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Thought for the Day: Laudable Aspirations - Be Lazy, Be Selfish, Be Not Stupid

I read a short story in my youth (long after the invention of the printing press, but before the invention of the web) entitled "The Tale of the Man Who Was Too Lazy to Fail".  The basic story line is the protagonist continually evaluates his available options and always opts for the one takes the least effort.  For example, he decides that being on honor roll in high school so he can go to college on a scholarship is less work than digging ditches and/or getting a part time job.  That idea made a deep and lasting impression on my psyche.  I have expanded on that theme and have three goals to which I constantly strive: be lazy, be selfish, be not stupid.

My mode of dress, for example, is an expression of my laziness.  I know that all my shirts (white) match all my pants (black); I expend no effort on choosing my wardrobe.  I wear dress slacks and white shirt to work everyday so I don't have to change after shacharis, nor for mincha, nor for ma'ariv.  I am good to go an dressed appropriately for all events.  I put on t'fillin every week day, because a man who fails to put on t'fillin will enter olam haba with (at least) a crippled arm.  It's a lot more work to do things with one arm, so putting on t'fillin is much lazier option.  I am very careful not to speak lashon hara or even d'varim b'teilim (talking for no ultimate purpose), because I want my mouth and speech to work well in olam haba.  Goodness; can you imagine how much more effort it takes to get things accomplished if you can't speak clearly?  Also, even in this world, carrying anger and resentment is just way, way too much work!

As far as being selfish; I've learned that everything you have in this world will eventually be taken away and given to someone else.  If I won an opportunity to go into a mall and keep anything I could get out the door in 15 minutes, I'd spend every second on finding high quality stuff and getting it out the doors.  I would spend no time amassing stuff next to the doors for the next contestant.  I work hard and want to keep what I earn.  The only way to keep my earnings is throw them over the wall to the next world.  So I work to fill up my day throwing things out of the world and into the next.

I strive to be not stupid so I can fulfill my first two goals in the best way.  You may wonder why I don't strive to be smart.  Well... I am very good at being selfish, I am gold medal material at being lazy (or would be if anyone ever bothered to show up to the lazy olympics), but being smart?  Puhleeze... I am looking for achievable goals here.  Being not stupid may be a stretch goal, but at least it may be achievable.  In fact, just a month ago I did something not stupid, so there's hope.


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