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Hawthorn Hill

December 19, 2013

Laziness must be overcome

An essayist in a weekly magazine, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, characterizes the past year as exhibiting an uncommon penchant for laziness. 

Congress, allegedly one of the least productive in history, heads the list. Our current crop of legislators have been excoriated for their inability to put partisan ideology aside in order to get something done – anything. Having been frequently among those disgusted with politics and politicians, the essay got me thinking about the virtues of thoughtful inactivity.

 A few minutes ago, while wheeling in firewood from the woodshed, I remembered what a friend, a distinguished lawyer, once said: “There is too much law.” 

Coming from someone steeped in the law on a daily basis and who from time to time wrote legislation for various state legislators, that has always struck me as a curious yet profound observation. That was many years ago. Imagine how much law is on the books now!

My politics are generally left of center, but not always. I try to be flexible and open to competing perspectives. Anyone hidebound enough to believe that he has all the right answers is a danger to himself and the rest of us. We often get so caught up in our own lives that we fail to give credence to alternative solutions to problems even though they make sense. We tend to see the “other,” either an individual or individuals, as failing to see the truth as we see it. Truth is often described as self-evident. Well, it might be in some cases, but not always. We are all guilty of averring that the truth of some matter be X when in fact for others it might easily be Y or Z depending on who they are, where they live, the platform of assumptions they have been raised upon, or simply a matter of temperament dictated by basic personality.

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