í am soooooooo bored´. exclaimed Bailey.
This dialogue is from the Hollywood movie ´A Dog´s purpose´ (2017) which I watched yesterday with my daughter and husband. The movie is adorable, cute and saccharine sweet. It tugs at your heart strings and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. It is a must-watch for every one irrespective of whether they are dog or pet lovers or not. The movie is told from a dog, Bailey´s perspective and his quest for his true purpose in life.
But, most importantly, this dialogue on boredom got to me.
Boredom has got such a bad rap in general . People are scared of boredom, both of being bored or labelled as boring people. They would rather endure pain than suffer boredom anyday. Whether it´s getting out of the four walls of your house just to escape boredom and working in an inane job with even more inane people or inflicting your body to harmful intoxicating addictions.
´The idle mind is a devil´s workshop´
So goes the popular saying and it´s so true! Boredom literally drives people to do insane things - Unproductive and harmful! Like gossip, addictive behaviours such as smoking, drugs, alcohol, internet addiction, multiple relationships and affairs. All in the endless pursuit to derive a kick or thrill out of an otherwise boring life and partners. In a few exceptional cases, boredom can even drive a person into depression or be a symptom of it.
But interestingly, even Boredom has a wonderful upside to it. In fact, it is a necessity that is vital to the very purpose of human existence and living. Contrary to popular perception, Boredom is an extremely fascinating concept!
1. Boredom leads you to questioning your purpose in life
´Tina, Just think about it! What is the actual purpose of our lives? Is this all there is to it - get up in the morning, prepare meals, keep the home neat and take care of your child and husband?´
This was remarked by one of my Indian friends. She was a stay-at-home mother of a 3 year old boy. Her husband was a doctor and there were leading the so-called ´dream life´ in the USA. She was dead bored of her life and on the border lines of depression. But, here she was earnestly wondering the purpose of her existence or living.
Four years later, she is a happy and contended soul. The family relocated back to India. When I spoke to her last, she said, ´Arrey Tina, India bahut accha hai! Hum yahan bahut khush hai!’. (Hey Tina! India is a great place to live. We are extremely happy here.)
Her son was going to school and was independent. Her husband was doing well in India and travelled frequently abroad. And she? Well, she finally found the meaning and joy in her life. She was always passionate about beauty and fashion and followed her calling in life. She enrolled in a VLCC certification course. After months of training, she is now an entrepreneur with a beauty parlour of her own. Her dream is to open up more parlour centres across Tier II and III cities in India.
Boredom is also what drives people to chuck away their high paying jobs to follow their calling in life. They question their purpose of life and make that career-switch or next big important move in their life.
2. Boredom adds a whole lot of romance in your life
´People who are bored with their lives get married and have children´.
So remarked, rather scoffed a bright young man aspiring to be an academic scholar some day. Maybe he has a point! Or perhaps missing an interesting point!
Okay, so in the golden olden heydays, when there was no TV, Internet and a zillion other interesting things to see and do, all our ancestors were dead bored with their lives. So, they got married to make their lives more interesting. After a while, they got even more bored. And so they made non-stop endless love for years and had a mighty brood of tiny children. As many as 10-15 of them!
In the good old days, people didn´t surf the net, or hook up on Tinder or watch porn to escape boredom, they started the mate hunt the hard way.
Yes! Boredom leads people to start bird watching, of all kinds! It is why boys stand outside girl´s colleges and simply watch pretty young things to escape their boredom and add some joy in their mundane lives. But, this is totally natural. Who knows some might even meet ´The One´?
Boredom leads you to get out of your shell and connect with people. Meet that special someone to bring a spark in your life and come home to. Make love to, have interesting conversations with and do things together. Boredom brings back the spark in your romantic lives.
3. Boredom enhances your creativity
´What! No internet? I am sooooo bored.´
Sounds familiar? Like your kid who is whining that they have nothing to do, right!
And there are grown-up adults who are so bored in their own homes that they work only in order to get out of the four walls to stay sane and have some purpose. And, there are people who just hate going to their school, college or office because it is so boring!
´Oh no! Not another mundane Monday again! ´
Experts advise that the best thing you can do for your children when they are bored is not to intervene by play clown to entertain them. Rather, it is best to leave them to their boredom. Boredom is great for kids and adults alike. It leads our minds to wander and day dream. Of imagining and fantasising the grand dream and the endless possibilites. It gives the perfect opportunity to our brains to think in a fascinatingly different way - Óut-of-the box´.
Lily Singh aka Superwoman dreaded going to grad school and getting bored. So, she did the unthinkable, created a YouTube channel on the sly, let her creativity take over her boredom and the rest, as they say, is history.
So, next time, don´t admonish or scold a child for day dreaming in class. They are really upto something. Let them be for a while! Shhhh!
4. Boredom leaves your happier
Recent studies show Boredom is the secret to happiness. In this age of instant gratification and mindless social media noise overdrive, Boredom is a welcome relief.
Just existing like that peaceful Yogi or Buddhist monk or Catholic nun in a secluded monastery far away from the world, in quiet meditation, leaves you with a happiness, that is simply free, unattached and inexplicable.
Or just existing like the giant Banyan Tree or tiny snail with no clear need to know all the grand big questions of life or its purpose of life.
For a while, merely existing is a such a liberating feeling. No excess baggage of expectations, stress or worries.
Yes, waiting in long queues or that long 2-hour commute without a Jio connection or Internet connectivity can be boring to say the least. But, just being in the present, the NOW, and soaking in the experience with all your senses can actually be a happy experience.
So, Boredom is more complicated than we ever thought it to be.
Boredom is magical.
Boredom is relaxing.
Boredom is interesting.
So, let´s all do ourselves a huge favour and schedule Boredom time in your lives!
Just lay down on the beach, with nothing intellectual or constructive to do , other than soaking in the sun, and listening to the refreshing sounds of the water waves and admiring the smiles of the ´near and dear´ ones that we love.
Ah Blissful Boredom!