Boredom and Apathy

By Greg Baer M.D.

September 14, 2015

A man wrote: “You once described boredom to me as 'emptiness without a purpose,' which meant nothing to me at the time but does now. I haven't felt bored for a long, long time.”

In the absence of sufficient Real Love, we fill our emptiness with whatever form of Imitation Love we can find.

Young children tend to complain of boredom because they are unskilled at finding Imitation Love. They lack the experience and creativity that adults use in finding “excitement,” so they are prone to complain that “there’s nothing to do.”

With adults, boredom tends to be the result of discovering that no amount of Imitation Love will ever make us happy. And then we’re not only bored but have a sense of hopeless desperation.

Another man wrote: “Today I am tired and feel a sense of apathy. I have no motivation to do anything. Nothing is wrong. I have no fear that I’m aware of and as far as I can tell I'm not experiencing emptiness either. So what is apathy?”

Apathy is a sense—born from considerable past experience—that exerting ourselves would have no meaningful, positive yield.

As children, we worked hard to earn approval and praise, but then we learned that the effects soon wore off, and we had to work harder for the same effects.

We moved on to more approval, and to power and money and sex, but then those forms of Imitation Love also lost their luster.

Eventually, nothing makes us happy, so why even bother to get off the couch and look for a sense of fulfillment or excitement? Why expend any effort, or even thought? That is apathy, and it’s a close cousin to boredom.

When people find the fulfillment of Real Love, they learn that there is no end to its source and no end to those who need it. In this endless cycle of receiving and giving love, there is no room for boredom or apathy.

Love is fulfilling, exciting, and motivating, with effects that don’t wear off. It’s a great way to live.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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