Can you sit quietly alone in a room? It’s easier said than done. In today’s world we have so many distractions. The internet is always at our fingertips. Video games are on your phone. Social media. The 24 hour news media. Streaming movies and music. All of these things compete for our attention. However, those things didn’t exist in the 1600’s. Yet that is when Blaise Pascal said the following.
All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.Blaise Pascal
Can you imagine what he would think today? If you said “the same thing”, you would likely be correct. Moreover he would likely chide me about posting to the internet instead of sitting alone with my thoughts.
Why sit quietly alone in a room?
Sometimes we just need to escape. However, I believe Pascal was thinking of something deeper. Perhaps he wanted us to meditate on the reason for our existence. In our quiet time we might learn our place in the grander scheme. Perhaps find better ways of solving our problems.
However, I take this quote in a different way. Most of our problems rise from within us, not without. They have different root causes. Jealousy, insecurity, and stress to name a few. Moreover, all of these stem from a distorted sense of self. Hence, a man sitting alone in a room should focus on the only man in the room. Himself.
If one doesn’t know what makes one tick, chances are it’s someone else doing it for him. However, you can’t make me happy, angry, or sad. All of that is internal. Therefore, it is controlled by oneself. Unless, of course, one surrenders himself to the control of circumstances beyond his control.
Take a moment to sit quietly alone in a room today. No books, no electronics, and no Meso Fusion Media. Get to know the person you’re sitting with. Moreover, learn to control that person. In order to do so you’ll need to really understand them. Hence, you might want to make this practice a regular habit.