Indolence takes various clever guises, the commonest of which is the habit of dwelling too long on trifles and frivolities. From mere greetings and pleasantries, to serious national issues, Nigerians have cultivated the habit of wasting time and engaging in frivolities, to an irritating and annoying degree. This is one seemingly simple national malady which must be addressed with seriousness if we must develop in the right way.
Anyone reading this material who has visited or lived in any of the developed and industrialized nations would agree that there is usually a very fast degree of movements and activities. Another feature which can be noticed quite easily is that the people talk sparingly, but everyone minds his or her own business. In spite of these characteristics, the people are usually very observed, vigilant and watchful of what goes on around them.
Please, let the current reverses and changes taking place in Nigeria be translated into some positive life-style and values which would do away with pettiness and frivolities. Conditions of ease and comfort often lure many people into a state of inertia and indolence, but now every event around us demands that we should embrace diligence and do away with frivolities. It is sad to see how civil servants waste time in careless chats, while productivity diminishes increasingly.
Current global economic policy of “down-sizing” demands that no individuals, organization or nation should waste time or resources on any unproductive fellow or projects. Anything that is unnecessary, superfluous, disturbing or not adding some value to life, should be discarded. We should do away with the habit of accumulating and adorning ourselves with junks which civilized people had discarded long ago. Increasing disillusionment everywhere, including failed relationships are indications of the fact that people should discard what cannot add positive value to them. Agonies facilitate disengagement.
Physically, Nigerians are hard-working and can hardly be described as indolent people, except for a few clever rogues who seek to reap where they did not sow. Such clever ones who expropriate the Commonwealth demonstrate one brand of indolence. When you find an individual or group of persons who are sluggish, living a life of ease, comfort and luxury and show their wealth, arrogance, power and brute force, what lies behind such features is mere indolence.
Please, let the wealth and the comfort-zone which such people delight in, not arouse anybody’s envy, because there’s more to affluence than meets the eye. Is there any glory in plunging one’s nation and posterity into adversities and agonies through exploitation of loop-holes in the polity? Only indolent people do such things, because those who are blind to the consequences of their actions are really indolent. Only blind and myopic people do whatever they choose, so long as it can bring them wealth, mindless of what agonies their activities create for others. Truly, indolence is a weakness which hides under a life of luxury and comfort.
The indolent fellow is not necessarily a sluggard. Armed robbers, fraudsters and traffickers in hard drugs are definitely not sluggards, but behind their exploits and bravery, they are inwardly dull and indolent. Indolence manifests in the guises of stubbornness, obtuseness and insensitivity, whereby the individual becomes unmindful of everything else, except the narrow value and mind-set that motivate activities. Such indolence can also manifest in addictions and other propensities, arising from failure on the part of an individual to live up to the demands of a normal life.
Wherever indolence predominates, various ways in which it can manifest include: exhibitionism, conceit, fastidiousness, stupid stubbornness, getting obsessed about the faults in other people, vanity and vaulting ambition. Passing the buck, shirking of responsibility, getting others to slave for you while you live in idle-ease, these and similar such habits are various brands of indolence. Shamelessness is another visible form of indolence.
Dr. Amirize is a retired lecturer at the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.