The evils of idleness Human beings have become the rulers of this planet. We have spread ourselves to all parts of the world. Whether it is the desert, mountains, forest, oceans or caves, humans have been able to live and prosper in all these conditions. The reason for this is our ability to adapt to our environment. It is the main difference between humans and other animals on the earth. So if we are to continue to survive and prosper, we must continue to adapt. For this we cannot be idle.
To overcome different obstacles in their daily lives, the first human beings had to invent different tools and think of new methods of doing even very simple things. Things like collecting water, building a hut, making a fire, cooking food were not easy at that time. They did not have match boxes, buckets, gas cookers and pans that we have today. They had to use things in their environment to help them survive. If they were idle and did not create or invent things they would have died and we would not be here today.
Even today we use some of the inventions that were created many, many years ago, like the wheel for transportation, the fishing rod for fishing, the pen for writing. We have also made many more inventions which have made our lives better and easier. There are many medicines to cure us of illnesses, planes and ships to travel, computers to communicate and store information, clothes to dress and protect us. So we can see the importance of not being idle, and to use our time intelligently to do things that will make our lives better.
Most of the successful people in the world are those who are not idle. They do not sit at home in front of the TV. They don’t spend their whole day eating and sleeping. They don’t talk about unnecessary things. They spend their time doing useful things. They study and learn different things, and think about how they can make it better or easier. It is this kind of people who can be successful in life. And it is this kind of people who can make a country successful.
If we want Sri Lanka to develop and become prosperous, we need more people who are creative and inventive. Not people who are lazy and idle, and do not contribute to the country. Take for example the farmer: the farmer who toils hard digging, watering and weeding his crops will have a very good harvest, the farmer who just throws his seeds in the soil and is lazy doesn’t dig the soil, doesn’t remove the weeds and waits for it to rain will have a poor harvest.
As the famous American Benjamin Franklin said “Idleness makes all things difficult, but hard work, all things easy. He that rises late must trot all day, and shall rarely overtake his business at night, while laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him” When, however, we speak of the evils of idleness, we mean by idleness the neglect of work at a time when we ought to be working.