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Michelle Turnberg, Published March 03 2012

Turnberg: Living one’s life leaves little room for being bored

I like to think of myself as someone who is generally easy going. There are, however, a few things that come to mind that really get under my skin:

A cigarette thrown out of a car window.



Someone saying they’re bored.

When I hear someone say they are bored it is like hearing fingernails on a chalkboard. Bored? I once made the mistake of saying I was bored. I was about 8 years old and dumb enough to say it in front of my dad.

“You’re BORED!? I don’t think I’ve ever been bored day in my life.” he told me. “If you’re bored, go outside and weed the grove, or pick up dog crap, or use your imagination and go explore in the woods, shoot some free throws, read a book, or do something for someone else. I don’t ever want to hear you say that again.”

Those were some of the wisest words I’ve heard, and I’ve never forgotten them.

On that day I made a pact with myself to never be bored, and, of course, to never make the mistake of voicing anything of the sort in front of my dad. His lesson stuck. In the many years that have transpired since his reprimand, I don’t believe I’ve been bored a day in my life.

I don’t know how anyone could be bored, but I have heard many people make the statement. It seems that I hear it more frequently from young people.

Life offers us so much to do and see that most days just don’t seem long enough.

I wonder if those who claim boredom are too accustomed to being entertained by their electronic devices or their “schedule.” Have we lost our ability to function when separated from the internet, television, video games, cell phones and texting? Are our kids so involved in so many activities that they no longer know what to do with their idle time?

If you are ever genuinely bored, let me offer a suggestion: Find someone who you could visit. Or help. Or meet. Or inspire. Perhaps you could find something new to learn about. Or improve upon. Or design.

We live in an age that offers opportunity, access, variety and potential.

Seize the day because in the end, I believe it comes down to this: only boring people get bored.

Michelle Turnberg writes a weekly column for SheSays.