Saturday, January 24, 2009

You are terrified of being bored — so you turn on the television.

I ran across this article The End of Solitude and a few salient qoutes struck me.

You are terrified of being bored... It took me years to discover — and my nervous system will never fully adjust to this idea; I still have to fight against boredom, am permanently damaged in this respect — that having nothing to do doesn't have to be a bad thing. The alternative to boredom is what Whitman called idleness: a passive receptivity to the world.
 We lost the ability to be still, our capacity for idleness... capacity for solitude.

And losing solitude, what have [WE] lost? First, the propensity for introspection, that examination of the self that the Puritans, and the Romantics, and the modernists (and Socrates, for that matter) placed at the center of spiritual life — of wisdom, of conduct.
I'm as guilty as anyone of blogging, facebooking, obsessively monitoring my email and carrying my mobile into the shower. Perhaps however I'll spare a few more minutes a day and a few more hours a week for idle solitude. 

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"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster