Savoir Faire

A recent piece of research pointed out how difficult it is for most people to be alone without distractions for even short periods of time. It reminded me of a famous quote from the philosopher-mathematician Blaise Pascal:

“[…]tout le malheur des hommes vient d’une seule chose, qui est de ne pas savoir demeurer en repos dans une chambre.”

“All human problems come from a single thing—we don’t know how to just stay in a room.”

The way I look at it, the main reason that people can’t just stay in a room is that they don’t know how to find fulfillment and safety in just what is. Mindfulness provides a systematic way to achieve that and, if Pascal is correct, solves many if not most of our problems. It’s the ultimate savoir faire.