When I was seven, I went through a phase which I call “a lazy phase” of my life. I was lazy to do many of the daily tasks that I was supposed to do, and I was trying to get around with doing as little as possible. During this period, my school desk was one of the messiest in my class because I simply didn’t bother to organize my belongings and study materials.
But I also got creative in my lazy life. Back then, I used to wear a lot of button-up shirts. I was too lazy to fasten all the buttons each time I wore a shirt. So, whenever I knew that I was going to wear it again, I would undo only the top few buttons and remove it as if it were a T-shirt so that the next time I would wear it, I only had to fasten only a few buttons. My mother thought it was so lazy of me when she found out about this new habit of mine. I agreed.
That summer, my mother and I went to visit my great aunt in Tokyo. In the evening, I was going to take a bath on my own, and my great aunt showed me how to use her bathroom. As she was about to leave me in the bathroom, I said to her.
“Do you want to see my special method for taking off a shirt?”
Being a person of great curiosity, my great aunt got excited.
“A special method? What is it? Show me, show me!”
So, I undid the top two buttons of my shirt and pulled it off like a T-shirt. I thought that my great aunt would also consider this to be a lazy habit and laugh about it, but she didn’t.
“Wow, what a clever method!” She exclaimed instead. “From now on, I shall also use your method whenever I need to take off my button-up shirt!”
I asked her if she didn’t think of this method to be lazy.
“This isn’t lazy. This is clever!”
My great aunt beamed before leaving the bathroom.
As I took bath that night, I kept thinking about her reaction. I still thought it was lazy of me not to deal with all the buttons of my shirt, but hearing somebody explicitly liking my method and calling it “clever” did make me feel great about myself.