Lean in to boredom, not your smart phone screen. You’ll learn more about yourself and the world around you than you think
Boredom is not a problem to be solved. It’s the last privilege of a free mind – Gayatri Devi
But boredom is not tragic. Properly understood, boredom helps us understand time, and ourselves.
Unlike fun or work, boredom is not about anything; it is our encounter with pure time as form and content. With ads and screens and handheld devices ubiquitous, we don’t get to have that experience that much anymore. We should teach the young people to feel comfortable with time.
When you’re bored, time moves slowly. The German word for “boredom” expresses this: langeweile, a compound made of “lange,” which means “long,” and “weile” meaning “a while”.
And slow-moving time can feel torturous for people who can’t feel peaceful alone with their minds. Learning to do so is why learning to be bored is so crucial. It is a great privilege if you can do this without going to the psychiatrist.
So lean in to boredom, into that intense experience of time untouched by beauty, pleasure, comfort and all other temporal salubrious sensations. Observe it, how your mind responds to boredom, what you feel and think when you get bored.
This form of metathinking can help you overcome your boredom, and learn about yourself and the world in the process. If meditating on nothing is too hard at the outset, at the very least you can imitate William Wordsworth and let that host of golden daffodils flash upon your inward eye: emotions recollected in tranquility – that is, reflection – can fill empty hours while teaching you, slowly, how to sit and just be in the present.
Don’t replace boredom with work or fun or habits. Don’t pull out a screen at every idle moment. Boredom is the last privilege of a free mind. The currency with which you barter with folks who will sell you their “habit,” “fun” or “work” is your clear right to practice judgment, discernment and taste.
In other words, always trust when boredom speaks to you. Instead of avoiding it, heed its messages, because they’ll keep you true to yourself.
It might be beneficial to think through why something bores you. You will get a whole new angle on things. Hold on to your boredom; you won’t notice how quickly time goes by once you start thinking about the things that bore you.
Source : The Guardian
Image Source : inc.com