Boredom is a Bee in my Bonnet

We live in a world of constant entertainment. Every moment of the day, right up until we close our eyes at night, we are pandered to. From the TV to the radio to our constant connection with our friends to the games everywhere (Games! On our phones, in the newspapers, at school, on the computer screen at work); it's all fun, fun, fun.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the connection. I enjoy games. I like that I can be entertained and informed in the rare quiet moments at work. I love that I can instant-message my faraway friends. But sometimes I wonder if we aren't limiting ourselves by simply accepting the distraction that's offered, instead of just doing nothing.

I have this bee in my bonnet about Boredom. I feel that it helps to reboot our brain, rests the soul, connects us to our inner selves... or something. I annoy my kids all the time, insisting that the TV screen remain unplugged during the term time, arbitrarily banning the PS3, taking us off on unplugged tree-hugging expeditions. They humour me (and even hug the darn trees) and we commune together. We lie looking up into the leaves. We do nothing. If they do complain, "I'm booooored!", I say, "Excellent! Boredom builds character!" They roll their eyes. Clearly I am a despotic weirdo.

As a young man, Einstein worked as a clerk at a Patents office. I like to think of him sitting there with nothing to do, thinking about the latest electronic gadget to be filed, twiddling his thumbs and daydreaming. I wonder if young Albert would have had the flashes of inspiration which led to his Theory of Relativity, if he had had facebook? Or, would he have spent the quiet mornings at the office 'LOL'ing at pictures of cats instead?

The lack of photo for this post is purely to illustrate my boring point (Is this post visually appealing? No? Too bad), and not as a result of my being too frantically busy to look for one. Maybe.


Unknown said…
Good for you. A little boredom never hurt anybody.= - and in some cases, may even have helped.
Anonymous said…
I absolutely 100% totally agree that you need to stand still sometimes!
I enjoy my company.
I could spend hours just looking at the sea or clouds or whatever and just letting my thoughts wander where they will or sometimes even totally empty my mind.
It's kinda like a healing or a reconnecting.
When I was younger I would sit very still chewing my food and just stare off into space with a glazed look in the eye. Drove my mom nuts and she would forever chastise - stop daydreaming and eat or you'll be late for school! I would reply that I was totally aware of everything going on around me and that I was eating. Hrrumph! =)
Fishing to me was always the bestest times. I would sit on a rock all day whilst the line dangled in the water. Occasionally I would catch something but that didn't really matter so much. I enjoyed just being.

Anonymous said…
p.s. I figured it out...
You know how the old folk would say- Stop swallowing your food, take your time and eat or you'll get sick...
my brain needs to chew


Kahlil is in the "I'm bored" phase. I will try your line on him next time. What a great approach.
Anonymous said…
I find my kids come up with the best fun when they're bored--I just HATE getting through the "I'm bored" to them working past it!