I remember as a child I was not allowed to say that I am bored. My mother never understood what the word “bored” meant. She was hell bent on making sure that that word did not exist in my dictionary either. In a house full of books, newspapers and a building full of friends, the word “bored” had no room.
My mom’s argument was that being bored simply meant you have some time for your own self when you are not constantly being engaged by some sort of external stimuli. Being bored was the time you have to discover yourself and your inner potential.
Let’s break this down further.
Now that I am a 20-year-old just graduated “adult”, I am on the brink of getting a whole lot bored because like most people my age I have little idea of my future. But you know now that I think about it, I don’t think there is anything wrong with a little boredom now and then. Being bored is good (I know, not exactly a sentence we hear on a daily basis).
We now live in a culture that is pathologically fearful of being bored. As a result, we are often made to feel guilty about being bored: “only a boring person feels bored”. It is as if there were some deep moral fault in it. Being bored does not make you insignificant. The interesting thing here is the panic that boredom seems to evoke in people. It’s as if life cannot continue without any kind of external intervention. In this age of gadgets and gizmos, electronic devices soak our time and attention like a sponge soaks water.
When hit by boredom, let yourself be crushed by it; submerge, hit bottom. The rule is: The sooner you hit bottom, the faster you surface. – Joseph Brodsky
No, you see that’s the problem; we do not let ourselves get bored. This quick, ever evolving world has left us incapable of letting ourselves be or allowing our mind to drift in and out of our thoughts. The problem that seems to be on a surface level has deeper implications. As a result, this fear of being alone with our thoughts hinders our creativity. It prevents us from exploring our own selves.
So why be bored?
Like I said before, boredom is not an enemy. It’s that boring lecture in college which makes artists and poets out of us. It is your time to discover your strengths. Moreover, it can be a stimulus for change, leading you to better ideas, higher ambitions, and greater opportunities. In fact, boredom can be a way of telling yourself that you are not spending your time as well as you should, You could rather be doing something else, something more productive and useful.
What we need to stop doing is fighting with boredom, we need to embrace it. Boredom is a call for drawing upon our internal resources and meeting our own self. In short, look boredom in the eye and see where it comes from. Find how you can use it creatively to move on to something better.
Activities like drawing; reading, dancing, cooking, and writing seem to take a back seat in our day to day humdrum of life. If you do not know what your inner resources are, it’s absolutely okay. There are various classes and workshops that help you find your interests and even act on them. Read this article, for starters.
Finally, the point of the article was not to tell you what to do but to help you channel your inner drives and find a solution for your own boredom. So don’t be afraid of it that give it a big giant hug. You know what were the last words of Winston Churchill?
I’m bored with it all.