By Fidel Elizchrist Ujunwa
Idleness is a great vices – An evil habit and practice. It is the father of all evils. Isaac Watts once said that satan finds some mischief still for idle hands to do.’ There is also a proverb that says – ‘An idle man’s brain is the devil workshop.’ A life of idleness is a life of sin.
Often time, people envy the rich who do not have to work for a living and have holidays from January to December. We wish to be idle like the rich but idleness is not really happiness. No one who is idle all his days can enjoy real happiness, it is work that gives us real happiness so we should not remain idle.
It is improper for youth to be idle. Idleness eats away all his energies. He is a foolish person who says – ‘l have nothing to do, the world is full of suffering people and they try to remove their suffering. What nobler work can there be?’ The health of an idle person is bound to suffer, and without health, there can be no happiness.
So, it follows that in order to be happy, we must work because idleness can never give us real happiness. An idle person is like a strong beggar who does not earn his living by honest work. He cannot hold up his head or command respect from others, only an honest worker can enjoy respect and dignity.
Idleness can lead to ill-health, overweight and one becoming physically unfit.
Some bible verses on idleness are:
1. 1 Timothy 5: 15: Besides that they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house and not only idlers but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.
2. Ecclesiastes 10: 8: Through sloth the roof skins in, and through indolence the house leaks.
3. Proverbs 19 :15: Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.
4. Proverbs 31: 27: She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Causes of Idleness
1. Unemployment: Lack of work
2. Mental Problem like depression
3. Ill health and overweight
Symptoms of idleness
-Even if you feel comfortable you get the senses that you are being unproductive.
-A preference for doing nothing.
-When you try to act proactively, it feels like a struggle.
-Even if you want to do something about your idleness, it feels like too much of a strain and you might not put in the effort.
-An absence of applied effort.
-Lack of enthusiasm.
-Lack of feelings of satisfaction.
Some feel laissez-faire to indulge in any activity or work, especially those born with a silver spoon if not well-groomed. Ernest Agyemang Yeboah says – When it is midweek, pause and ponder, the very single days we disregard are what becomes the very years we wished to have used effectively and efficiently. If we disregard today, we shall remember our ‘Had I known’ tomorrow. Time changes, therefore think of the changing times.
John Lubbock also says;
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer day, listening to the murmur of the water or watching the clouds float across the sky is by no means a waste of time.
Consequences of Idleness
1. Poverty, lack, and the inability to take care of oneself and the family.
2. No amount of gifts and favors can ever satisfy a lazy person.
3. Laziness and idleness can lead to ill- health, overweight, and one becoming physically unfit.
4. Idleness makes you become slack.
5. Idleness makes one sluggish.
6. Idleness causes you to drag your feet.
7. Idleness makes one dull and unfit.
8. Do not become a victim of idleness. Guard your mind and get busy for God. Get busy planning and doing productive things for your life, family, society, and God.
Idleness is a disease and it is very bad. Currently, the rate of Idleness is much in our country and in the world. That’s the reason rape especially child abuse is rampant in our world today. Most people do not go to work again because of “lockdown” which may cause negative thoughts and mindset. Like Anurag Shourie says “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop and I am prone to renting out my mind the first bidder”.
Dangers of Idleness
1. It leads to a negative mindset like rape, stealing e.t.c.
2. It can lead to anxiety.
3. A poor thinking capacity, loss of concentration, and even decline in memory.
4. It can lead to the thought of suicide.
Three steps to minimize idle time
1. Plan what you want to do each day. The first step is to have a clear idea of those things you need to do to minimize idleness. Have a vision for your life – What you want to see yourself becoming in months or years to come. Create a to-do list every day that contains the task you need to do to enable you to achieve your vision. Set goals, have an intention, and take actions every day to get to where you want to be.
2. Watch for idleness, the next step is watching for the signs of idleness. There are numerous signs of idleness. E.g Lack of enthusiasm, absence of applied effort e.t.c. The various signs of idleness were listed above in this article. Take note of all of them and watch out for them.
3. Get back to doing those things you need to do whenever you are idle: It’s very important to set goals, intentions, and take actionable steps each day to achieve your goals.
Youngsters should not be idle. It is not advisable at all, they should get something doing, even if it means learning a skill or engaging in one or two activities so as to get themselves busy.
They should always engage themselves in outdoor activities that will make them move to meet with friends and other activities that will make them happier.