In fact, this conversation is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I can't help arguing that lazy folks have done far more good for this world than they get credit for.
I have a vested interest in this argument, of course; I come from an exceedingly long line of talented and accomplished lethargists, and I find it distressing that conventional wisdom would have it that our people's (lethargists) collective contribution to the world is nothing other than waste of time, waste of opportunity, and a burden to so-called "productive" people everywhere.
You see it all the time; there are quotes and adages like, "Idle hands are the Devil's playthings" or this quote:
"Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy."
~Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Remembering that I'm right now in a bit of a whimsical mood, let us look upon some of what I think that *we* think are great advantages of our lives today, and see what inspired these things...
When mankind felt too lazy to carry his own seeds and plants, he invented the hand cart (or what is today the wheelbarrow). A great gizmo, that.
Early fishers had a devil of a time keeping their faces below water long enough for a fish to swim into their mouths; they invented the fishing pole and promptly sat on the shore sleeping while fish swallowed hooks and waited patiently to be killed.
Sick of chasing down prey animals like the cave bear and slaying them with teeth and fingers, early hunters invented the spear, and ultimately the bow! The later invention of the rifle allowed red necks everywhere to sit up in trees and swill beer in order to catch food: just aim & shoot. Piece of cake, PLUS, they got out of the house for a day without chores.
The invention of the automobile came about because some fellow was too lazy to actually walk to the store for his bread. "Wouldn't it be easier to sit in a seat and just ride there?" Wondered he. "And too: I could do it all in one trip, not having to talk to and fro so many times for so much to get home." Thus: the car.
The sail that you see on boats was invented because someone was too lazy to row. And not for nothing, the vikings could easily have swam to North America (the less lazy folks who got here ahead of the vikings walked, after all), but it was easier to do it in a boat...lethargy strikes again.
Once upon a time, if you wanted to talk to someone, you walked over to their house and had a chat. That changed with the telephone, and the lazy escalated to where we are today: e-mail and texting. How many folks text to other people who are in the same house as them (I know I do!!)?
Gas ovens, so we don't want to have to cut the wood, stack it, bring it in, and pay attention to the state of the fire? Microwave ovens, because we're too lazy to cook on the stove? Frozen dinners, so I don't have to cut anything or peel potatoes?
Vacuum cleaners, because it's too much work to sweep (or take out and beat the carpets). These led to robots that sweep and wash the floors!
I'm going to submit that MOST of the modern-day conveniences that we feel like we just can't do without were invented by someone who just wanted to sit down and relax.
So the next time you sit in your car with bags and bags of groceries, or the next time you text someone, or vacuum the floors, use an electric knife, or ride your ride-on lawn mower, thank the anonymous lazy fellow who invented it. He may well have been one of my antecedents!
--This post dictated to my computer through voice-recognition software.