Friday, July 16, 2010

BOREDOM CAN BE FASCINATING!


Thinking about this subject of boredom got started with a satirical comment I posted on Facebook:

I hear Apple is working on an app that would send out an electric shock to anyone who posts anything boring or useless on FB. If it's true, are any of us immune?

And this evoked some of the most interesting comments I've ever gotten on Facebook. Which led me to the belief that "boredom" might be an interesting topic to write about (or ironically, I could be boring the life out of you merely by bringing it up!).
Focusing on this subject, which incidentally is the antidote to boredom--focusing with attention on anything intently out of all the things we could be paying attention to--brought me to a major self-realization. I am almost never bored. Even during 12 years in the dreariest, dullest, most tedious and enervating environment of all: prison, I was never bored. Of course, I'm one of those arrogant people who finds his own thoughts profoundly fascinating.
I like what Wikipedia says in its definition of boredom:
"An emotional state experienced during periods lacking activity, or when individuals are uninterested in the opportunities surrounding them."
And some scientists studying the subject seem to agree that it's not that people are bored from the lack of things to do, but from the inability to latch onto any specific activity. This reminds me of the term I recently coined, "Scatterholic," to describe someone who cannot focus on one thing at a time and therefore dilutes his or her creative energy.
I also like what Anna Gosline said in the December, 2007 edition of Scientific American Mind:
"Don't blame your job, the traffic, or your mindless chores. Battling boredom, researchers say, means finding focus, living in the moment, and having something to live for."
I think that is the also the secret to battling poverty consciousness and any other obstacle to a creative, loving, healthy and prosperous life.
A lot of people must find this subject interesting, since there are over 12 million results when you Google "boredom."
As you may know, one of the ways I kept my sanity in prison was by writing cartoon gags, some of which major cartoonists then sold to national publications like Saturday Evening Post, Wall Street Journal, and Parade. And I get these snippets of inspiration in the most unlikely places (which is one of the things that keeps me from ever being bored). Even in writing this piece, one just popped into my head:
Scene: Woman to man at party.
Caption: "You're definitely the most interesting man here, and you still bore me silly."
And the saddest fact in all of this is that some of the most boring people on the planet actually believe that they are endlessly interesting.
Jerry

Now, for some really interesting stuff on prosperity, check out my other blog,