Ken’s Column: Laziness is a cancer to the mind

Published 6:19 pm Monday, June 24, 2019

Last week, I was at Schley County High School watching the football team conduct their summer workouts. I was there to get information for our upcoming 2019 high school football preview, which will be published in August just before the season starts.

After the practice was over, head coach Darren Alford conveyed to his players the importance of being at every summer practice and how that would help them individually as players and the team as a whole. He also said something that got me thinking: “Laziness is a cancer to the mind,” Alford told his team. “It’s not a physical cancer. It’s a spiritual cancer. It begins in your mind and it spreads throughout your body until you are totally lazy.” He was saying this to warn his players to guard against laziness. What he said is absolutely correct.

Alford’s statements to his team got me thinking. Laziness is indeed a cancer. Not a physical type of cancer, but a spiritual one. It causes one to be unproductive. That lack of productivity can cause a person to see him or herself as unimportant to society, which, in turn, produces a poor sense of self-esteem. When one is lazy, they may at first feel good about it in the sense that they are in a state of comfort. However, over the long hall, they are unproductive. They end up failing to achieve certain goals and aspirations that they could have achieved had they devoted themselves to doing the hard work necessary to achieve those goals. This failure leads to the pain of regret.

Our country has always prided itself on hard work. It was built through hard work, not laziness. Any worthwhile endeavor that one may seek to achieve can only be achieved through toil and effort. However, the pain of that toil is far less painful than the pain of knowing that goals and desires will never be achieved due to the fact that one allowed laziness to be a road block to his or her success.

Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player to ever play the game, was once asked why he worked so hard at his craft. Jordan’s reply was that the pain of discipline is much easier to deal with than the pain of regret. Jordan is right. The pain of discipline is only temporary and leads to eventual success. The pain of regret can last a lifetime.

Many of you kids out there love to play sports. You have a desire to start on the varsity in high school. Perhaps you have higher aspirations, such as playing at the college or professional level. You will only achieve those goals through countless hours of hard work. Laziness will destroy those dreams if you let it. During the summer, you have the time to work on the skills necessary to be successful at whatever sport you choose to play. Pay the price. Work on those skills so you will be better. Don’t lie around and watch television. Put in the time that it takes to be a better athlete. If you allow laziness to creep in, you will never reach your potential and you will regret it later on in life. That regret may last a lifetime. That is how destructive laziness can be. Set goals for yourself and strive to achieve them while you still can. It may be painful and time-consuming, but it will be worth it. You will feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, which leads to a healthy self-esteem and a better quality of life. We were created by God to be movers and not to be stationary, so get moving and keep moving. You’ll be glad you did and you won’t have to experience the pain of regret.

Ken Gustafson is the sports editor of the Americus Times-Recorder. To contact him, email him at, or call 229-924-2751.