Boredom

benI just read a post called “Can Do” by Maira Kalman (by the way, it’s a very artistic and beautiful post from the NY Times) and another one by the Jollyblogger called “I Refuse to be Bored.” I thought it was worth posting some of the same ideas here. Here’s a quote about Benjamin Franklin from Kalman’s post:

I don’t think he was ever bored. He saw a dirty street and created a sanitation department. He saw a house on fire and created a fire department. He saw sick people and founded a hospital. He started our first lending library. He saw people needing an education and founded a university. He started the American Philosophical Society where men and women shared developments in science. And then, by the way, he helped create and run the country. He was a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

He was never bored??? What?? Is that possible?? I mean think about it – Benjamin Franklin, one of the greatest minds in the world. Isn’t it smart people who get bored?? Aren’t they the ones who understand everything so easily that nothing really intrigues them??

A couple other quotes from the Jollyblogger post:

Boredom is a decision we make, not something [that] happens to us.

The experience of “boredom” says far more about the one claiming to be bored than about the speaker, the event or whatever the alleged cause of the boredom.

If boredom is a choice, we make why do we make that choice? I mean, in all honesty, I get bored pretty easily. I confess that I love to be entertained – to have something to do that engages my mind and body. (Maybe that’s why I like blogging so much.) Can I choose to not be bored? to learn and grow and engage my mind in everything? even in the mundane? Can I choose to do something about the things I think about? It sounds to me like that’s what Benjamin Franklin did. When he saw the dirty street, he didn’t stop with his thoughts, but they motivated him to do something. Action. . . yeah, that’s what keeps us from being bored – action.

As I kid I remember my mom saying, “If you’re bored, you’re boring.” I guess that reflects the Jollyblogger’s idea that boredom says more about the person bored than the speaker or event. Maybe that’s the real problem – I’m boring. Maybe this is a wakeup call – I need to get to work. Start acting on my thoughts and the things that intrigue me.

What action do you need to take today? Maybe it’s something small, but . . .well, if it moves you in the right direction, it’s a good step to take. Maybe a bunch of little steps in the right direction will not only keep us from being bored, but also guide us to an amazing future. And if you’re still bored taking the little step, then take a bigger one. Challenge yourself. Push yourself. Just keep moving forward.

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