Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Generation of Very Bored People

I'm bored.  Let's face it.  If you've been wondering why my output on this blog has slowed down, its because I'm bored.  I love Christianity, I love Catholicism, and yet, it is a constant battle for me to muster the enthusiasm to spend an hour writing about these things, and how they relate to the very pertinent issues of today.  Nope, I'd rather sit and refresh my Facebook news feed yet again and carefully craft my Pandora Stations until they know more about my musical tastes that I do.  Boredom is a rather nasty situation, and has  some nasty consequences for the human soul.

Most would think boredom exists when we have nothing, but that isn't the entire case.  Boredom doesn't occur in the presence of nothing, it appears in the presence of nothing valuable.  We're bored not because we have nothing and nothing to do, its because we have everything and everything to do, but no convicting reason to do it, apart from instant gratification.  I'm bored because I lack motivation, I lack motivation because I lack stimulation, I lack stimulation because I live in a generation that struggles to value.  My generation, with its redeeming and condemning qualities, is saturated with choices.  No generation has had the opportunity (or is it a burden? #thoughttrolling) to make as many choices as my generation.  It is these choices that fuels our economy, fuels our society, and, to a greater extent than ever before, fuels our identity.  

A hearty " MERICA!" helps too!
Yet, amidst the plethora of choices we have, we're denied the one choice we actually want:  the right one.  We couldn't care less about having all the choices in the world, because we only want the one that will truly make us happy.  When we're faced with decisions, we choose the best option.  However, give us infinite options, and that decision becomes much harder.  This is especially in a society that's becoming more and more permissive.  When we're told that everything is good, that any decision is acceptable, it doesn't make our decision better, it makes our decision more boring.  If being a party animal or a church mouse are ultimately indifferent, the only reason to choose either of them is personal preference.  The moral standard of this generation is just that:  do what you want to, your personal preference is the ultimate arbiter of morality, and the only additional rule is don't step on other's ability to have a personal preference.  Appeasing?  Yes, very.  True?  Absolutely not.

While it seems to be awesome to have the incredible freedom to do whatever the deuce you want to, that freedom is just some smoke and mirrors, a vain dream.  Human beings don't want the freedom to do what we want, we want the freedom to do what we ought.  We crave purpose, we desire it.  Everything must have a meaning, Truth must underlie every corner of the universe.  The desire for Truth has led us to science, the discovery of Truth has led us to religion.  We want truth, we want purpose, we want meaning.  We're creatures of logic, whose minds desire the world to be logical as well.  Thus, while doing what we want might seem nice, we really want to do what we're supposed to do (whatever that might be).  In a culture that praises near-absolute human freedom, proclaiming moral absolutes is frowned upon.  Stating that a lifestyle choice is morally and ontologically (kudos to any non-philosophy major who knows the definition of that word by heart) better than another lifestyle choice implies that freedom is not the golden calf that humanity has made it out to be, but rather, a tool that demands eternal vigilance.  The great flaw of freedom is when we fail to realize that freedom, while good, is not absolute or greatest good.  It is necessary good, a good that must exist in order for virtue to exist.

Got that?  Philosophy spasm there.  Sorry if that was unpleasant.  Where was I?  Oh yes, virtue.  Our society, through implicit ways and subtle means, has been trashing virtue like an elephant in a curio shop.  Virtues are no longer virtuous, vice is no longer vicious, and the only noble cause is the selfish one.  And what does this make us?  Bored to pieces.  When our immediate desires are the only thing motivating us, and our instantaneous cravings are the only valuable thing on which to base our life, we find ourselves so very very bored.

Heaven:  The Universe's Hall of Fame.  
We're being overstimulated by things that are ultimately unstimulating.  Human beings are the one creature that can be provided every physical need and can still experience dissatisfaction.  We're material creatures who collide with the immaterial realm, and it is in that immaterial realm that we must orient ourselves.  We don't want flashing lights, pumping beats, and sweaty grind-fests.  We want goodness, we want truth, we want beauty, and we want them to the infinite.  We want noble causes, true beliefs, and beautiful lives.  When, for whatever reason, we're denied those things, we will become bored, no matter how much fun we seek to have, no matter how much indulgence we partake in.  Man was not made to be bored, he was made to be great in the eyes of God.  So get your lazy rump out of the chair, turn off the computer, and go seek greatness.  Don't settle for less than Heavenly Glory.

If you have any questions, comments, or requests for future posts, please feel free to email them to  and I'll get back to them eventually.  Also, hate mail will only be considered if in the form of a limerick.

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