And I think it’s underrated. No, really. In this country, we act as if being bored is some kind of crime. I think it’s a good thing. I think boredom means that our brains are able to “lie fallow” for a little while and rejuvenate after all the constant stimuli we bombard ourselves with all the time.
You know, when I was a kid, my mother drove me everywhere. I do mean everywhere. She drove me to school. She drove me to church. She drove me to a movie or to the roller rink. To save time and gas, she often stayed while I was inside. Yes, while I was in a nice cool church building singing or laughing with my friends before and after services, mom was out in the car or the truck, reading a book, crocheting, or sitting there doing absolutely nothing because it was too dark to do anything. Her mind was at rest. Well… knowing Mom, she was thinking, but come on. She HAD to be bored sometimes. Who wouldn’t be?
Sometimes I wonder if I don’t do the wrong thing with my kids. See, if you tell me you’re bored, I’m going to see it as proof that you need something to do and I’ll assign work. There are always dirty walls, dirty floors, dirty doors or appliances. There’s too much work in a house with nine people for me not to take advantage of an idle body who doesn’t want to be idle. But maybe I should, instead, tell them to relax and stay bored. Perhaps that is how they will learn to let their minds and bodies stay at rest now and then?
Nah. My guess is that’s what happens naturally. They know saying “bored” will get them work so they don’t say it and just sit there being bored in silence.
I think I may be onto something. I think I may have the cure for our stimulant-addicted society. I think I may know what to do for our frenetic pace of life. Let’s interject a little boredom into it. Perhaps then we can escape the current train wreck of doom looming over the entertainment horizon.
Or, if you want a faster route to boredom, to ensure your daily dose, just read How Green Was My Valley or watch the movie. That’ll cure ya.