How Laziness Caused An Environmentally-Friendly Accident

At work, posted on the wall, is a list of reminders of what to do each day before leaving for home too quickly. These are so mandatory, regardless of any twists and turns, that they must be done routinely and a check mark should be placed in a box beside the task.

This morning was the first day back after a 3 day long weekend, meaning our workplace was closed during that period. Therefore, the columns and tasks for Saturday and Sunday still had open and unmarked check boxes. Normally, at the start of each week, we replace the sheet with a new blank one, which is practically spotless, as if to remind us that we have done nothing yet this week.

I didn’t replace it. When asked, I presented my justification in this way. There were still two open days left, Saturday and Sunday, since we were closed. Today is Tuesday. Why don’t I substitute Saturday and Sunday with Tuesday and Wednesday? Or even draw lines in the middle of the squares to make one square become two? Then I can add a couple more days?

When onlookers tried to grapple with the congested mess I had made, I came up with a scorcher of a closing argument. I wanted to save paper – be environmentally friendly. Sounds good, doesn’t it? It must have, as people stopped bothering me and seemed to accept my reasoning. If so, why am I still dwelling on this well into the night? Normally, using such short cuts are meant to be a humorous release. Unfortunately, in this case, I am worried that I have sullied the environmental cause and borrowed their paradigm for my selfishness.

I was, in fact, lazy to print another task sheet of daily procedures with check boxes. I took a short cut and drew some in, made some substitutions, and saved some time in order to have more time to procrastinate at work and come up with this story. I often end up protecting the environment in round-about, indirect ways, but I am not a card carrying environmentalist. If my approach to religion is similar, would I make it to heaven?

-Patrick Law



Filed under Short Cuts

2 responses to “How Laziness Caused An Environmentally-Friendly Accident

  1. We know for sure that human activity is influencing the global environment, even if we don’t know by how much. We might still get away with it: the sceptics could be right, and the majority of the world’s scientists wrong. It would be a lucky break. But how lucky do you feel?

  2. Thank you ‘green thinking’ for visiting this blog and your comments raising awareness to an important cause.

    To answer your question, after my post, I certainly don’t feel very lucky at this moment. I kind of feel a bit guilty for almost making light of the environmental situation. In my story, it’s almost as though environmental concerns were secondary, an after-thought, or a by-product of my laziness.

    But it is good that stories can help us reflect, interpret, and elicit other reactions for better understanding.


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