Continuing to make a case for boredom, notice the tempo and overall feel of popular 21st Century music then listen to some stuff from the 20th Century. 20th Century music breathes and feels and moves differently. It takes the time to fully experience fullness of breathing. So much of what I hear on the radio now is like shallow breathing, quick, short breaths. I see it as symptomatic of the times we are living in. Eventually, there comes a point where one must take in the lungs’ full capacity and fully exhale; it’s that or hyperventilate. That’s what I feel like I’ve been living in the past few years, a world that’s hyperventilating.
We’ve placed such demands upon ourselves as a society, and we have backed ourselves into a corner of no longer being able to afford the luxury of being bored. Are we a runaway train yet? The case could be made that we are. If so, how long before we derail?
What this does to us as individuals and as a collective is put ourselves at the mercy of someone or some entity as we find ourselves in a constant state of crisis in need of rescue (reaching for rescue in the form of snacks, of smokes, of credit cards, the remote control, the computer, or some other vice). Eventually, a person who embraces the luxury of boredom learns what to do with downtime, and that person becomes a self-contained, more fully realized and affirmed human being. Which place is most advantageous space to occupy, in constant need of rescue or mastery over the empty spaces? Which scenario lends itself to the probability of gaining the upper hand? Looking at it that way, it seems to me to be kind of a no-brainer.
The upper hand has also become a misconstrued commodity with some ardent contenders fighting like hell to grab up and possess it as a means of control over others. That too is an addiction. The only upper hand that is truly worth anything is the upper hand of being in the driver’s seat of one’s own life rather than being pulled around by the nose or driven with the crack of a whip by some cruel taskmaster (some addictions are especially cruel).
Some times of the most personal growth have occurred while learning to deal with the empty space created by downtime. It’s a tragedy that we’ve created a world where downtime is such a rare occurrence. May this trend pass quickly.