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Monday, October 28, 2013

People who need distraction

One measure of a person's self-sufficiency -- and really, overall worth as a human being -- is how easily bored he gets. To what extent can he rely on his thoughts to entertain himself? How much distraction does he need?

We all need distraction; but the more frantic its pursuit, the higher the potential downside of the activity, and the less tolerance for a few moments of quiet reflection, the lower the quality of the person.

(Think fast cars, loud music, fireworks, games, guns, gambling, vandalism, alcohol, drugs, and ever-present smartphones.)

It's almost mathematical: the greater and more dramatic the distraction needed, the worse the person. (The "proof" of this theorem is that sociopaths are easily bored and will do anything to distract themselves.)

People who need loud music and drugs and the types of things that make one feel one is "out of one's mind" are making a tacit admission that, under normal conditions, their minds are not pleasant places to be. Which is another way of saying, they don't like themselves.

And if they can't stand themselves, why should you? If they spend much of their time essentially trying to crawl out of that hellhole of a brain, keep your distance.

How many times have you heard people say, "I drink to numb myself, to drown out the noise in my head," or words to that effect?

Spend enough time with that person and you'll eventually be "hearing" that noise, one way or another.

You probably won't find it a pleasant sound.


Jonathan Leaf said...

This is truly profound. Thank you. I'd put it on my Facebook page if I didn't have so many friends it applied to.

John Craig said...

Jon --
Thank you very much. (You should stay away from those friends!)

Anonymous said...

John--Ahmen, that's truly a brilliant observation of human nature. Unfortunately this is the type of thing not taught in school. Thanks! Brian

John Craig said...

Thank you very much Brian.

Anonymous said...

Would you say a guy who wants to engage in intimate behavior in broad daylight in a parking lot qualifies as a person who needs distraction?

John Craig said...

Anon/cl --
That's something entirely different: risky behavior, which is different than the 24/7 need for constant distraction.

Anonymous said...

This is a good post - insightful. I hadn't read it before.


John Craig said...

Thank you Birdie.

Anonymous said...

I really LOL'd at Jonathan Leaf!


John Craig said...

Andrew --
Jon Leaf is this guy: