“They want wealth without having to work for it” …”They have never worked a day in their lives”…”They feel they’re too good for the jobs that are given to them”- These are just several expressions we hear about the laziest generation to have ever existed.
High school civics class has taught us that history has a way of unfolding to benefit the modern day world. History has plenty of dark periods, some of which are still lingering, but generally we are only informed of all the wonders our human history has achieved.
People of the past are thought to have worked hard to provide the lives that we live today. When we are being idle, we hear our parents shout “How can you be so lazy, your grandfather fought in the war for you!” etc. We hear phrases like this often in youth.
Nowadays, a burgeoning generation emerges- the Millenials- a generation defined by social trends, consumerism, and downright laziness. But are the twenty-to-twenty something year old’s truly the laziest generation to have ever existed?
The truth is, a lot of Millenials are in school studying, which is no effortless task. Plenty of Millenials work part-time jobs and pay bills as well. Some are business owners, hustlers, and musicians. So the answer is not so clear.
Looking back three to four hundred years ago, an even lazier generation reveals itself.
1607 Jamestown, Virginia- John Smith spearheads the first permanent colony on American soil along with 100 other men. Smith’s followers included indentured servants who were promised a piece of land at the termination of their labor, and entrepreneurs who invested in the risky enterprise.
American life was difficult for the colonists. Though they procured help from the Native Americans, the colonists continued to struggle. Cultural differences contributed to the failures of the colony. Native Americans, for example, would hunt for their food, while Colonists viewed hunting an activity that was strictly for sport. The colonists would rather farm the land, but some of the entrepreneurs were too lazy to work.
John Smith was so fed up with the lazy colonists, he proclaimed the famous quote
“He who does not work, neither shall he eat”
A quote that has had implications in Lenin’s philosophy, centuries later.
The interesting thing is, some colonists took Smith up on his offer. By the end of the first year a substantial amount of colonists died of starvation. This starvation was preventable if they would have been willing to work, but the entrepreneurs did not wish to compromise their identities as gentlemen.
The colonists literally chose death over work.
So, compared to the Millenials, who maybe engage in excessive Tweeting now and then, I’d say there have been lazier generations in the past. Choosing death over work is characteristic of a lazy generation.