I have read this article half a dozen times since I first discovered it a couple of months ago. Each time, it angers me, saddens me, and reminds me that people are inherently, well, just people. That's all. Devon has written a beautifully empathetic treatise targeted at educators, but applicable to anyone and everyone.
If a person’s behavior doesn’t make sense to you, it is because you are missing a part of their context. It’s that simple.
On the idiocy of grandstanding over those without a home:
Kim is the person who taught me that judging a homeless person for wanting to buy alcohol or cigarettes is utter folly. When you’re homeless, the nights are cold, the world is unfriendly, and everything is painfully uncomfortable... In that chronically uncomfortable, over-stimulating context, needing a drink or some cigarettes makes fucking sense. As Kim explained to me, if you’re laying out in the freezing cold, drinking some alcohol may be the only way to warm up and get to sleep. If you’re under-nourished, a few smokes may be the only thing that kills the hunger pangs. And if you’re dealing with all this while also fighting an addiction, then yes, sometimes you just need to score whatever will make the withdrawal symptoms go away, so you can survive.
On procrastination being misunderstood:
In fact, procrastination is more likely when the task is meaningful and the individual cares about doing it well.
On why the concept of "laziness" is almost always incorrect:
People do not choose to fail or disappoint. No one wants to feel incapable, apathetic, or ineffective. If you look at a person’s action (or inaction) and see only laziness, you are missing key details. There is always an explanation. There are always barriers. Just because you can’t see them, or don’t view them as legitimate, doesn’t mean they’re not there. Look harder.