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@ Quesi ^^. That's all well and good, but it seems to me you are avoiding the question by refusing to see it as a possibility. Are you (you also NGFM) of the opinion that laziness is always (or very close to always) indicative of depression or another mental health problem? Is it possible that some children are just lazy bastards exploiting their parents love and care?

Sorry to go back so many pages in this thread.  And I'm sorry to stray so far from the OT.  But I did want to address this.

You know, we are all subject to laziness.  I woke up early this morning to work on an important funding proposal with a looming deadline.  But I'm sitting here on the forums instead of working.  So I'm being lazy.

And yes.  Perhaps I am speaking out of the blissful ignorance of my stage of parenthood.  7 year olds are so full of potential.  Perhaps the reality of her life will be nothing like what I imagine.  Maybe nogodsforme's daughter will decide that her calling in life is to be a roadie for One Direction, and my daughter will dedicate her life to blogging about the wisdom of Joel Osteen. 

But "just lazy."  You know.  I've really never met anyone who was "just lazy."  When I was a kid, there was the elderly couple who lived next door.  They had a son in his 30's or 40's who lived there, and who raked their leaves on fall days, and shoveled the snow for them in the winter.  He left his bottles of liquor in the leaf piles and the snow.  Everyone in the neighborhood shook their heads.  Such a nice elderly couple.  So sad their son never made anything of his life.  But there were those liquor bottles.  I suspect they had something to do with the situation.

For a few years, I had a contract to work with welfare moms.  Help them get training.  Job skills.  Get them off welfare. 

It was really hard work.  Everyone seems to know those lazy women who have babies just to get their welfare checks, because they are too lazy to work.  But you know what?  I never met anyone like that.

I met a lot of women with really low self esteem.  Women, young women, who had been beaten down by life.  Women who faced so many distractions, that they had a lot of problems getting to my program every day.  Poverty takes a lot of time out of your day.  Lots of people living in small apartments, with babies screaming and sirens outside and not a lot of restful sleep.  The projects where they lived were really far from convenient mass transit, and it took forever for them to get anywhere.  Even food shopping, healthy food shopping, was a half-a-day project.  They had poor nutrition.  Many had substance abuse histories or current battles.  Most of them lacked the ability to envision themselves living the kind of life I grew up dreaming about.  There were so many obstacles to the smallest of dreams. 

We had to report on their participation in our program.  Failure to participate meant that their welfare checks would be reduced, and they would have to go to a "fair hearing" to have their benefits restored.  They had lots of "fair hearings" and court dates with their children's fathers and court dates with their landlords demanding hot water and small windows of opportunity to travel to Brooklyn to the methadone clinics and no time to buy fruits or vegetables and haul them on a train and two buses back home.  But often, a woman would tell me that she got out of bed, poured herself a cup of coffee, and just never found the strength to get dressed and walk out the door.   If my days were like these women's days, I would probably not have the strength to walk out of the door every day either.  I might just sit and stare, in a semi-catatonic state sometimes, even if I knew the consequences would be fair hearings and court dates and more horrible, horrible days ahead. 

No one wants that kind of a life.  No one WANTS to eat potato chips on the couch in front of Law and Order reruns all day.  Not the privileged middle class 25 year old living in mom and dad's house, never having held a job.  Not the 25 year old mom of three kids, one of whom is starting to go through puberty. 

No one.  There is always some underlying cause.  Depression.  Substance abuse.  Something.  And no authoritarian mandate is going to provide a solution. 
Changed Change Reason Date
Betelnut For your compassionate discussion of poverty December 02, 2013, 10:17:07 PM