I was never one of those people who made New Year's Resolutions. I figured life was hard enough without the extra pressure of some self-imposed goal that I probably had no chance of meeting. Finally, I have found someone who agrees with me that living as a sloth is the best way to find the path to peace and happiness. Wendy Wasserstein has written a much needed book for those of you who think that working hard is the way to get ahead.
The book, Sloth : The Seven Deadly Sins,
is a collection of chapters on how schedules and jogging are for dummies and unlocking the lazy you is the path to contentment. Wasserstein writes the book in the third person voice of a male self help guru--which is a little confusing.
If you had told me six years ago, before I got sick, that hanging out at home staring at the ceiling could be the road to fulfillment, I would have thought you were nuts. Now I congratulate myself on a day where I sit in pajamas until 3:00 in the afternoon contemplating getting up long enough to check my email or post something.
So how do you figure out if you are in need of being saved by your inner sloth? Wasserstein presents three types who can benefit from sloth therapy:
Category One: Do you ever hear some someone say, "I rest all the time, but I'm always tired." Believe you me, this person never rests. They may be lying down, but they are thinking, "I should be exercising, I should be reading, I should be having sex with my neighbor...." etc. By adopting a slothlike lifestyle they will, for the first time in their lives, be truly rested.
Category Two: "I don't need to rest, I get high on life." This is bologna if I ever heard it. Who could possibly get high on life? In life, there is disease, random acts of violence, natural disasters, undisclosed fascist governments, not to mention world poverty and hunger. If you look life in the face, you couldn't possibly get high on it.
Category Three: Here's my favorite--the fellow who says, "There are certain things I need to do." Like what? See the Eiffel Tower? I say watch the Travel Network. Have sex with Britney Spears? Watching her video from the comfort of your living room is a nearly identical experience. Visit your mother before she dies? Buddy, if you haven't been kind to your mother all your life this final visit is not going to make it up to her.
Wasserstein also lists the top ten lies about sloths (although she states she simply does not have the energy to refute them). Here is a sample of a few of such lies:
1) Sloth is dangerous and causes a variety of medical problems.
2) A sloth's life is unbalanced and deficient in human interaction.
3) Sloth is an anticapitalist conspiracy.
4) Sloth leads to mental atrophy.
5) Sloth will lead to the end of democracy and civilization.
Wasserstein states, "To all of these lies, I say no one ever went to war because they were sloths. No one was ever murdered or killed in the name of sloth. Furthermore, sloths don't go on religious crusades. Terrorism requires initiative and cunning. If sloths are fundamentalists, their fundamentalist belief is to rest. Hate takes energy. Destroying the ozone layer requires industry. Therefore slothdom can save humanity."
Well, I guess this is where Wasserstein and I part ways. Unless all people in the world become sloths, we cannot all aspire to crawl into bed. Thank goodness that there are those brave souls out there who are willing to fight on the sloths' behalf to keep them safe at night. Without those who fight their inner sloth, we would not have the beds, lights and creature comforts of being a sloth as well as our freedom to discuss the virtues of laziness and the sins of terrorists. Now excuse me while I go back to bed.