Boredom and Black Friday

“What lies before us and what lies beyond us is tiny compared to what lies within us.”
– Henry David Thoreau

The day after the holiday devoted to giving thanks is the day we rush out to get more stuff. Black Friday is the high holy day of conspicuous consumption. Humans seem to fear boredom. We need to always be busy. We tend to confront our boredom by buying more things. Today we crave for the latest electronic gadget. However, the more things you acquire, the less important they become. In time, many of the things actually become devoid of all meaning. The more possessions, wealth, and leisure time we have tends to lead to a growing boredom with everything. So we keep a watchful eye out for new and more exciting, more interesting things to counter our boredom. The way of abundance is a dead end. Instead of trying to defeat boredom with more things and experiences, perhaps we should just be embracing the boredom and the opportunity it gives us to enter into the deeper recesses of our souls in order to find more a fulling meaning to our very existence.

I split my time between California and Haiti. In California, I have a comfortable home and everything I need. In Haiti, the exact opposite is true. In California, when my work is done for the day, I have lots of diversions to keep me entertained. In Haiti, again the opposite is true. I have no TV, no car…no distractions. What I have in Haiti is time to sit with my my family. We talk. We laugh. We tell stories. We are present to each other. There is time to sit, to be, to think. My time in Haiti teaches me to slow down, to be patient.

More stuff does not necessarily make a better life. I’m beginning to wonder is less stuff makes life less stressful. Perhaps we need to discover our own Walden Pond and simply our lives.


3 Responses to “Boredom and Black Friday”

  1. 1 sheradac November 27, 2015 at 8:06 am

    The spirituality of subtraction. Fr. Richard Rohr talks about this. People keep trying to add more and more.

  2. 2 krebsjoan November 27, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Interesting; food for thought. Yesterday, Thanksgiving, I didn’t have enough energy to join the family for THE meal of the year. Instead, nature? the Lord, provided me with a marvelous diversion. The condo I live in is on the third floor. While eating breakfast a squirrel appeared to look directly at me from the tree it was in seeking its own meal. AND it stayed in that same tree for almost an hour. I think it came from a nest built in another spot in the tree that I’ve been watching for almost three months. What a joy to see life where I didn’t expect it. It helped make up for not being able to be present with & for my family. Our Walden Ponds are where we find them. Thanks, Gerry. Good trip….

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