Fruitful Boredom

In The Conquest of Happiness, Bertrand Russell suggests that there are really two types of boredom, only one of which is to be avoided.

The Conquest of Happiness, by Bertrand Russell. Published 1930.  (source)

Boredom, however, is not to be regarded as wholly evil. There are two sorts, of which one is fructifying, while the other is stultifying. The fructifying kind arises from the absence of drugs and the stultifying kind from the absence of vital activities.

This idea fits in with Russell’s larger point: the key to happiness in life is zest. For Russell, zest is a natural condition that modern life can sometimes undermine.



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