“I’m bored’ is a useless thing to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, vast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless; it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ‘I’m bored.” ― Louis C.K.
I’ve often wondered about the most discomfiting element in our lives as human beings. I’ve come up with plenty of answers, ranging from corruption and greed to endless jealousy and malice. But the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s not any of these.
It’s boredom – a concrete wall of nothingness that stands between us and our goals, between us and the soul.
The frequency at which all the wondrous homo sapiens in our universe blandly utter “I’m bored” is unbelievably high. And what’s more? Most of these people who are ostensibly ‘bored’ are teenagers and young adults. The phrase ‘Get a life’ seems to have become quite applicable here.
Anyone remembers the early man? I’m not too much into ancient History, but one thing I can say is that he was not quite the ‘jobless guy’. He didn’t have a McDonald’s right beside where he could drop in for an easy meal. He had no video game arcades. Heck, he didn’t even have a television set. Yet, he was not bored.
Look at us now. We live in the 21st century. The world around us has transformed.
Everything is continuously evolving. Life is moving at a breathtaking speed. There are breakthroughs in every field every other day: science, literature, math, you name it. The fact is that the more and more we know about the universe, the more we begin to realize that there is so much more to know. We have only just touched the surface. This world thrives on curiosity and inquisitiveness. The ‘want to know’ is the driving force behind the most powerful mechanisms today.
We say we are bored because ‘there’s nothing to do’. We do and do, yet know one thing: we can never do enough, because there is always something more we can do – another song to sing, another book to write, another student to teach. But quite oddly, many of us resort to conveniently saying, “I’m bored” without even giving it another thought. There is a world outside for us to explore and embrace. There are new people to meet and new things to do. Sitting there on the couch and saying “I’m bored” constantly is an insult to the innate capacity and genius of the human mind.
People have the right to say “I’m bored” only if they believe they can answer every question that dots the plains and plateaus of the universe and the mind. We simply don’t have the right to be bored unless we know all that there is to know.
“I’m bored” unfortunately seems to have become a catchphrase today, a standard excuse for not wanting to do something. It looks like students will soon have the audacity to tell their teachers that they couldn’t complete their assignments because they were bored. Now, how boring is that, even for an excuse!
Boredom needs to be effectively countered by expanding the knowledge reserve of our minds and stretching the inherent capacity for creative thinking.
But first, we must all steel ourselves enough to pick up that remote and switch off the television. Yes, that is a definitive prerequisite. Video games and television sets were invented so we could counter our boredom and escape the shell of nothingness. But, look at the sledgehammer irony here. These are the very things that seem to be boring us to death today!
Lastly, remember: you are bored only if you choose to be bored. Boredom comes from a boring mind. And like G.K. Chesterton said, “There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people.”