5 Excuses For Being Lazy (Provided By Science)
Do you spend 10 minutes driving around parking lots looking for the closest spot? Do you have a treadmill you use as a towel rack? Is cooking anything that takes more than 15 minutes basically the same as climbing Mount Everest? Congratulations, you are one of my people.
Society wants us to feel bad about being lazy -- it's even one of the seven deadly sins -- but I am here to tell you to ignore all that noise, accept who you are, and I'll understand if you have to stop reading this article because scrolling becomes too much effort.
To Fight Laziness, You're Fighting Evolution
So much of our lives are wrapped up in the fight between nature and nurture. Your parents may have been industrious people who tried to raise you to follow in their quickly moving footsteps. But you became the sort of person who is reading this article only to avoid doing actual work. (When you've finished this one, might I recommend a few more?) But it isn't their fault. They are fighting millions of years of nature selecting for the laziest people to survive.
Mother Nature thinks this guy is super sexy.
You'd think that it would be the opposite, since if you couldn't be bothered to put in the effort to run away from a lion, your chances of breeding were pretty much zero. But preserving energy was incredibly important when you didn't know where your next meal was coming from. If you had to conserve calories, sitting around gave you the best chance of survival. Being lazy literally saved our ancestor's lives. And despite the fact that we are now lounging around watching Netflix instead of shapes in the clouds, our brains haven't changed. They still view putting effort into something as a life-or-death decision.
This is basically CPR.
In caveman times, we didn't plan ahead for anything, because there was a good chance we'd be dead. We went for instant gratification all of the time. Now time has moved on, but our brain is still stuck in that mindset, wanting to lie on the couch eating ice cream rather than do work. For a lot of us, if we can't see that exerting ourselves is going to result in an immediate payoff, we're not interested. Making detailed plans and following through is hard. You know what's easy? Being lazy and telling ourselves that it isn't really our fault.
There Will Probably Be A Pill For It One Day
Of course, there are those annoying people out there who manage to use their intelligence and fight their evolutionary background enough to be functional members of society. They make the rest of us look bad, and they also prove that if we really tried we could be just like them, all peppy and infuriatingly productive, right? Possibly not. Thank the Lord; there is another excuse for why you sit around on your increasingly large butt all the time. Some people have a double whammy.
Speaking of, all this reading must be tiring. Take a quick break.
For those people, not only is evolution against them, but they have a mutated gene that makes them even lazier. This mutation affects the system in the brain that regulates how much physical activity you get. In other words, if you have this mutation, your brain forces you not to exercise. Mice with the same mutation walked around just one-third as often as a normal mouse, and when they did manage to motivate themselves to get up and walk to their mouse-sized refrigerators, they moved slower.
You'd put it off, too, if you had to go through a stupid maze every time.
But scientists found that giving mice with the mutated gene a pill that activated their dopamine receptors got them up and moving. And the scientists involved think that such a pill will one day be a part of the fight against human obesity. While the chances of you having the gene are really low (they found it in two of the 400 people they studied) the important thing is that you COULD have it. And the scientists think millions of people overall will be helped by this magic pill ... when they get around to making it. I'm not saying they are procrastinating, but they did discover this a year and a half ago. Still, until then there is probably nothing we can do, so we might as well skip the gym until they make the human version.
It Will Bring Us Closer Together
It is a fractured world we live in. The class divide is getting larger, political parties are getting more polarized, and religious groups face discrimination all around the world. But if there is one thing that can bring us together as a human race, it is laziness. That's because if you aren't a part of a group, chances are that you think that group is really lazy.
For example, the 2012 American National Election Study found that 53 percent of white people think that they work harder than black people. That's right, even in a supposedly post-racial America, and after having an African-American president for a whole term at the time of the study, the "black people are lazy" stereotype still exists.
You should feel ashamed for even having this photo, Getty.
But it doesn't stop there. Thin people think that fat people are lazy as well. It doesn't matter that we know that everything from genetic disorders to economic status to if you were born during a C-section have a huge influence on your weight; people still think it is completely down to a fat person not putting in the effort to be thin. Because of that, obese people are discriminated against at work, more likely to be convicted of crimes, and even have a harder time making friends.
Completing our depressing threesome are the results of a poll on what the average American thinks about people living below the poverty line. Surprise, surprise: They think that poor people are poor because they are super lazy! Forty-three percent of those surveyed think that poor people could find a job if they really wanted to, regardless of other factors.
This guy couldn't even make it to his destination without stopping for a nap.
So what is the point of all this? Well, I think if we would just embrace our own laziness then we could all start loving each other. We might never be able to convince thin, rich, white people that everyone else isn't really as slothful as they think, but if we make it OK to embrace our own indolence, maybe that won't be a problem. So next time someone brings up one of these ugly stereotypes in your presence, proudly announce how you, too, are lazy. Wear it like a badge of honor. Then go back to trying to change channels with your mind like a Jedi since you can't reach the remote.
Everyone Else Is Just As Lazy
We might as well embrace our inability to be productive, since it seems that it's true.
Baby Boomers and Generation Xers are convinced that Millennials, what with their Internet and being able to get anything they want almost instantly, are the laziest generation, falling far short when it comes to our work ethic. The thing is, 50 percent of Millennials agree with that sentiment.
Dear Parents and Grandparents: Thanks for fighting all those wars, or whatever.
And the numbers seem to reflect this. We've started sleeping longer and watching more TV. Work hours are decreasing. Even when we are at work we take more breaks and go on social media.
But what exactly are we doing with all this free time? Because apparently we don't seem to be able to find the motivation to do things that are supposed to be fun. More than 60 percent of people admit to lying about having read a book that they haven't. Even if you can't make it through War And Peace's 1,300 pages, you should at least be able to read a 2,000-word Internet article, right? Nope, people share articles all the time based only on the headline or a quick skim.
So here's a big thank you for making it to Page 2 of this article!
Even if you just aren't a reader, there are other fun things out there that you are too lazy to do. Ninety percent of gamers will never finish the video game they are playing. Even something that requires absolutely no effort, like watching a movie at home, appears to be too much for all of us. We lie about the movies we've seen all the time, with a whopping 30 percent of people unable to concentrate long enough to watch a classic like The Godfather.
You Are Changing The World
So what is the upside to all this? Well, by being lazy we are literally changing the world.
The entire history of progress has been driven by lazy people. After all, it wasn't the fit hunter who could throw a spear at a mammoth all day who was looking for an easier way to do it; it was the guy who could barely break into a trot and just wanted to go back to the warmth of his cave. Almost every invention is supposed to save us time or effort in some way. If you're productive enough to be happy with the way things are you will never think about ways to make your life easier. Various businesspeople over the years have said some variation of: "Always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job, because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it."
And they repeated some other guy's words because they were too lazy
to come up with something themselves.
If you are that lazy person selected to improve the world for everyone, even though you have to become a bit productive in order to create that new invention or new idea, you don't want to go overboard. Make sure you don't bother to clean up your workspace. Scientists found that people who are clean and tidy all the time stick with conventional ways of doing things, while those of us lazy enough to live in complete chaos are much more creative. Apparently, this allows us to "break with tradition and convention." Hence, we will be the ones to change the world for the better.
In half an hour.
Kathy managed to be productive long enough to write the very funny book FUNERALS TO DIE FOR, and you can buy it here. Or follow her on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter.
Until they invent a pill that cures laziness, let's embrace lazy while we can. Don't procrastinate on reading 4 Important Skills That Lazy People Learn In High School, and buy these products in 5 Pet Products That Prove You're Too Lazy For A Pet, if picking up your dog's poop is just too taxing for you.
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