Tag Archives: evan davis

Does boredom breed genius?

I was on Twitter this morning and I saw a tweet from the lovely Evan Davis, a presenter on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

The lovely Evan Davis

Well into the schoool hols now. We discuss boredom in the next half hour.. do we have enough of it these days?

There’s a well-known phrase that says that ‘boredom breeds contempt’, so Evan’s question peaked my interest.

The implication is that boredom is something we don’t do enough of, that it has its use/requirement and that we’re worse off because we don’t “have enough of it”.


How can there be a well-known phrase that says that boredom breeds contempt and yet, there are people arguing that we need boredom?

Which is it? Do we need boredom or does it destroy us by generating contempt?

The point of the phrase about it breeding contempt is that boredom in any relationship will end up with the people hating each other but does that mean boredom is a bad thing?

Not necessarily – the lesson of ‘boredom breeds contempt’ is to challenge those involved in any relationship not to be complacent, rather than ‘boring’.

Being bored is different to being boring. Boredom challenges us as human beings to be different…to be human…to think and contemplate…and then do. And from that action, surely anything is possible…including the opportunity for a genius to be born/created!

But you can’t do anything, if you’ve not experienced the boredom and the thinking…action always should come out of thought, so boredom is surely essential to that process?

But if we NEED boredom, why don’t we have it? Surely it’s because society is fixated with being entertained or feels the need to always be doing something. Is that really what we’ve become?

Are we really adrenalin junkies that don’t like the quiet and won’t accept that boredom is as important in our development as doing anything fun or eventful?

Thing is that I don’t have any answer to that…probably because I don’t want to admit to myself that that’s what I’m like.

But if boredom is gonna make me a better person, then maybe I should submit sometimes?