Let Yourself Be Bored

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

Blaise Pascal

I try to prove him wrong sometimes. I sit quietly in a room, alone. Not me, I think, dripping with hubris. I’m the exception to the rule.

Only I’m not. It takes a minute or so, but before long I’m swimming in a sea of discomfort. I’m looking into the abyss and the abyss is sticking its middle finger up at me.

I see two possible solutions. One is to avoid this at all costs and distract myself every moment of every day. The other is to learn to sit quietly in a room, alone, trying to go longer each time, if only by a second or two.

It might be difficult, but the payoff is more than worth the effort. For if you can enjoy your own company, you’re set. And, as Jean-Paul Satre said, “If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.”

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