It’s Friday night, and I am resolutely ignoring all the work I didn’t get done this week, including not only work stuff I had planned to complete this week but also the cleaning of the foyer. Tomorrow I might complete all these things, but this evening I’m planning to knit, read, maybe have a cup of tea.

Down time.

This morning in class we went through a PPT presentation on Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat. We had some discussions of the points made. When we got to the “Ambition Gap,” we acknowledged that the world at large thinks we’re slackers.

That pioneer spirit and American Work Ethic, the theory goes, is gone. It has been replaced by a sense of entitlement and narcissism that makes America virtually worthless in the global marketplace.

“Is that true?” I asked my students, a roomful of freshmen.

“Yes,” they said thoughtfully. It sounded about right to them.

Yesterday, #1 daughter unburdened herself of a brief rant about slackers. It reminded me of an American folk song I know:

Single I am and will remain,
A lazy man I won’t maintain.”

What happened? And is it okay? As long as we’re happy slackers, is it acceptable to be a nation of slackers? Are we getting all right brain creative and coming up with innovative ideas while we appear to have given up hard work?

I might mull this over in a desultory way while I knit. Knitting, by definition, makes the reading of novels or the watching of TV into worthwhile activity.