No, I’m not bored in the slightest. I’m perfectly productive, maybe not so much in school matters, but in matters that interest me. I find it funny now, here on my pedestal, that so many people in this country can be bored. It almost seems that our culture is based around this boredom, an idleness that everyone in the country suffers from, at least all the “normal” people.
So what do we do when we’re bored? We look for distractions, things to placate us until the next thing comes along and captures our (shortening) attention spans. We are led to rely on this force-fed occupancy, the TV having 400 channels and “nothing to watch,” the internet constantly pinging us, telling us about new emails or feed updates. For the most part, this is what people do: they look for something that’s looking for them and is thus the path of least resistance.
It is when we stretch our minds, we come up with something new, research a topic, anything. We go out and find the things that make us happy or interested or thoughtful. John Gatto describes in his Underground History a time when he complained to his father (or someone) about his bordeom and his father’s response was to hit John and tell him it was his fault and no one else’s that he was bored. His boredom was his own responsibility and should not be placed on any other person or external object. He said he was never bored again after that.
Lately, I have discovered the same thing that Gatto discovered after his father’s harsh response, that my boredom is my responsibility. I have actually done something about my boredom. Strangely enough, most of my boredom has been cured by my return to reading, an objective that I have achieved and could not be more happy with. I’ve finished The Underground History of American Education and Free Culture and have at least 20 more books lined up. This has cured my boredom and made me remember vividly the joy I used to get from reading.
My cure for boredom also pertains to a recent philosophical train of thought that I have been very keen on. This desire to be Interesting, to be someone who I would like to get to know or learn more about has been haunting my thoughts lately. I have fallen in love with this concept of interesting and realized that no interesting person would just sit around watching TV, surfing the internet, and playing video games. Oh no, the interesting person would be exploring and expressing their idiosyncrasies, finding something infinitely more valuable than Family Feud or The Price is Right.
So what are you doing reading this? Go out and stop being bored already.
Update: “To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization, and at present very few people have reached this level.” -Bertrand Russell