Boredom unmasked

When somebody says they are bored, what do they really mean?

Boredom sounds like a benign word for being stuck in a situation – a mild form of suffering. Our culture tells us that the natural response to boredom is entertainment – television, computer games, social media, junk food, alcohol or drugs, depending on your circumstances.

At a deeper level, boredom is the inability to enjoy the mundane. Yet, reality is oftentimes mundane. Even a sensational life is mostly filled with ordinary moments. Boredom is the stimulus that nudges us into portals of distraction as a means to escape this mundaneness.

An addict is merely a person who is habitually bored and acts upon his boredom a certain way. Seen in this manner, boredom isn’t as benign after all.

If shunning boredom spiral down to addiction, what happens if you embrace it?

Any act of creativity often oscillates between bursts of insights and mind-numbing boredom. A writer seated at her desk has to often plod through stretches of boredom to glean the sparks of inspiration that light up her mind and transform into words. Boredom serves as the canvas for creativity. To innovate is to start with the mundane and end with the marvelous.

When you embrace boredom, it fuels art. A world without boredom is also one without art.

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