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a blog by Chris Barrow


It was during my pre-Island stay in the Gulf of Panama that I strolled out for some fresh air before dinner one evening and noticed this sloth in the trees behind our guest house (apologies for the quality – this was my iPad Mini in failing light).

Alan, the Canadian owner of my digs, was hugely excited as the animal in question had not been seen for some months and reported as killed by hunters

So I became the accidental adventurer who re-united the local population with an old and protected friend.

The species has acquired its “western” name as a result of another derivation of the word – from the seven deadly sins.

Sloth is defined as spiritual or emotional apathy, neglecting what God has spoken, and being physically and emotionally inactive. It can also be either an outright refusal or merely a carelessness in the performance of one’s obligations, especially spiritual, moral or legal obligations. Sloth can also indicate a wasting due to lack of use, concerning a person, place, thing, skill, or intangible ideal that would require maintenance, refinement, or support to continue to exist.

Those who watched this week’s Episode of The Island with Bear Grylls will have sent the outcome of perceived slothfulness, both for the accused and the accuser.

Emotions ran high as Rupert and Fletch became the Camp Surely members who vocalised what others were feeling about the apparent inequality in the division of labour.

The programme speaks for itself and the response from the public has been predictably mixed, with some supporting the outrage of the alpha-males and criticising the sloths; others have suggested that the reaction was over the top.

History (and Episodes 5 & 6) will decide on that debate.

I wonder, however, how this makes you look at your own support team?

  1. are there sloths who just turn up and go through the motions as slowly as they can?

  2. are there other team members who are infuriated by this behaviour?

Generally speaking, the more active the latter, the more they are likely to kick up a fuss about the former – and the more destructive that behaviour can be for all.

Up a tree in the jungle, a sloth can be a fascinating and somewhat comical figure.

In a survivalist community or in your business, a sloth can start a fight.

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