“Mom, I’m bored.”
Seriously, she’d go through the roof. Her problem with the phrase? As a child, I had no idea what her problem was. I mean, all my toys were played with. There were no friends around. I was only allowed an hour of TV a day.
As an adult and mother, well I get it now. Let’s list the myriad things around a house that always need to be done. Cleaning, laundry, cooking, cleaning, laundry, cleaning. I know I listed things more than once, but it feels like they are always there. Always there! Not to mention all of the fun things a parent would like to do if they could ever get through the aforementioned list. It is infuriating to hear a child say they are bored when all you wish you could do is sit in a quiet room and read a book. Is that so much to ask for? I think not!
Sorry, I’m getting sidetracked. The other day I was sitting in a class and the topic of conversation was modern entertainment and amusement. The class was asked to focus on the types of entertainment that we spend most of our time consuming. Eventually, we discussed whether modern generations have an expectation of amusement and entertainment. I wouldn’t even hesitate to answer that question with a hearty “yes.”
The word “boredom” wasn’t even introduced until 1852 by Charles Dickens in the novel “Bleak House.” Prior to this, the word “bore” was used, but not boredom. There was a French word used to describe something akin to boredom, ennui. This word was in use as early as 1732, but the meaning is more concerned with a feeling of weariness or dissatisfaction and that is very different, in my opinion, than boredom.
So, what creates boredom for people? It is the “restless through lack of interest” part of the definition that is key to me. Are the modern generations just less interested in things in general? Less curious? Or, as we age, do we lose our sense of curiosity and wonderment?
How sad if this were the case. The whole conversation got me to thinking about how I raise my own children. How can I encourage my own kids to care about things and to go deeper than the surface level?
I’d love to hear from others on this topic? Do you agree that modern society, as a whole, is bored from a lack of interest in the world around them?