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Laziness is a symptom not a cause

We can't tell someone to 'stop being lazy.' We can only help them identify and overcome their challenges. 

Medium: Laziness Does Not Exist (but unseen barriers do) [paywall], 2018-Mar-23 by E Price 

I’m hoping to awaken my fellow educators — of all levels — to the fact that if a student is struggling, they probably aren’t choosing to. They probably want to do well. They probably are trying. More broadly, I want all people to take a curious and empathic approach to individuals whom they initially want to judge as “lazy” or irresponsible.

If a person can’t get out of bed, something is making them exhausted. If a student isn’t writing papers, there’s some aspect of the assignment that they can’t do without help. If an employee misses deadlines constantly, something is making organization and deadline-meeting difficult. Even if a person is actively choosing to self-sabotage, there’s a reason for it — some fear they’re working through, some need not being met, a lack of self-esteem being expressed.

People do not choose to fail or disappoint. No one wants to feel incapable, apathetic, or ineffective. If you look at a person’s action (or inaction) and see only laziness, you are missing key details. There is always an explanation. There are always barriers. Just because you can’t see them, or don’t view them as legitimate, doesn’t mean they’re not there. Look harder.

Maybe you weren’t always able to look at human behavior this way. That’s okay. Now you are. Give it a try.