Sloth is one of the seven deadly sins. As a child – a lazy one at that – I could not understand why lying around all day was a bad thing. Sit on the couch, watch a little television, jam out to a CD (remember those metallic discs with only twenty songs?), where’s the harm in that?
The harm, I’ve learned, comes in being a wallflower. The reason sloth is a sin – for those who are not of a religious nature – is because you offer the world nothing but your excrements. A sloth is a person that does nothing. They are apathetic. A sloth will watch a first grader take a vicious beating from a group of fifth graders and do nothing. A sloth will hear a woman getting raped and not bother to dial three little numbers: 911. A sloth will witness any injustice with an air of indifference and boredom. That’s why sloth is a sin. Not being able to look beyond your own skin to help the world around you is selfish and cruel. Where would the world be if Martin Luther King Jr. had been a sloth? Or Abraham Lincoln? Where would we be if the founding fathers had just played a rousing game of Tic-Tac-Toe on the parchment that holds our constitution? Nothing has achieved a level of greatness with little effort. Explorations, revolutions, works of art and literature, scientific discoveries and advancements, all of those things required effort. But something that doesn’t require any effort, however, is watching kids being bullied, watching a drug dealer sell drugs to kids, let someone drink and drive. Being apathetic is easy. Nature moves towards disorder on its own. But that doesn’t make it right.
Sloth – apathy – is, in my opinion, one of the most dangerous sins. A nation of sloths is a nation lost to perpetual injustice. We can’t allow ourselves to be sloths. We can’t melt into the paint on the walls and pretend that other’s unfairness does not affect us. To do that is to let an evil spread in our community and to relinquish our right to complain. Because if we don’t do something about the wrongs in our world, then why should anybody? We need to rise against the issues that hit close to home and work towards making our world a better place. Otherwise, all we’re leaving behind in the world is our excrements.