Monday, May 24, 2010

Dying of Boredom

The other day, someone mentioned that we don't have to fight for everyday survival the way people used to. Considering my athletic prowess, this is great. Otherwise, I'd probably be eaten by a bear.

But sometimes I wonder if we aren't fighting battles of a different kind. We don't have to think....we can just turn on the t.v. We don't have to cook (or worse, hunt down our food)...we can just order takeout. In our cheery modern world where everything is a click away, we don't really have to try very hard at all. At anything. And we can still pretend to be productive, happy, healthy people living rich full busy lives. Sometimes it's so easy to just choose ease.

And we massage our own self-image and tell ourselves and each other that we're beautiful and smart and fun and great. And meanwhile, beneath the hum of image and and the ring of cell-phones bearing news of the latest social drama and the petty rush of every day, our souls shrivel and die.

Because, in reality, we're narcissistic and dull and we're boring ourselves to death. In reality, we are in a battle for our souls and minds and hearts. In a world where mental numbness is a just a few steps away, we’re fighting for our lives.

Yesterday, for a few hours, I sat in a quiet, sterile world. We relaxed in dark, cool, rooms while a hot sunny day rolled by outside. We talked about petty nothingness for hours and, when I left, I knew nothing more about the people with whom I'd spent the afternoon than when I'd arrived. Shallow jokes aimed at absent people and self-absorbed conversations were batted around. Everything was clean and quiet because there was no one to make a mess or create noise.

God made us creatures of action and emotion. And if we don't create and grow and feel and experience, our souls die. Quiet and clean and sterile and still is nice, but the only place where nothing happens is a place where everything is dead. Cells and plants and animals and landscapes grow and change out of necessity. When action stops, life stops.

We have to get out of ourselves. We need to stare at the sky and realize how tiny we are. We need to be around people better than us and realize how far we still have to go. We need to read the thoughts of people smarter than us because we don't know everything. We need to create because we aren't an end in ourselves.

We need to try things that are too hard. We need to go further than we know how to go. We need to dream dreams that are too big. Because if we don't stretch, we can't grow. If we're not growing, we're dying. And life is too short to waste a second.


Anonymous said...

I would like to be the first to acknowledge your brilliance. Then when you're published and those who are "well-read" are reading you, I can say that I knew you when... :)

Seriously though, your last two paragraphs hit the nail on the head. They are going in my journal.


Emily said...

Seriously, though, I am touched. Nobody has ever journaled me before.;-)

Anonymous said...

It's done. You've been journaled. You can now cross that off your bucket list.