The infestation of lethargy


As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that there are a few things that just really irk me. One of them is injustice. Another is the mistreatment of others. And still another is when I see someone being taken advantage of. Of course, all of the aforementioned can be seen on a daily basis on the national and world news. 

Another one of my pet peeves is the all-too-common thing that I’ve seen way too much of in my lifetime: lethargy. Lethargy to me is when people are too lazy or too content to not try to do better for themselves or their families. They are not only too lazy, but they can be some of the most selfish, self-centered people I’ve ever encountered. They are takers in the worst form, never giving thought to giving back in some way! (I know who clans of people who have lived off of the Federal Government for decades, never contributing anything to their communities!)

Recently I ran into an old classmate of mine. I had not seen him for decades, and of course I wanted to hear how life had treated him and what he had chosen as his career. He never gave me a straight answer, so I just presumed that perhaps he had worked some boring job all his life and that he wasn’t very proud of himself. With that in mind, I didn’t press the issue. It was only until later that I learned that this man had never worked a day in his life, but had bummed off of his parents his entire life. He was counting the days until he could draw some kind of government check. 

As I began to ponder as to what his life must have been like, I caught myself being angry that this man had not contributed to society at all. He was a taker and certainly not a giver. All of my hard earned tax dollars had gone to fund this man’s lethargy and self-centeredness. (I still get angry thinking about it!)

Lethargy can take other forms as well. It can be someone who is a minimalist. This is a person who has always just done enough to get by. He or she never makes any extra effort for it is not required of them to do so. (I have found that most people who are minimalist are usually extremely self-centered and want to make sure that they always “get theirs” before everyone else does!) These kinds of people never give a thought to letting someone go ahead of them in line. In their minds, it is owed to them to always be first because they have done what is required of them. 

Those engaging in lethargy can also be those who are excellent planners. They can come up with some of the most grandiose plans, but most of the time that’s all they ever do is to plan. They never follow up with their plans for fear of failure. Many of them have in the back of their mind that someone else will step up and bring their plans to fruition. If this happens, they are usually front and center to take all the credit and acclaim for their great and wonderful plans. 

Now before you start thinking about all the people that you know who are just like this, are you absolutely, positively for sure that you’re not one of those people? Have you operated as you have all of these years and become so accustomed to getting your way, that you have created a culture of lethargy within your church, school or community?

Proof of what I’m suggesting can be seen in thousands of churches and school districts all across the nation. Because the leadership of these entities refused to budge and let new and fresh ideas into their circle, the stagnant church or failing school continued its downward spiral until they had to close or merge with another church or system. 

These people and their lethargic ways are like an infection that quickly spreads until it becomes an infestation. We are presently in the midst of just such an epidemic. If you don’t believe me, just start looking at how many churches are closing their doors. Look at the failing school systems with their failing academics. Look at the upstart companies that are putting old, mundane companies with old mundane ideas out of business. It is a pattern that is far too familiar, but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

It is time; it is high time to wake out of your slumber! It is time now to shake off the lethargy, and to ask God to forgive your stubbornness, and move on with the program. Life will be richer for you and all of those around you. I dare you to try it!

Garry Lovette is an author and counselor whose articles are seen in more than 135 countries of the world. To comment about his article, or to learn more about him, visit