I’m convinced the world is bored. I mean, seriously bored.
Evidence of this started a few years ago. A group of people who were bored got together and decided to do a choreographed song and dance performance in public. The idea was that it would appear as random, yet organized. It soon garnered the name, “flash mob.” And bored people have been trying to come up with original flash mobs ever since.
Then came “planking?” I mean, seriously…people are taking pictures of themselves lying down. Really? This is a social activity now? Lying down? I know that people are coming up with creative places to plank. I get that. But in the end, we’re taking pictures of ourselves lying still.
Admit it, we’re bored.
How else does one explain this “occupying” movement? It’s the flavor of the month right now. Occupy Wall Street. Occupy this. Occupy that. What is occupying, really? It’s a group of people gathered together, protesting the power and money that major corporations have. Funny. They’re walking around in clothes created by corporations, taking pictures and video of their events with cameras made by corporations (I’ve seen several people using their smart phones at these events. Really?) Some even make a run to the closest fast food joint to grab a burger and fries from a corporation, so they don’t get too hungry while they’re sitting in their tents made by corporations. And how are they getting the word out about their events? Through social media. Yep, you guessed it, corporations. They’re even going out of their way to get traditional media coverage. You know, those corporately owned television, radio stations and newspapers?
So…what are they really protesting? If anything, they should be protesting themselves…their own stupidity. Or at the very least their hypocrisy.
No, I think they’re just bored.
For the most part, these aren’t bad things. At least people are getting creative. At least they’re doing something with their time. But what is the cause of all this boredom?
Personally, I think it’s the result of a very dramatic decade. In September of 2001, one of the most dramatic events happened in our country’s history. We collectively gasped. We got angry. We united. Then we spent the next few years seeking revenge. But we also spent that time rebuilding. We got busy. We wanted to prove to the world that we would not fall. So we spent money. Lots of money. Money we didn’t have. We ran up our debt. Just like a family trying to keep up with the Joneses, we weren’t going to be outdone by any other country. We had to prove to the world that we are still the strongest, greatest country on the planet. And we got accustomed to that spending. We got used to the drama of it all.
Now we’re on the backside of it. We’re back home from vacation and the bills have just shown up. We spent a lot of money at Disney World. It didn’t feel like real money because we used a credit card. And that mouse with the big ears is just a memory now. We still long for the euphoria.
We are bored. And we need to be careful because when people get bored, they start doing things to create euphoria. Problem is, it doesn’t last long. So we’re on to the next thing…and the next. Before you know it, we’re carrying signs, protesting something we ourselves don’t even understand and rioting about powerhouses that we ourselves created. And how far will we go?
We have forgotten the great, lost art of…being content.
At the risk of sounding like a buzz kill (which I realize is a real risk here), may I make a few suggestions: go to work, come home, play with the kids, watch a movie as a family, work in the yard, clean the garage, go on a picnic, go for a hike. No, it’s not nearly as dramatic. But it’s a lot healthier. Learn how to be content before we go too far.