However, I agree with it 100%.
The quote comes from the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown:
“One leader at Twitter once asked me: ‘Can you remember what it was like to be
bored? It doesn’t happen anymore. . . . .by abolishing any chance of being bored
we have also lost the time we used to have to think and process.” (pg. 68)
If we’re honest – we can see ourselves (and definitely our kids) in the above description. We get fidgety when we have down time: in waiting rooms, in line anywhere, traffic, kid’s practices, games, performances, at work, at home, on vacation, during meals, during television shows, and so on . . . .
It is soothing to reach for our electronic devices to address our boredom. Forget commercials, we can bypass them with TiVo and On Demand. We can escape pain and problems by entering into virtual video worlds. Being online replaces face to face contact. Multitasking is the norm. Feelings of guilt surface when we attempt to relax and do nothing.
The quote about boredom got me reflecting on my own childhood growing up in the seventies. What did we do when we got bored?
*Some TV, but we only had 5 channels (one being UHF), so a lot of playing outside, sandlot sports, creating imaginary worlds with friends, and riding bikes at all hours.
*Board game tournaments with my brother (which usually led to a fight).
*Hours of air guitar and air drumming in hopes of being recruited to be the fifth member of the group Kiss.
*Drawing from memory: cartoon characters, super heroes, movie and TV stars.
*Building larger than life card castles.
*I hunted for empty soda bottles that I could redeem at the convenience store for 5 cents.
*Bought, collected, and traded sports cards and Wacky Package stickers.
*Reading for hours (okay, it was mostly comic books – but that still counts)!
The great thing about boredom is that it can lead to creativity, think time, rest, socialization, innovations, playfulness, and reflection.
Thousands of years ago, the prophet Isaiah penned this timeless message:
“In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.
But you were not willing.” Isaiah 30: 15b
It is incredibly difficult being still. Try sitting quietly for just 3-5 minutes and discover how uneasy you feel. Try going somewhere without your phone and panic hits. Try journaling your thoughts and ideas – and see how quickly you get distracted.
Next time you feel bored, welcome it as a friend. Attempt being still and being in the moment. Reject always having to be busy. Take a long walk or bike ride. Try reconnecting with people socially. Call someone on a rotary dial phone (now I’m really dating myself) 🙂
Please comment below: What is your favorite childhood memory of what you did when you got bored?