The writer of this blog did at one time take heart in the notion that ‘laziness’ was a misnomer, a misdiagnosis; to be lazy was only and surely, it made such common sense, the outward appearance of paralytic anxiety. 

For indeed, anxiety can turn energy against itself and render it, by appearances, inert. However, if we are truly honest in our self-examination, does this explanation account for all our human idleness?

No, for the writer of this blog, at least, it does not. No, in point of fact, there are instances in which one may very placidly scour one’s internal stores for gusto and, having scoured them, discover exactly none. 

Might exhaustion, a lack of sleep, account for one’s disinterest in rising from the couch and painting a landscape or feeding the homeless? Yet the energy to watch television and eat a sandwich does uncannily reveal itself. 

Truly, don’t we all know, at least transiently, what it is to simply lack the inclination to do what we ought? There are other contributing factors, to be sure; resentment, conflicting desires and a “hundred forms of fear”. Ultimately, though, we must face the fact that a lack of inspiration may be innate in us. A failure of passion, like power, may figure into “our dilemma”.

What is the remedy? 

Drugs and alcohol worked wonders for a time, but the consequences, we found, were too severe. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous tells us to “ask God for inspiration. An intuitive thought or a decision… What used to be the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind… Having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times… Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration.” 

If you search and you find yourself uninspired; keep searching. Never forget, dear reader: at the other end of every decision you make is another human being. 

And if God exists, he loves people who love people who love people.


There is a certain sort of person who prefers never to think of themselves as jealous. They might cop to envy, or admit that an aspect of someone else’s current circumstance is a goal they might one day like to achieve; but they will, in nearly every case, insist that the timing has not been right; that it will happen when it is meant to happen. 

Why? Because jealousy is embarrassing. It is, dare we concede, humiliating. The writer of this blog is just such a person. Perhaps some of you are as well. 

Why is our pride so precious? The Oxford Dictionary defines pride as “a feeling of deep pleasure derived from one’s own achievements.” So it is a sense that we are “better than” some contingent of our fellows? Then it ought to be dispensed with at once! “Humiliation is the beginning of sanctification,” said 17th century poet John Donne. And the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous speaks, too, of pride’s “leveling… which the [12 step] process requires for its successful consummation.” 

But that same dictionary defines pride also as a “consciousness of one’s own dignity.” And dignity as being “worthy of honor or respect.” Certainly, this is an unalienable right due us all! 

It seems only the edict of reason, then, that our lives must be lived somewhere in the middle place; that there is an order and it is cyclic; that we must apply the principles of good hygiene to our psyches just as we do to our bodies. 

Or, to use a more vivid and accurate metaphor; that we ‘muirburn’ or ‘swail’ our egos as we do our forests and grasslands, at risk for wildfires. That is to say, that we regularly and prescriptively set them on fire, in order to prevent annihilation. 

We cannot “wash” our egos with a “shower”; we must burn them to the ground. And no such flame exists in one’s own breast, for the superego cannot so separate itself as to become a villain to its host. No, the flame must come from without. 

So take some comfort, then, in the slings and the arrows of daily life; the insults and the slights; and particularly in the crippling humiliations. Yes of course your cheeks are flush! You are chock-full of the stuff of life!

For “pride goeth before destruction…” and “if you are willing to experience fear, disappointment, humiliation, and embarrassment… You become an unstoppable force of nature.” -Nicholas Lore

What If?

What if you had woken up this morning and walked out the front door naked, screaming bloody murder into the street? 

What if you had picked up the phone and called each of your loved ones, describing your sexual fantasies in increasingly vivid detail? What if you had driven your car into a crowd of people?

In comparison, whatever mistakes you have made today -a typo in an email, the misremembered name of your new colleague, the coffee you spilled on your new shoes- must surely seem slight. 

What if you were moments from death, many decades from now, and given the opportunity to travel back to this moment? Can you imagine the inexplicable joy, the utter freedom you would feel to be, simply and exactly, as you are right now? 

It is sometimes said in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous that “you cannot think your way into right action. You can only act your way into right thinking.” And it is indeed foolish to dwell errantly in one’s own mind. 

However, the writer of this blog must object to the aforementioned truism on the following basis: we can, in point of fact, take some control of our self-perception by doing just that; by dwelling for a time in our imaginations, with care and on purpose. 

We can better appreciate what is by asking ourselves what might well have been, and what might one day be. This is productive thinking. This is mindfulness.

The great screenwriting instructor Robert McKee is known to say that the screenwriter must know the world of their story “with the depth and breadth that God knows this world.” 

While we can never presume to know how the God of our understanding thinks, this is very good encouragement to be vigilantly thoughtful as we proceed throughout our day; and, indeed, throughout our lives.

How are you feeling right now?

Are there any resentments amongst the feelings inside of you? Is one or more of them directed toward a person, walking around on the planet right now? What does it feel like? Does it feel like a nausea in your heart?

In Latin, “sentire” means ‘to feel’. A ‘resentment’ then, might be understood as ‘a feeling that repeats upon us’; a feeling we cannot elude by time alone. How, then, can we do away with such persistent malignancies of emotion?

The answer, of course, if not innately understood, can be well-remembered from our formative years, whenever a conflict arose, as it did so often between two children on the schoolyard, and a supervising adult sought to resolve it.

What steps were followed by such an authority figure, in such circumstances? More than likely, they conformed to the following; step one: in the tempering presence of this mediator, each child was free, in turn, to voice their feelings about the conflict; to make known their perspective on the injury done to them by the other.

Step two: putting forth every effort to acknowledge and accommodate the feelings of both children, the adult would utilize the full power of their judgment and attempt to procure an apology from the child who caused the greater offense. If necessary, a punishment would be administered.

And so it went when we were babes. But babes we are no more. For when “[we became adults, we] put away childish things.” Gone are the responsible adults, paid and obliged to mend our broken peaces. Or more to the point, the responsible adults are us.

How do we proceed, then, in the absence of an apology, though it might be owed, as life owes death?

It is no easy thing. The harms man commits against his fellows are great. Yet there is recourse, and it’s pursuant to the same principles that governed the schoolyards of our nonage.

We must plead guilty or no contest to every charge levied against us; we must argue on behalf of the prosecution, and throw ourselves upon the mercy of the court.

For only then have we the spiritual dexterity to “forgive those who trespass against us;” who do so with impunity, laughingly, asking no forgiveness.

For only then are we truly free.