The Law of Boredom

effect: discontentment


Doing the same thing over and over again—even making money– is boring. Workplace boredom infects all professionals, including thieves, lawyers, and physicians. Boredom means dissatisfaction with what you have: job, relationship, achievements. Boredom is not simply an ungrounded thought process but a genuine discontentment with current personal matters. Reacting negatively to boredom is easy, if not neuro-driven. Teenagers, when bored, deface public property, and adults drink, gorge, gamble, or watch scary films. Boredom is not a defense to committing a crime. The idea of penitentiary commissioned boredom, unsuccessfully, as therapeutic loneliness. Responding positively to boredom is a skill, though reading books rarely alleviates boredom. Preempting boredom through pointless excitements intensifies boredom. Boredom is a godsend for brilliant individuals, for it is a forerunner to creativity. Bored with painting, Picasso started writing poetry for a while. God created the universe out of absolute boredom.

This is part of a work-in-progress called 501 Laws. CounterPunch will publish one or two “laws” a month. 

L. Ali Khan is the founder of Legal Scholar Academy and an Emeritus Professor of Law at the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas. He welcomes comments at