Coverage by Bhat Dittakavi of Variance.AI on “Conquering Boredom and Loneliness” by S.A. Sreedharan on 15th April 2020
When I first learned that the topic for today’s webinar, I was intrigued by how one can talk about boredom and loneliness at length and yet have the audience interested in it. The topic is a very difficult subject for any speaker to engage the listeners from the get-go. Not for S.A. Sreedharan. With his high energy and diction, Sreedharan defines boredom, discusses its root cause and gives ideas on how to transcend it, all the while keeping the listeners immersed with his enthusiastic talk.
The session started with a peace mantra followed by a warm welcome to a lady Didi from UK who has gone through COVID19 and fully recovered.
S.A. Sreedharan from Dubai
What is Boredom?
It is defined as having nothing to do or disinterested in anything you want to do. It is a feeling of impatience, restlessness, and a lack of interest in current activity. When you are bored and lonely, you are not only disinterested in the outside world but also disinterested in the inside world.
There is no mention of boredom in the scriptures. Boredom and loneliness used to be a rich person’s disease initially. Not anymore. Let us look at our education. We hardly remember what we studied. We don’t learn for the joy of learning. It means certain boredom is already instilled in us. Since we are working on mind and intelligence, the quality of life takes a weakling and it leads to mundane existence and boredom. A routine mechanical existence of boredom has been there for a long time starting from early childhood. How many people would say “I loved my education?”. Not many. As a result, you find a routine and mechanical existence.
Adding years to your life is different from adding life to your years. By acquiring more material things and by possessing them, one hopes to gain satisfaction and happiness. After the acquisition of a thing or even a person, the interest fades away. It leads to boredom. This process of acquisition keeps shifting from one thing to the other.
Bertrand Russell said, “unless individuals are taught what to do when they become successful, the achievement of it must inevitably lead them to boredom.” Theone with boredom has made herself incapable to experience happiness. No animal is bored. Have you ever seen a forest deer getting bored and depressed? No lion says “I am bored to hunt. Let me order from Uber Eats.” Whether you visit a lion or not, it doesn’t bother. Imagine the case where forest animals are bored. Every safari visitor will be in trouble.
Here are some quotable quotes from famous personalities.
You will see boredom where there is an absence of a good idea. He who seeks rest finds boredom. He who seeks work finds rest. If you are bored with life, you don’t have a burning desire to do things.
Boredom and enthusiasm don’t coexist. Doctors are never bored. They are working round the clock to save our lives. The propeller that is in full motion looks as if it is at rest. Medical workers are tirelessly serving the community hit by the pandemic. They are the new age warriors and I salute each and everyone out there serving the patients by risking themselves.
There are no uninteresting things. There are only uninterested people. Life is never boring, your mind is bored. Ignorance means the capacity to ignore the wonder of life. Purify your mind and strengthen your intellect. When you wake up tomorrow, that itself is a blessing. To experience another day itself is a profound one. Earth is moving so gracefully. Do you know it? If you allow the child to play, the child invents new ways to engage herself.
I have never seen peacocks roam in my parking lot before. Now they are dancing right now. If you are childlike, you will look at a butterfly and enjoy nature. Read that famous poem on Daffodils. How many of you experience the world as a wonderment? You can see the splash of divinity even in the smallest aspects of life. Boredom is just a reverse side of fascination. Both depend on the outside rather than the inside. One leads you to the other. The entire entertainment industry rides on our boredom. If you are not bored in life, you would say there are enough wonderful experiences in life.
You could be living in big cities and yet you may be thinking “nobody understands me in the way I want them to understand me”. Then you are in boredom and loneliness. With the increasing population, the number of people experiencing loneliness has multiplied by three times in the last 15 years. Loneliness is considered as a chronic disease and is equal to consuming fifteen cigarettes daily. Over 60% of married people are experiencing loneliness. The U.K. has recently appointed a minister for loneliness.
Reasons for boredom and loneliness
The gap between the relationship you have and the relationship you want. The gap between the physical health you possess now and the physical wellness you want to have. The gap between the work you do and the work you want to do. If this gap prolongs and sustains, it leads to loneliness. Betrayal or loss of a friend may create loneliness. Unresolved desires can create loneliness. The communication gap creates loneliness. Success and failure also can make you lonely.
Mother Teresa said, “the most terrifying poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved”. Einstein said, “it is strange to be known so universally and yet to be so lonely”. Another gentleman said, “if you are lonely when you are alone, then you are in a bad company.” An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Success can make you lonely. If you enjoy your own company, how can you be bored? If you are not lonely and bored, you can look at your mistakes and laugh them off. Laughing at yourself is very healthy. Tell yourself. “Yesterday’s choices were made with yesterday’s maturity. Now I will make better choices.”
How do we manage and transcend loneliness
All the suffering of humanity is due to the inability of an individual to sit quietly and think. You may not find answers right away. Keep thinking when you are bored. When you are bored next time, don’t distract yourself. Find out why you are bored. There is this guy who used six months to find out his interest and make it a wonderful habit that got him accolades. He managed to invent new things out of his boredom.
First work on your emotions and thoughts. If you don’t do, you will get into boredom that may lead to poor inter-personal skills, depression and even addiction to alcohol and drugs. Do not allow the past moments, that are now gone, to ruin the grandeur of the present moment. You have no idea what is happening in your favor. When asked “How are you”, some say “so so”. Others say “pulling along”. When asked “Are you well”, there came the prompt response “I am in a well”. Nothing stops you to be enthusiastic. Enthusiasm and boredom can’t coexist.
If you are feeling lonely, it is directly proportional to the extent of possessiveness you have developed. Possessiveness is a strong thought that says “you are mine, it belongs to me.” Possessiveness creates insecurity. With loneliness, your peace and happiness are at stake and you need certain inputs. Your mind must be the seat of happiness. It is not the seat of someone or something that disturbs your peace. Put your wellbeing above everything else. Let go of the hurt and live in peace.
If you are lonely when you are alone, then you are in a bad company. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Utilize your mind in glorious ways. See the grandeur in the small aspects of your life. If you can be happy without a reason, you have no idea how powerful it is. We are our master’s piece. We are intricately crafted handmade work and each of us is only one of a kind. Boredom and loneliness are created by us. Noone will say that boredom is the happiest thing. See the boredom as a great opportunity to sharpen your intellect. Sit with yourself and find answers. You may not get answers right away but one day you will. Understand that loneliness is going to be difficult. Don’t let anyone sit in your mind. Your mind space is the most sacred. You have to take care of yourself. Fill your mind space and use it for your own well being. Spread that holiness that you have developed with everyone else. Say goodbye to boredom and loneliness, literally.
When fear knocked on the door, courage answers no one is around. When boredom knocks your door, your own evolution shall say no one is around.