All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit quiet in a room alone.” ― Blaise Pascal by
(27 Stories)

Loading Share Buttons...

/ Stories

A Point of View: Are we really interested in saving time? - BBC News


Back in the days of ‘Higher Education’ for me I ran into this Blaise Quote and kind of took it to heart.


Below are some additional thoughts:


  • Pascal’s quote is a profound observation about the human condition. It suggests that our miseries are often caused by our own restlessness and inability to be content with our own company. We are constantly seeking out distractions and entertainment, in an attempt to avoid facing our own thoughts and feelings. However, this only serves to make us more miserable in the long run.
  • The quote is particularly relevant in the modern age, where we are constantly bombarded with stimuli. We have access to more information and entertainment than ever before, and it can be easy to get caught up in the never-ending cycle of consumption. If we are not careful, we can become addicted to these distractions, and they can prevent us from truly connecting with ourselves and others.
  • The quote also suggests that there is a certain amount of wisdom in solitude. When we are alone, we have the opportunity to slow down, reflect, and connect with our inner selves. This can be a difficult and uncomfortable process, but it is ultimately essential for our well-being.
  • The quote is not meant to suggest that we should all become hermits.

Here are some additional thoughts on the quote:

  • The quote can be interpreted in a number of ways. Some people might see it as a criticism of our modern culture, which is often seen as being too fast-paced and superficial. Others might see it as a more general observation about the human condition, and the challenges that we all face in trying to find meaning and purpose in life.
  • The quote is also open to interpretation on a personal level. For some people, the quote might simply be a reminder to take some time for themselves each day, to relax and reflect. For others, the quote might be a more challenging call to action, to face their fears and insecurities head-on.

Ultimately, the meaning of the quote is up to the individual to decide. However, there is no doubt that it is a thought-provoking quote that can spark a lot of discussion.


Profile photo of Kevin Driscoll Kevin Driscoll
(Mostly) Vegetarian, Politically Progressive, Daily Runner, Spiritual, Helpful, Friendly, Kind, Warm Hearted and Forgiving. Resident of Braintree MA.

Characterizations: been there, moving, right on!, well written


  1. Thanx for your thoughtful post, Kevin.

    William Wordsworth wrote this in 1802. What would he think today?
    “The world is too much with us, late and soon,
    Getting and spending we lay waste our powers;
    Little we see in Nature that is ours;
    We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

  2. Great response to the prompt, Kevin. Your thoughtful contemporization covers both solitude and isolation with thought-provoking clarity. Your treatment also brought to mind Virginia Woolf’s essential essay for woman (and others), “A Room of One’s Own.” Whereas your ruminations suggest a measure of freedom of choice, Woolf describes an absolute need for women (and I suggest plenty of men) for solitude, (as opposed to isolation) that women’s traditional roles as child-rearing homemakers and social EMTs. Thanks for stirring the pot, Kevin.

  3. pattyv says:

    Meditation. Exactly what I thought about when I read the quote. Meditation isn’t just breathing techniques and yoga positions, it’s taking the time to be alone with yourself. To calm down and relax, remove the rush of living and reflect on the present moment. Find the peace of who you really are, the divine you, by removing the role-playing, the head games, distractions, and simply finding joy within. An hour a day, even an hour a day.

  4. Kevin:
    You gave me a greater regard of Pascal. I had always admired his mathematical discoveries and scientific observations. I liked his when rebutted the likes of Aristotle and Descartes who insisted that nature abhors a vacuum .
    What amazed me from this quotation was his reaction to his many years of illness–with inner determination and not remorse. Finding peace in his isolation.

  5. Dave Ventre says:

    I also can interpret this quote as lamenting the loss of opportunity for quiet contemplation amidst all the demands made upon our time. Blaise should have considered shutting off his cell phone now and then….

  6. Laurie Levy says:

    Thank you for sharing this quote. I can think of so many ways the inability to be still with ourselves leads to misery. Especially now, in our chaotic and divisive country, the need for constant attention and stimulation causes misery for most of us.

  7. Betsy Pfau says:

    I love this, Kevin. Thanks for the quote. I fear in this world of constant distraction, social media, iPhones, etc. people no longer know how to be with themselves but it is SO important for one’s sanity and well-being to just clear the mind and sit with one’s thoughts (or try to not think at all). It is difficult to just breathe, but so healthy. In, out, in, out….

  8. This is a really meaningful contribution, Kevin. But perhaps Pascal never met up with George Bernard Shaw, who was once asked, as he partied among a throng of people, if he was “enjoying himself.” He allegedly responded that as a matter of fact, “that’s the only thing I am enjoying.”

  9. Khati Hendry says:

    I wasn’t familiar with the quote, but have taken it, and your advice to heart, interpreting it to justify my hours in a quiet room, ruminating on Retrospect.

Leave a Reply