Habits of Idleness
‘Habits of idleness’ once firmly fixed cannot be suddenly thrown off. The man who has wasted the precious hours of life’s seed time finds that he cannot reap a harvest in life’s autumn. Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine; but lost time is gone forever.
In the long list of excuses for the neglect of duty, there is none that drops more often from men’s lips or which is bounded on more by self-delusion, than the want of leisure. People are always cheating themselves with the idea that they would do this or that desirable thing ‘if only they had time.’ It is thus that the lazy and the selfish excuse themselves from a thousand things that conscience dictates to be done. Remember that the men who have done the most for their own and the general good are not the wealthy, leisurely people, who have an abundance of time to themselves and nothing to do.
They are the men, who are in ceaseless activity from January to December— men who, however, pressed with business, are always found capable of doing a little more. You may rely on them in their busiest seasons with ten times more assurance than on idle men.