Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Boredom and Age

I often hear teenagers and young adults complaining about being bored. I can remember doing likewise when I was a preteen and young teenager, before I could drive and get out on my own. As a young adult, I found I only experienced boredom whenever I spent extended periods alone which, fortunately, rarely happened. I've always liked to read, but there was a limit as to how much time I wanted to spend doing that.

As a kid, I remember my parents rolling their eyes at me when I'd tell them I was bored, telling me they'd find me something to do if I was bored. The "something" was usually something unpleasant that involved doing work. I learned pretty quickly not to say I was bored within my parents hearing!

But as I recall, I kept fairly busy when I was a kid: riding my bike, playing ball, hiking through the woods, hanging out with my friends, listening to music, being in the band, playing board games, building tree houses, and so on. Unlike today's generation of kids and teens, we spent little time indoors during daylight hours and generally only watched TV at night, with the exception of Saturday morning cartoons.

I grew up in the sixties and seventies, so we also didn't have video games, cable/satellite TV, DVDs, home computers, internet, cell phones, and so on. We had to be a bit more creative to entertain ourselves than kids do nowadays, but we didn't have any less fun. Far from it; I think people of my generation had the chance to develop our own creativity to higher degree than in generally so with young people today.

Now that I'm *cough*middle-aged*cough*, I find that I'm almost never bored when I spend time alone now. It used to be that I would avoid spending much time alone, but now I find I enjoy my own company and am usually quite content to spend time in solitude. I can't say if it's having to learn to entertain myself as a kid in the absence of most technological entertainments taken for granted today, or if it's maturity finally kicking in on me. It's also interesting to note, that other than my computer and internet connection, I don't partake of much of the current technologies currently available -- I don't have cable or satellite, am not much interested in video games, and I have only a basic cell phone that I use only for talking.

As it stands now, the only time I actually need to seek out others is if I'm horny, which still happens quite frequently, I'm happy to say. Otherwise, I'm quite content to hibernate with my computer for reading and writing, my books, and my stash of DVDs.


It Was Bound to Happen Some Time

Listening to the Neal Boortz show a week or so ago, I found myself in the odd position of agreeing with him. He was talking with a caller about the proposed plan to build a mosque on the site of Ground Zero in Manhattan, where the World Trade towers once stood. Boortz thinks the idea is in extremely poor taste and that in rubs the noses of the American people into what happened there that day.

Later in the call, Boortz commented that in recent times, Islam has been associated with terrorism and sectarian violence more so than other religions, but that this hasn't been always so. He then mentioned that in certain periods in history, Christianity had been just as violent in the name of their faith, referring to the Catholic Inquisition and the witch hunts, among other things. He then said that it was because of the often violent history of the world's religions that he had absolutely no use for organized religion.

For once, he was dead on the money. It was an odd thing to find myself entirely in agreement with him, but even a broken clock is right two times a day.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Personality Type and Political Orientation

Recently, I came into contact online with someone I'd gone to school with and had not seen since that time. I was surprised to discover that he's now a strong conservative. Thinking of how he was when we were back in school, he would been one of the last people I'd have thought would have ended up as a conservative, as he was an easy-going, laid-back kind of a guy with an irreverent sense of humor.

I suppose it's a stereotype, but I don't associate conservatism with a people who have a strong sense of humor and an easy-going personality, If not apolitical, I would assume such a person would lean toward the liberal side.

Similarly, I went to school with some guys who were rather uptight, humorless, and straight-laced. These are the types that I'd imagine would end up as conservatives in their later years, though I'm sure that these types of people often do not fit the stereotype as my former classmate did not.

How about you? Do you associate certain personality types with various political beliefs?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Working Hard or Working Smart

"Working hard" is a virtue that is often praised in our society. It is considered to be a great compliment to refer to someone as a hard worker. And while we are sometimes cautioned against overwork, most people would rather be thought of as workaholics, rather than slackers. For many, being thought of as lazy ranks right down there with being a liar or a thief.

But what exactly do we mean by the phrase "working hard"? Do we mean always doing physically or mentally ardous work every moment of every working day. Does it mean working to the point where we drag ourselves home physically or mentally spent and drop into bed exhausted at the end of every work day? Does it mean we always work as fast as we possibly can? Does it mean searching out more work, even busy work, when there is nothing productive to do, so that every minute is spent "Doing Something", even if it's pointless labor?

And this brings me to the point of this entry, the difference between "working hard" and "working smart". Someone working smart will attend to necessary tasks in a timely fashion in order to meet specific productive goals and at a steady, though not necessarily, frenetic, pace. Work done is always toward a useful goal and is not engaged in merely to "keep busy". Work is seen as but one component of a balanced life, where rest and leisure are seen as equally important, as someone who gets enough rest and leisure usually tends to work more productively. Work is seen merely as a means to an end, rather than an end of itself, so anything that can make a job easier is seen as an advantage.

Someone who works smart realizes that above all, we are paid for the time we give up for the needs of our employers, apart from the actual labor we do. Time is our most important cmmodity as , once spent, we can never have a particular block of time back in our lives to do over. In other words, once June 11, 2010 is over, I'll never have another June 11, 2010 to spend again doing different things.