“One big obstacle to a more deliberate and meditative way of life is that we are so easily bored. Boredom is the soul disease of the age. The more convenient life is, the more boring it grows. It is infinitely more interesting to raise a tomato than to buy one at the grocery, to concoct a sauce than to heat a ready-made one in the microwave, to negotiate a winding mountain road than to drive an interstate highway … to canoe down a rapids than to ride the chute at an amusement park, to sail a boat than to be transported in one, to travel to Brazil than to take a cyberspace tour of it, to have sex than to watch a sex movie, to…. The list might circle the planet.
“The more bored we are, the more we feel the need to be entertained. The more entertained we are, the less interested we become in anything at all. Curiosity, imagination, inventiveness expand with use, like muscles, and atrophy with neglect.”
- Paul Gruchow, “By Light of the Winter Moon,” Boundary Waters: The Grace of the Wild, 1997, Milkweed Editions
“Studies show an increasing segment of Minnesotans – those ages 19 to 44 – no longer get outdoors to enjoy state parks or trails. They don’t go fishing or hiking. And they are not introducing their children to those outdoor activities.
“The reason? Young adults and their children lead strictly scheduled lives where other activities – sports, computer games and electronic gadgets – dominate their leisure time.
“Also, a new study shows a segment of young Minnesotans don’t have basic outdoors skills, like setting up a tent, and they’re scared of being in the woods.
“They also view parks as boring and would like them – and the delivery of nature information – to be more high-tech.”
- Chris Niskasen, “No time for nature: Fewer young Minnesotans using state parks and trails,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, Feb. 17, 2008
“No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.”
- Jack Kerouac, foreword to Lonesome Traveler, 1960