Beneficial Boredom

What happens when a child is left alone with boredom? It seems to parents as if he will never get off the couch again. “No” — says an experienced therapist, “what the child will start doing in the void is his vocation. One will draw, another will look at illustrations in books, a third will build a constructor, and a fourth will watch birds in the sky.

The crucial point is that it should be boredom to the fullest, from which there is no escape. That is, there should not be cheating — a phone with Tik Tok, as is now ubiquitous, or a movie in the theater, as in my childhood. When a child is completely exhausted, he’s bound to do something. I vividly remember summer vacations in my grandparents’ Kyiv apartment, when I spent my days alone reading Mayne Reid, leafing through a selection of the satirical magazine Crocodile, and surreptitiously studying my grandfather’s secretaire. As a military diplomat, from his trips to the Middle East my grandfather had brought back many amazing things that took my breath away. Literature, humor, paradoxes, and the hunt for novelty — even then it was clear what interested me in life. It is a pity that there was no one who noticed this vector and prompted me at that time.

There is nothing accidental in this process. Life hacks out each of us in a very peculiar way, like Pinocchio from a log. And, like him, it is not enough to be curious, energetic and extraordinary tomboy. It is important to know yourself, both the dark and the bright side, and then learn to live harmoniously with this “stranger. The trouble is that today both children and adults are afraid of boredom like fire. And that is why they rush to distract themselves by doing something. In this endless slide through the waves of insignificant meetings, chores, Facebook and YouTube unnoticed passes a lifetime. But sometimes there are sobering moments when one flinches at the question, “Who am I? And what am I here for?”

Sincerely yours,


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Alexander Lyadov

Alexander Lyadov

As a business therapist, I help entrepreneurs to navigate faster in non-standard situations.