Peace and Boredom

I firmly believe that seeking peace should be the goal of every individual in a society on earth. Peace is great, after all everyone is seeking their own little slice of heaven. But, people fail to realize that peace is also extremely boring, thus people seek to disrupt it. I even dare say,that we might be biologically challenged when it comes to seeking peace. People seek strong emotions, excitement, fear, happiness, anger, and other forms of expressions which are at contrast with a state of peace. Let me put in terms we could all relate to, think back to the second half of summer vacation, did you ever utter the words “I can’t wait for school to start again”?

Of course you remember, every kid/teenager on the block agreed with you. We aren’t built nor taught to handle harmony, sure people preach about it constantly. But, this is one of those things which are preached, not practiced. We aren’t taught constructive methods to handle boredom, which should be nearly synonymous with peace. Thus youngsters resort to more extreme methods of coping with their boredom, drugs, sex, minor crimes, and other means by which to release some of that pent up energy. It’s not necessarily their fault, it’s  simply the way we are built.

While this does not excuse the behavior of those individuals, it is important to take note of why it happens. The education system in the U.S. is not equipped to teach youths about coping mechanism for boredom (as with many other important life skills). Parents are often too busy with jobs and other responsibilities to do the same. Thus we are left with a society of youngsters who aren’t taught by anyone how they can cope with peace in a fruitful manner. There is a very important reason humans are built with this flaw.

Furthermore, if we were always content, if we were able to cope with boredom and peace, humans would not have achieved some of the greatest creations of mankind. While boredom is dangerous in the hands of certain individuals, others use it to create wonderful inventions. Indeed, in 1947 Josef Pieper wrote the following about leisure:

“The mode of discursive thought is accompanied and impregnated by an effortless awareness, the contemplative vision of the intellectus, which is not active but passive, or rather receptive, the activity of the soul in which it conceives that which it sees. The ancients regarded intellectus as being already beyond the sphere allotted to man. And yet it belonged to man, though in one sense superhuman; the purely human by itself could not satiate man’s powers of comprehension, for man, of his very nature, reaches out beyond the sphere of the human. “Although the knowledge which is most characteristic of the human soul occurs in the mode of ratio, nevertheless there is in it a sort of participation in the simple knowledge which is proper to higher beings, of whom it is therefore said that they possess the faculty of spiritual vision.”

In shorter words, Pieper stated that leisure is a state of recreation. This is part of the reason why I think the show “Phineas and Ferb” is so amazing, these kids beat the summer vacation drudgery (fantastic elements aside if you just pretend this is all in their imaginations). We often find ourselves with too much time in our hands being squandered. This world of ours is filled with distractions that keep us from reaching our true potential. Even worse is the war on peace which is often confused for boredom. But, let’s never forget that without boredom there would be no peace, and without it there wouldn’t have been a place for the world we have created today. Leisure is not a time for complaints, it is a moment to elaborate on your thoughts and ideas. To sow the seeds of creation, and harvest the fruits of innovation, we must teach the future generations to promote their creativity during these bits of freedom. If we don’t, humanity will stagnate, and we will cease to grow as people.