Homework? Are you out of your mind? The teenager chuckles as his eyes dart back towards the television screen. You know me, I’m too lazy for that, he proudly announces as his friends begin to laugh. They understood him. They empathized.
Somehow, in the midst of everything, giving up became the new black. Fear, hidden behind laziness, has plagued an entire generation. People are afraid of failure; they cringe at the mere thought of messing up, believing that the tiniest mistake will expose their incapability to the world. Those who bother to try are called out and mocked; inactivity became the norm, as if underachieving is now the ultimate goal.
Some wonder, do these kids simply have no ambition, no dreams? They forget that while a certain level of competition can be healthy, the amount of stress teenagers are under nowadays has doubled, if not tripled. With the acceptance rates for college getting lower and lower, the amount of hours this generation spends on not only schoolwork, but also extracurricular activities, is rapidly increasing. Between succeeding at school, staying committed activities, managing their personal and social lives, attending family functions, and getting enough sleep, teenagers are constantly under stress.
The slightest mistake on their part could crush the possibility of a brighter future. A single unsatisfactory grade could lead to panic, panic of not being good enough. With panic comes the loss of motivation. When encountered, we tend to drop everything, especially our faith. We tell ourselves, it’s hopeless, I will never be enough, there are people out there who are so much better than I am without working as hard, what’s the point?
All right, but get this, we all wish to achieve greatness with minimal efforts, but very few manage to do so. You can’t stop bothering just because someone else is better; there will always be someone better. You can’t stop trying simply out of fear of being knocked over. Life has bashed you to the ground and you that’s where you are going to stay until you decide to do something about it. So stop using laziness as an excuse: start trying, start making mistakes, start living. By choosing to stay idle, you are failing life. Understand that the main goal isn’t to become the best, but to become the greatest you, yourself, can be. Things won’t get better unless you make them better, life has no pity for quitters; they say you are either the muscle or the dirt, now which are you?
This article was written by Elaine Zheng, a writer for dusk magazine.