I found an old journal from eighth grade that I wrote in for about three weeks. It’s always amusing to encounter your younger self. I consistently used the word “boring” to describe my days–which is fine. Things can be boring–there’s a good chance those days had big chunks of time that I would still classify as boring.
Boring can be okay–if by it we mean down time that is not scheduled. Boring can be relaxing. But if boring is a symptom of a lack of creative activity–If it’s a symptom of a failure of curiosity–then I think we can do better. We must not fear the mundane–constantly rushing to quiet our restless thoughts with endless hours of entertainment. Rather, if we can cultivate enchanted curiosity, the mundane can often bloom with delight.
On our best days, we’re not trying to entertain our kids. We’re trying to inspire them with great literature, music, and a sense of wonder at how intricate and interesting the world really is. We’re trying to keep them well stocked with stories, songs, instruments, tools, plans, and materials. Poorly chosen entertainment–particularly if it’s delivered through screens–undermines the enchantment, and leads to a creative malaise–probably what I was experiencing as a “bored” eighth grader.
The goal is to cultivate a home life that fosters creative curiosity about truth, goodness, and beauty–such that we find the screens boring.