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Is boredom a blessing, a curse or something in between? Apparently, it depends on who is experiencing it.
Some have found boredom a torment, while others have discovered the torment is a doorway to bliss. There are those who accept ennui as a normal element of life and individuals who think of it as a painful anomaly of existence.
Maybe we experience boredom because we expect to be entertained or because we are unwilling to exercise our creative intelligence. Then again, it may simply be an illusion created by the human habit of judging and labeling experience.
Whatever our personal take on boredom, it is a psychological phenomenon that limits our perception, at least temporarily, to tones of gray.
“Life is intrinsically, well, boring and dangerous at the same time. At any given moment the floor may open up. Of course, it almost never does; that’s what makes it so boring.” ~ Edward Gorey, writer
“Boredom is that awful state of inaction when the very medicine - that is, activity - which could solve it, is seen as odious.” ~ Margaret George, The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers
“I’m bored’ is a useless things to say. I mean, you live in a great, big, fast world that you’ve seen none percent of. Even the inside of your own mind is endless, it goes on forever, inwardly, do you understand? The fact that you’re alive is amazing, so you don’t get to say ‘I’m bored.” ~ Louis C.K.
“The most total opposite of pleasure is not pain but boredom, for we are willing to risk pain to make a boring life interesting.” ~ Peter Kreeft
“Boredom is the conviction that you can’t change...the shriek of unused capacities.” ~ Saul Bellow, The Adventures of Augie March
“Bliss – a second-by-second joy and gratitude at the gift of being alive, conscious – lies on the other side of crushing, crushing boredom. Pay close attention to the most tedious thing you can find (Tax Returns, Televised Golf) and, in waves, a boredom like you’ve never known will wash over you and just about kill you. Ride these out, and it’s like stepping from black and white into color. Like water after days in the desert. Instant bliss in every atom.” ~ David Foster Wallace
“We all want to break our orbits, float like a satellite gone wild in space, run the risk of disintegration. We all want to take our lives in our own hands and hurl them out amoung the stars.” ~ David Bottoms
“You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.” ~ Andy Warhol
“Boredom is the fear of self.” ~ Marie Josephine de Suin
“And for all the richest and most successful merchants life inevitably became rather dull and niggly, and they began to imagine that this was therefore the fault of the worlds they’d settled on.” ~ Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
“Any country where I am not bored is a country that teaches me nothing.” ~ Albert Camus
“Isn’t ‘not to be bored’ one of the principal goals of life?” ~ Gustave Flaubert
“Boredom is your window on the properties of time that one tends to ignore to the likely peril of one’s mental equilibrium. It is your window on time’s infinity. Once this window opens, don’t try to shut it; on the contrary, throw it wide open.”
~ Joseph Brodsky
“Nobody is bored when he is trying to make something that is beautiful, or to discover something that is true.” ~ William Inge
“Doing anything when you’re bored is very very boring. Anyway, doing nothing is the point of being bored. The pleasure of being bored is mooning about and doing nothing.” ~ Aidan Chambers, This is All
July is National Anti-boredom Month, that is, for those who think boredom is a negative experience. What are your thoughts about boredom?
Photo by John Nyboer
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