Spider’s Web: CHEELA CHILALA
LAST week I shared one value I learnt from my father: the importance of education. This week, however, I would like to proceed from the premise that sitting on the classroom desk in itself will not automatically grant you success. You must work hard – that is the only thing that separates good students from bad ones.
Hard work is a value my father emphasised without tiring. As part of his strategy for imparting this value, my father used to tell me and my siblings a traditional tale about hyena and why he is considered to be a symbol of laziness.
According to this tale, hyenas were once humans living in a village. The chief then passed a law to stop laziness among his people: anyone who would not work would turn into a hyena.
As it were, those who failed to work were transformed into hyenas and, too ashamed to live among humans, escaped into the bush. However, they continued to be lazy, hence the tendency by the hyena to scavenge rather than hunt its own prey.
The tale goes on to say that when hyenas howl they actually say, â€œWe also used to be human beings but ran away from work!â€
Every time my father told us this tale, he would end by stressing the need for hard work and a warning that laziness is a curse that can make one dependent like the hyena. To be sure, laziness is a fly-in-the-soup for those with a vision and desire to attain the purpose of their lives.
I learnt this principle in the formative years of my life and have clung to it.
This value may be a hand-me-down from my father, but it sure has made a difference in my life; and in the lives of many others, too.
To succeed in anything, we must all learn the value of hard work and the destructive nature of laziness or slothfulness. If you read the Bible, and especially the book of Proverbs, you will see how much it condemns slothfulness.
Yet there are Christians who hide their laziness behind a veneer of, as if faith on its own â€“ without action â€“ can bring results. These are what I call spiritual misfits: they do nothing and think all they need is prayer. But then it is not enough to pray for a good harvest â€“ go out there and grab the plough!
The trouble with us is that we want sweet without sweat – the harvest without the planting. Success follows principles: you reap what you sow.
If you plant nothing, you reap nothing. Thomas Edison, the American inventor, correctly observed: â€œWe often miss opportunity because itâ€™s dressed in overalls and looks like work.â€ Another American scientist, Benjamin Franklin, once said, â€œSloth makes all things difficult, but industry all easy; and he that riseth late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night, while laziness travels so slowly, that poverty soon overtakes him.â€
A hard working person has greater chance of escaping poverty than a lazy one.
This is the point, I suppose, which Israelmore Ayivor, the Christian motivational writer, makes when he says, â€œThose who see poverty looking for human slaves to capture, will tell you they saw him holding the handcuffs of laziness.â€ Similarly, the religious author Gordon B Hinckley says, â€œWithout hard work, nothing grows but weeds.â€
Poverty is one of the weeds that can grow from the seed of laziness.
If you are in school, do not throw away the opportunity by being lazy. Education is good but only if you make the best out of it.
If you have a job, could it be laziness that is keeping you away from that desired promotion? Work hard, do not follow the way of the hyena.
Way of the Hyena: Danger of laziness
Spider’s Web: CHEELA CHILALA