How long since you've been really bored? Nowadays,
people seem to believe that there is an inalienable right to NOT
be bored. We have television, radio, computers, video, tapes,
CD's, movies, cell phones, digital cams, and DVD. Heaven forbid
that anyone should ever spend any time being bored.
Remember when it was actually possible to spend a boring
afternoon? We were forced to find creative ways to entertain
ourselves, things like reading books, doing crafts, or just
daydreaming. No more. We cannot stand to be bored long enough to
dream or think creatively. We rush to push buttons before boredom
When I was young, life was pretty boring, but somehow we managed
to grow up anyhow. If school was not interesting, we learned to
challenge ourselves. Nowadays kids must be entertained to learn.
Computers provide constant feedback and stimulate learning - or at
least that's what we are told.
Somehow, our gadgets are not quite as entertaining as they used to
be though. Hundreds of channels on the satellite and still we
can't find anything on television worth watching. Thousands of
websites, but we surf aimlessly from one site to another.
We have also become multi-taskers, eating, watching TV. working on
the computer, and talking on the cell phone all at the same time.
The more stimulation we have, the more we seem to need. It keeps
us from being bored.
Could it be that we have become so overly stimulated that nothing
truly entertains us any more? We are always looking for something
better, something more interesting, something more exciting -
something less boring.
"I'm bored," is not heard often anymore. And if it is,
we seem to think it is our responsibility as parents, teachers, or
society as a whole to provide ways to keep people from being
bored. Bored children get in trouble, we are told. You have to
keep kids busy, entertained. Thatís hard to do when keeping busy
itself has become a bore.
There is too much to see, too much to do, too much to entertain
us, too much competition for our time and attention. There is no
time to watch a sunset, go for a walk, feed the birds, or
rediscover the thoughts, meditations and dreams of our own mind.
We are filled with the voices, thoughts and words of other people,
with values different from our own. The more we absorb, the more
alike we all become, and the blander, more uniform and more boring
Soon nothing will be stimulating enough to keep boredom away. We
will sit among our electronic gadgets, surfing from channel to
channel on the television, pushing button after button on the
remote control, clicking from site to site on the computer,
reading email after email as we look for a something we've not
seen or heard a hundred times before.
Strange our how our minds never died from boredom in the past. Is
it really so likely that they will now? Nothing is entertaining
enough. Nothing is worth our time. We seek more and more of the
very thing that is causing our demise. We are stuck in
Perhaps it is time sit back and just do nothing for a while.
Perhaps we need to take a little time to clear our minds and just
be bored. Maybe, just maybe, a little old-fashioned boredom is not
such a bad thing.