the accuser doesn’t know how to motivate others to do more. For example, there are some people who are never satisfied with any outcome (they’re always critical—no matter what work has already been completed). In such case, those who interact with these individuals often conclude, “Why bother to even show any effort?”

Yet, people keep tagging others as “lazy” as though none of these variables ever come into play.

That’s why the case against James Littleton has no merit. The prosecution cannot prove (let alone beyond a shadow of a doubt) that he—or anyone else—is guilty of being lazy. We simply cannot convict others based on our own perceptions.

Note that this line of thinking applies to other accusations, as well. For example, annoying is just as much of a perception as lazy. Yes, some people may act in a way that’s not in sync with others’ expectations or desires—but that doesn’t mean those people are annoying.

Interestingly, there are those who continue to tangle perceptions with fact and insist that people truly are lazy, annoying, manipulative (the list goes on).  So why might that be?

Well, when we label people with such undesirable terms, we cleverly shift the spotlight away from ourselves and now inadvertently shine it on everyone else. In other words, we believe it’s up to the other person to change.  However, so long as we’re waiting for someone else to transform, we’re not likely to move forward.

So, since our perceptions are intricately linked to our actions, we may need to first ask ourselves: Are we making accusations about others . . . that would never hold up in court?

And if we’re the ones being accused, we may want to remind ourselves of the big difference between perception and fact—and that other people’s opinions do not really render us guilty of anything. In fact, we can throw their case out of court any time we choose.

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