100 Words On: Why Laziness Is Usually Someone Else’s Fault

A man had two dogs: a hound, to assist him in hunting, and a housedog, who simply laid around the house. After a good day’s hunt, he always gave the housedog a large share of his spoil. One day, the hound, feeling much aggrieved at this, reproached his companion, saying, “It’s tough working so hard, while you, who never assists in the chase, luxuriates on the fruits of my exertions.” The housedog replied, “Don’t blame me; it’s our master’s fault. For rather than teach me to work, he taught me to depend for subsistence on the labor of others. — Aesop

Photo Credit: M Yashna


  1. 1

    Nick says

    Definitely a lot of that going around these days. A strong work ethic must be taught from a early age. I think technology has made life so much easier today than our ancestors had it, that it often suppresses people’s drive to actually work hard.

    • 2

      Len Penzo says

      No doubt technology has made things easier for everyone. Interesting theory that it may, in general, be responsible for dulling some people’s work ethic. I’m not sure I agree though, NIck. I do agree though that one’s work ethic is instilled at an early age.

  2. 3


    This is a good one! Aesop is known for fables but this could easily be nonfiction – if dogs could talk or if these dogs were the people they actually represent…

    • 4

      Len Penzo says

      Who says dogs can’t talk?! I used to have a Siberian Husky that I taught to say “Oreo.” He got one every night before bed time — assuming he asked for it. Which, of course, he always did without fail!

  3. 7


    Many children say they are lazy because that is their excuse. Laziness is an excuse for not being interested enough in something to get it done. If you are interested in something the energy is usually boundless.

    • 8

      Len Penzo says

      I agree, KC. Which is why it is important to do what you love for a living. If you don’t enjoy what you do for a living, odds are you won’t put the work in that is required to make you successful.

  4. 9


    Another thing I’ve noticed is the fact for many people, below-average credit is the response to circumstances above their control. For example they may be really saddled with illness and as a consequence they have large bills for collections. Maybe it’s due to a occupation loss or even the inability to work. Sometimes breakup can send the finances in a downward direction. Thanks sharing your notions on this weblog.

    • 10

      Len Penzo says

      Agreed. However, I think in many cases such a fate can be avoided when folks make sure they have a sufficient emergency fund in place. Especially when it comes to job loss — not so much, maybe, for catastrophic illnesses.

  5. 11

    Guy says

    Why is the working dog so jealous of what the other dog is doing? Why doesn’t he just worry about himself? Obviously the man of the house values the house dog enough to give him food so why get so uptight about it?

    Boggles my mind that people worry so much about what everyone else is doing, earning, whatever.

    • 12

      Guy says

      An example is I have a friend who is an Executive Assistant for a Vice President at her company. However, the VP is the CEO/Founder’s Brother-In-Law. She claims he is terrible, can’t do anything correctly, and pretty much shows up for a few hours a day and plays games on the computer. She ends up doing almost all his work yet he makes 250k and she makes a bit over 35k. I tell her to stop worrying about what other people are making, be happy to have what you do, and if you don’t like where you work leave. But she is so hung up on how she is doing his work and not making the same amount of money.

      Just don’t understand.

      • 13

        Josh says

        I am not sure what is so hard to understand. The fable is not about jealousy. The fable is not about worrying about what other people make campared to yourself, it is about another nonworking person living off of what you make. This is not about two people m aking different incomes. Only one person is making anything, Yet 2 people are sharing the fruit of the labor.

        How can your friend not be upset? She is doing the work for another person who makes 8 times as much as her. If she is able to do his job, she should make 250K while he sits on the computer doing nothing making 35K.

        How about you send me half of your paycheck. I will tell you not to worry about what I have done to earn it? Deal? I can send you my address in a private email. :)

    • 14

      Karen says

      Hey Guy, how about sending me half your weekly income because you have more than you need and I have needs but not enough cash? The reason the hunting dog is peeved is that he EARNED his food, and his precious earned income is being squandered by a Communist (Oops, I mean generous) government on a lazy non producer who lolls around the house all day. This is incidentally also bad for the house dog’s character, house dogs being one of the most underemployed classes of animals in America today. If the owner earned the meat by himself and then shared with the house dog, perhaps the hunting dog would not mind, but the hunting dog earned the meat and his earnings were being confiscated to feed the lazy, non productive dog who sleeps all day and begs (votes Democrat?) for his dinner.

  6. 15

    Rogers says

    There is no doubt that the master at a minimum enabled if not created the sloth of the house dog. There must, however, be an opportunity for the house dog to earn his keep if he is to become self sufficient. If there is no way for him to support himself he will not starve willingly. He will turn on his master and take what he needs.

    The hunting dog is not on solid ground to complain. He benefitted from support in the form of free food and shelter when he was a pup. Someone presumably his master supported and educated him to become the hunter he is now. Without that support and training he would be dependent not handouts also.

  7. 16

    Rosemary says

    The role of the hunter dog is to hunt and provide. The role of the house dog is to loll about the house and be there for the master to enjoy. The role of that brother-in-law in Guy’s example is to fill a seat and take an income from the family business and the assistants job is to help him do that. We are much happier if we understand our roles in life and make the best of what we have. Envy, jealousy, etc. of what another person does or has will only destroy our own happiness not theirs. Useless pursuit.

    • 17

      Karen says

      Rosemary the parable is not about envy or jealousy, it is about fairness. It is not fair for the worker who hustles to have to support the slothful citizen who lolls around in idleness. We’re not talking about the badly crippled, the mentally retarded, the the severely mentally disturbed, the very elderly. We are talking about the able bodied who refuse to work to support themselves, or who crank out a flock of mostly unsuccessful children by serial sperm donors and refuse to work because of “the children” who will in turn become the next generation of the non productive idle. Guy’s executive assistant has an emotional problem because she refuses to tell her boss that he will give her a substantial raise or she will look for another job where her enormous production is appreciated. It is possible that the executive assistant is either in love with her boss or so enjoys playing the victim role that she will not leave her job with the pittance of a salary. The parable is about fairness, the productive should not have to support the non workers for the entire length of the non worker’s life. No one minds giving a hand up, but the productive class (private industry mostly) resents having to give a constant hand out to those who choose not to work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *