Being a boring person might seem to be the worst thing you could possibly be. Better to lie about who you are than be someone who is considered to have lived a boring life. Do we need more interesting people in this world? Surely not the ones that popular culture deems to be interesting. We don’t need another story of the person who survived drug addiction, a promiscuous youth, or some other self-induced horror because they could see at an early age that most of the rest of the world was experiencing true horrors, while they had their usual stories of divorced parents and rejections from the Ivy League schools. Are those people precious in God’s eyes? Of course. But, we know how these stories go. Each generation holds up these folks as having been the authentic ones, the ones who kept it real, or simply the ones who gave us some vicarious adventures.
The real problem then, isn’t the people living certain lives and telling certain stories–it’s our own culture, now programmed to believe that we are on the cutting edge as we endlessly reinvent the wheel. We are programmed to get excited about stories of people wrecking their lives or finding adventure in wars we helped start, whether we want to admit we helped start these wars or not. Occasionally, there are glimpses of real heroes helping others, but mostly, the excitement comes from reading about someone escaping death and coming back to normal, boring society to talk about it–or, someone flirting with death while remaining mixed up in normal, boring society.
The stories that need to be heard aren’t the ones being told on the bestseller rack, or on television or even on NPR. The stories that need to be heard are ones told by so-called boring people, who are actually in the middle of experiencing amazing things.