IAL--by Christopher Tidmore, [email protected]
So we're lazy.
That's the result of new study printed by Businessweek.com. Cursorily examining data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, a new report found that Louisianians are active only two and a half hours a day, a pittance compared to the laborious instincts of other Americans.
We exercise less, move less, and are less productively employed than the residents of other states. The report's ideal example of daily motivation, North Dakota, ranks as the least inactive state because people sleep 8 hours, 4 minutes; watch 2 hours, 19 minutes of television; socialize for 40 minutes; and relax for just 22 minutes. The average time North Dakotans spend working is just over 5 hours.
Louisianians, at the other end of the spectrum, only work a supposed 2 hours, 41 minutes. The rest of the time, we sit on our butts unproductively, according to the BLS report.
Our editors could quote another acronym that deletes the "L" from the name of that Federal Agency--as our response. The logic is we are less worthy because we value the fellowship of friends far more. The Puritan standards of the investigators do not consider it productive to listen to music, dance the night away, with family gathered and memories made.
Out of millions of words written throughout my career, my one original saying has often been, "New Orleans is a failure at everything but living." We suck the marrow out of our brief time on this world, enjoying those sacred moments--and those with whom we share them.
What is our sin, according to Businessweek? We talk to strangers and make them friends, share a beer, and start a party. Instead of jogging a mile, we laugh for a night. Instead of shuffling paper, we throw a festival. Instead of building a widget plant that will last a decade, we write a song that will last centuries.
Even at our deaths there is music and a celebration of life. We value joy in Louisiana, and in that life of joy, we are determined not to waste a single second. That may win fewer Nobel prizes, and might mean a few more pounds at our waist-lines, yet we are happy nonetheless. Can you, my fellow workaholic Americans, say the same?
Put simply, you may have industry, but we have soul. Just as no man wishes on his deathbed for another day at the office, we ask you; in a hundred years, how few will even remember your work ethic, while countless millions many will continue to dance to our jazz.
Christopher Tidmore is on the radio weekdays from 7-8 AM on WSLA 1560 AM Slidell/New Orleans and KKAY 1590 AM White Castle/Baton Rouge, streamed and podcasted online at www.gtmorning.com.