Recommit to Virtue: Part 2 of 10 – Industry or Sloth

The first societal blunder Gandhi identified is wealth without work.  In modern capitalism there are countless ways individuals and businesses seek to obtain wealth without work, or, as Dante described it, they exist in a state of sloth.  Disproportionate rewards for efforts invested through speculation and the leveraging of assets, as well as human capital, are the nature and foundation of profitable business.  Gandhi advanced the notion that the greater there is worker ownership in the effort, and a commitment to industry, the healthier will be the balance.

Industry and sloth are both about work.  A decision is made to take charge and commit to success, or to accept no ownership for the future.  The difference between industrious persons and slothful ones is the vision they hold, and their attitude toward work.  Lazy or slothful behaviors are self-absorbing and self-reinforcing, and eventually result in apathy.  Sloth follows a path marked by listlessness, melancholy, lack of joy, depression, indifference, despair, hopelessness, and despondency.  We slip into sloth by following the course of least resistance, or by neglecting to take proper care of something in a timely manner.  Industry is people-centered, whereas sloth and laziness are self-centered.

Industry is the capacity of being actively engaged in a cause.  Efficient and effective people always possess the ability to manage their time in order to accomplish more.  Industrious people lose no time in making and achieving worthwhile goals.  Time management is essential, as well as consistent and persistent effort.  Self-respect is developed from receiving an honest grade for an honest effort, or honest pay for an honest day’s labor.  Industry suggests that temporarily living with discomfort because you are engaged in something worthwhile, something important, something that lives beyond self, is the target.

Originally posted on October 3, 2011 on