Around my house there are some words that my kids know are off limits. One of them is the “B-word.” Not the b-word you are probably thinking of (though that one is off limits as well) but rather, the word bored. The words “bored” and “boring” should never be uttered from my childrens’ lips or they know that momma will definitely find something for them to do.
There are many reasons these two words grate on my ears. The obvious is that there is never a time when their closets don’t need cleaned out, toys picked up, reading to do, pets to walk, animals to care for, yard work to be done and a long list of other chores. The other, less obvious reason, is the sense of entitlement and, well, rudeness, that the statement, ‘I am bored’ conveys.
The Oxford dictionary defines “boring” as, not interesting, making you feel tired and impatient. Last time I checked, the only people who have the luxury of declaring an event, person, or place boring are those that feel entitled to something “better” and more entertaining. Individuals who would rather be passively entertained than participatory. These are not the kind of people that I want to raise my children to be and they are not the kind that typically live in our small town.
When I think of passive entertainment I don’t mean to rule out the value of the chance to pop into a movie theater or the occasional shopping trip to the “big city” of Casper, but that is not the kind fo entertainment we find in Lusk. The entitlement of passive entertainment implies that other people are responsible to make you happy or “entertain” you. That your own wants and, heaven forbid, free time, are up to them to fill, not you. This would also imply that you don’t feel the need to contribute, participate or take responsibility for said entertainment.
Our little town may be short on passive entertainment but it is certainly not short on opportunities to participate rather than be entertained. On any given afternoon or evening social clubs, book discussions, bible studies and BINGO abound. The chance to volunteer in the school district, with the library, through the 4-H program or with a church or other organization are also rife. Students have athletics, the “F-clubs” as they call themselves (FFA, FCCLA, FBLA, FCA), 4-H, art, band, choir, library programs, girl scouts and more I am sure I don’t even know about.
If you are not much for socializing then hiking the hills, geocaching, the walking path, clear skies for astronomy, online gaming, working out at the Best Western and hunting.
The annual events such as the High-12 Banquet, County Fair and others provide yet another opportunity for participation. It may be fun to walk through the barns but it is even more fun to look at your own items on display in exhibit hall, show off your pet at the pet show or work with the Masons to hold the event that raises thousands for scholarships. Promote your small business at the Homemaker’s Christmas Bazaar or walk for MS awareness and raise money for MS research.
These are all the options that make Lusk, and other small towns across Wyoming, and even larger communities decidedly not boring. These are also all the opportunities I encourage my children, other residents and yes, even visitors to take advantage of. Rather than allow a town, person or, apparently life, to be boring, I suggest to those who think something is boring, to ask themselves if they could be contributing, rather than merely expecting others to entertain them. If they could be lifting others up, rather than pulling them down and if they could act like a professional, rather than a boor. Thank you Mr. Glen Woods, for reminding of exactly why I don’t allow my children to use the “B-word.”