Look Out the Window
When we look out into the landscape from our window in our homes we think of what? We might think about the weather as the clouds drift by or the things we need to do. Sometimes we aren't really looking at anything, just passing the time. We like to distract ourselves from our lives by looking at things that fill this gap of time we call boredom. We are bored.
a mental state of
lack of interest in something to which one is subjected,
which is unpleasant or undesirable,
in which the weariness and restlessness are causally related to the lack of interest.
Habits of Boredom
Russell seems most struck by this volitional aspect of boredom. He writes: Boredom is essentially a thwarted desire for events, not necessarily pleasant ones, but just occurrences such as will enable the victim of ennui to know one day from another. (1930: 48)
Many of the times boredom can lead to new habits or rituals, and we start to leave sight of what we once did for fun. When we replace boredom with substance, we sometimes forget if it's good for us. Sometimes boredom just is, and that's just alright. Yale Review author Boruch states that boredom "knows the end before whatever happens gets under way, so cool about all but not everything". What does he mean? He means that there's nothing in boredom, but everything in it. What do I mean? I mean boredom is just this space of time where everything is right and nothing is great. So we strive for better. We strive for better because stagnation is another form of failure. Failure to live, and thrive, and be a better version of yourself. Why can't we be content with boredom? Because we're human and humans desire their pursuit of better.
Boredom Breeds the Forgotten
"There are moments boredom unknows it all: I could, but I won’t" (Boruch) and this is when we lay to be forgotten. What are we meant to do in life if not for our name to be remembered. We desire life and the eternal truth life gives. Our reality is as close to the truth as we can imagine, and yet sometimes, the truth can be so redundant. Sometimes we don't desire truth, but excitement. Fantasy leads a new narrative in our mind that distracts from boredom and allows us this fantastical release of emotions we can bottle up inside us. But what more can we ask from ourselves than to admit that we're human? After all, we are human, and we aren't going to stop being bored.
The Solution to Boredom
Unless. Unless! Unless we strive for progress each and every day and say no to this fantasy that life will get better on its own. We have to stop looking through the window and get outside and be apart of life. We desire a pursuit of better, so lead the charge, and don't forget the dangers of stagnation. For when water stagnates, toxins grow, and what we call our home can sometimes be a trap. Get outside and let boredom only be the spark that births your creativity to live more in the external world rather than the internal world. It is dangerous to be stagnant and thinking, it's entirely more positive to be moving and thinking. Work and think and think and pursue. Continue to think differently.
- Boruch, M. (2013). BOREDOM. Yale Review, 101(1), 116-121.
- O'Brien, W. (2014). Boredom. Analysis, 74(2), 236-244.
- Russell, B. 1930. The Conquest of Happiness. New York: Liveright