Sloth (Latin, acedia)
- More than other sins, the definition of sloth has changed considerably since its original inclusion among the seven deadly sins. In fact it was first called the sin of sadness or despair. It had been in the early years of Christianity characterized by what modern writers would now describe as melancholy: apathy, depression, and joylessness. The modern view of the vice, as highlighted by its contrary virtue of zeal or diligence, is that it represents the failure to utilize one’s talents and gifts. For example, a student who does not work beyond what is required (and thus fails to achieve his or her full potential) could be labeled slothful.
This fits my mood for today perfectly. I realise I could be writing a much more witty piece on the subject, since I have years of training and practice behind me, but I’ll just stick with what’s going on today. I feel bummed, really bummed, and low on energy. I wish I could go outside and take advantage of the wonderful sun, like everyone else in the summer, but I have no vacation. And no drive. And a now permanent fear of skin cancer. But I digress…
Instead I’m battling myself in the war on learning. I am trying very hard to “work beyond what is required”, but it just seems TOO MUCH STUFF TO KNOW BY HEART (and what’s the point in that anyway?). And thus I combine both sadness / despair and the lack of diligence today. Usually I am rather ambitious. I don’t count myself to the very best or top-percentage, but I definitely want to be better than the average. Even if the average in my major, in this year, at this university, is already insanely achievement oriented. None of that usual “I’m a student, I hang around all day and empty beer kegs at night” – mentality. Although you’d think that since I’ve already been at this for 10 semesters (that’s FIVE WHOLE YEARS!) I’d know what I’m doing and should have time to throw in a drunken night or ten. Well – nope.