It is useful to one’s growth and development to be given, at the start of step six, a list of character defects. It is even more useful, at the conclusion of the same step, to have formulated a list of contrary actions to counteract them.
Unfortunately, there is a hazardous force which divorces one from one’s ability to implement those actions. This force takes many names, ‘laziness’ being one; it is also called ‘willingness’ and sometimes ‘effort’.
The writer of this blog once considered laziness to be a misnomer; a misdiagnosis; it was, it made such beautiful sense, the outward appearance of paralytic anxiety. Indeed, anxiety can turn energy against itself, and render it apparently inert. But if we are honest in our self-examination, does this explanation account for our every idleness?
No, for the writer of this blog, at least, when it comes right down to it, it does not. No, in point of fact, there are instances in which one scours ‘l’intérieur’ for gusto and, having scoured it, simply finds none.
Is it fair to assume then that tiredness, a lack of sleep, might account for what remains of our disinterest in rising from the couch and painting a landscape or feeding the homeless? In some cases, perhaps. Yet the energy to watch television and eat a sandwich does usually 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”. But ultimately, we must face the fact that a lack of inspiration may be innate in us. A lack of passion, like power, may be “our dilemma”.
What is the remedy? Drugs and alcohol worked wonders for a time, but the consequences, we found, were too severe. So instead we are told 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.” 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.