Flee Sloth; For the Indolence of the Soul is the Decay of the Body: Cato the Younger

the quote "Flee sloth for the indolence of the soul is the decay of the body" written against a blue background

You know what a sloth is, right?

It is a lethargic, unbelievably slow and might I say adorable animal that lives on treetops and travels 41 yards per day – less than half the length of a football field – on average.

Cato the Younger, in his famous quote, urges you to “flee sloth.”

Does he mean flee from a sloth?

Well, Cato definitely didn’t mean that (I hope).

But what he means is scarier than that for me.

Ever seen or been a person that sets an alarm and never EVER wakes up to it?

Not very proud to say, but I am exactly that person. Every Sunday evening I re-resolve to turn my life around by waking up at 6 in the morning, go for a short run and have breakfast before I start work.

I have managed to actually do that on precisely ZERO days.

I am so proficiently a sloth slave that I shut the alarm off in my sleep. And then wonder why didn’t it ring. If ‘sleep shutting an alarm’ was a disease, I suspect that I am in a fairly advanced state.

So when I was reading a book the other day, this quote felt like a tight slap on the face:

“Flee sloth; for the indolence of the soul is the decay of the body.”

Sleeping in till late does make me feel happy that I got good sleep, but that transforms into guilt instantly as soon as I open my eyes in the morning.

Oh Darn! Not again.

It’s not that I haven’t tried doing it. I have.

I have read books on avoiding laziness. I have read numerous books on the benefits of waking up early. I have watched TED talks by people who have had their lives transformed by waking up early.

What I have failed to do, is act on all that knowledge.

Maybe reading this was a sign. I have sloth’ed around too much. Today, being a Sunday evening, I am ready for the transformation in my life.

Time to set the alarm. And hang this advice from Cato right beside the clock.

Flee sloth; for the indolence of the soul is the decay of the body.


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