Idleness is a vice that normally does not raise eyebrows because it predominates in the lives of people and often goes unsuspected. The author in the article Idleness of November 18, 1758 talks about idleness and the reasons why it goes on undetected. He says it does not cause harm directly to the people such as fraud does or like pride which people notice because it dwells in demeaning others who are deemed inferior. On the contrary, idleness has a peaceful quality and it is silent.
I think this is the reason why not many people talk about idleness because they do not even notice its existence especially with people who have plans just as Mr. Sober who is an idler. Idleness takes many forms, some people know they are idlers while others appear busy but in the real sense, they are also idlers. Mr. sober embodies idleness. Idleness is a power to reckon with because it ensnares people. Too much sleep is not good for anyone because it is a sign of laziness. He talks of people who do nothing apart from sleeping until they can sleep no more and wake up only to go back to sleep.
These people would rather have twenty-four hour nights and will prolong the nights using double curtains to keep out the sun light beans, which interrupt their sleep. Lazy people become accustomed to idleness that it becomes difficult for them to do anything. Thomas says that some are even proud of being idlers and take pride in doing nothing. However, in idleness people waste their lives, which would have been used in doing meaningful things for themselves, their families and the society. In addition, Lumusa notes that apart from idling in form of sleeping some people make plans that they never get around to implementing. There is a popular saying that failing to plan is planning to fail. However, to the people who only concern themselves with making plans and not doing anything about them they are just as good as idlers. Planning or having plans does not necessarily mean that one is not idle.
Planning is a good cover up for idleness because one appears as if they have made a schedule and thus have some things to do and so no one considers them idlers. These people are under the control of idleness and thus cannot bring themselves to abandon this vice and work like he rest of the people. Idleness can be a full time job. Thrasher observes that, some idlers have made idleness their main occupation. These kinds of people have many things going on but they master none. Mr. Sober is a good example of a person who does so many things to occupy himself and shut out the thought that he could be idle.
For instance, Mr. Sober knows about so many jobs but he does not do even one of them perfectly. Instead, he occupies himself in gaining knowledge about the various jobs. He prefers talking just as many idlers do because talking is easy and not very tiring because one can talk without engaging one’s brain. Mr. Sober does everything yet ends up accomplishing nothing.
These kinds of people though they appear occupied they are as guilty as the idlers because they do nothing meaningful. Idlers prefer to do useless things to meaningful ones. Mr. Sober knows he is an idler and occupies himself with meaningless activities.
For example, he likes chemistry and does distillations in his small furnace yet he knows the experiments are of no use and spends a lot of time at them. This useless activity helps him to pass time that he would have used to do something meaningful things like gainful employment. McCann, sums this up by saying that idlers know the right thing to do but choose not do it. Instead, they prefer to fill their time with sleep and hobbies. Moreover, they manage to getaway with idleness because in their meaningless occupations do no affect other people hence no one bothers with what they do. Yang says that idlers manage to string along in life because idleness is silent. Some do not even realize they are being idle because all day they are occupied with so many activities.
They have all the time to do things that are not helpful yet never find time to engage in real activities. Choosing to engage in hobbies and other acts of laziness, the idlers forego their chance of engaging in real employment. Finally, idleness is a vice just like any other. It must be fought against because it robs people of the time they would have used to get involved in meaningful activities.
It is also important to note that idleness is not easy to detect as the author says it is silent. People are not bothered by idleness because many times it goes unnoticed thus by failing to detect it the vice continues to grow silently. People must recognize the signs of idleness to able to overcome it and be bold enough to tell those who are idling to get up and work like the rest. Surely, idleness should not be a trait that anyone should be proud of possessing.