Research has identified the most boring day on earth since 1900: April 11, 1954. Nothing much happened that day. No catastrophes, no huge headlines. Belgium held an election. A noted Turkish scholar was born. That’s about it. Scientists created a search engine that can organize 300 million newsworthy facts, and that day turned up as the big underachiever.
This news gives the impression that we should gang up on April 11, 1954, ridicule it, delete it as an epic waste of time.
Not so fast. I wasn’t around then, but the case could be made that April 11 in the Year of Our Lord ’54 wasn’t boring at all. Strange dramas happened that day that no one even now can account for. The sun rose. Springtime bloomed. The night stars churned. The web of life infiltrated every hour. People stirred, some were born, others died. Destinies were decided, others were closed off. That day sent out unstoppable ripples. We haven’t been the same since.
You might protest: But April 11, 1954, was boring from a political, social point of view, not from the standpoint of nature or cosmos.
But there’s no use sending the natural world and the human one to their separate corners. They can’t be sharply divided.
“We are living in a world that is absolutely transparent, and God is shining through it all the time,” Thomas Merton once said. The sharp details of creation glow and flow and quiet the mind, revealing divine fingerprints, even on the least eventful day in modern history, even the most boring day in the history of your life.
So I salute the most monotonous day of the last 114 years. We could use a day like that now and then here in the 21st century, where every day seems determined to be furiously interesting, worrisome, madcap and overscheduled.
I found out something else about April 11, 1954. It was a Sunday. Maybe there was no newsworthy mischief that day because it was the last Sabbath in history where the world actually still rested.