The Problem That Has No Name

  • "I'm married for 20 years now and finding my self more and more energy-less. My wife didn't do anything. But I just walked out and found a young woman."
  • "I can't understand what's happening. I've a beautiful wife and three children, a well paying job, and a string of high end properties. I've got my health, yet I still feel empty."
  • "Each day, I do same thing at work. My office is comfortable. My fellow employees are friendly. And I wonder about what's wrong with me."
  • "My husband is loving and a good provider. My kids are cute and loveable. With all the comforts of home, I've free time to do other things. I ask myself why I remain dissatisfied."
  • "I'm tired from the minute I get up in the morning to the time I go to bed at night."
Isn't this a tremendous puzzle? To borrow writer Betty Friedman's phrase, it's a "problem that has no name." This is a universal, common plight of millions of men and women around the world. They are tired, joyless, and thoroughly dissatisfied with life for seemingly no apparent reason.

Boredom is a malady typically described as "the problem that has no name." The problem knows no rank, status, or gender. It afflicts both rich and poor, educated and illiterate, famous and commonplace. Every one has the potential to experience boredom.

Unfortunately, boredom can produce deadly effects or consequences in one's self and life. It has the capacity break marriages and families apart. It can lead to fatigue, depression, and addictions. Left untreated, boredom could develop a host of psychological, emotional, behavioral, physical, and spiritual disorders.

I'm reminded of my Spanish subjects during college. I felt totally bored with it! I struggled to see the point of studying the language. As a result, my study efforts and grades suffered. This then led to dislike of my Spanish teachers, fatigue, and anger. The negative feelings emanating from my boredom impaired my academic performance and discipline.

So, what can you do about boredom?

Obviously, to accomplish your goals or what you want, you need to find a way to get through boredom. What can you do to make your life or work more interesting? How can you inject enthusiasm into your self during dull moments? In what ways may what you do make a contribution to benefit the needy or less fortunate? These questions could be good starting-points to overcome boredom.

St. Augustine once wrote, "Thou has made us for Thyself O God, and our hearts are restless until they find themselves in Thee." Or, as Paul wrote to the Colossians, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men ..." (Colossians 3:23). 

There it is - an ultimate anti-boredom prescription. When you find your life's meaning and energy in Him, boredom is never a problem.