October 25, 2020

Gen Z Conservative

The thoughts of a young conservative on political issues relevant to all ages

thomas jefferson on idleness

Thomas Jefferson on Idleness

The Quote:

“Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time, who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done, if we are always doing.”  -Thomas Jefferson on Idleness


I really like this quote by Thomas Jefferson on idleness. It is not really a political quote, it is more about building up oneself and being productive. This site is mostly about politics, but sometimes it makes sense to focus on other things. Character building is one of those things, it is one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal for long term happiness.

So why did I choose this quote specifically? Because Thomas Jefferson lived out this quote through practice. He knew how to combat idleness- he was a prolific politician, writer, planter, and thinker. Jefferson, in my opinion, was the closest America ever came to a Renaissance man. He understood how to combat idleness. He combated it through constant work. Whether that work was on his plantation or in Philadelphia, as a planter or as a politician, he always stayed busy.

My father always says that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. I think that that  is entirely true. This quote by Thomas Jefferson on idleness shows that exactly. We as humans are meant to build, to progress. We’re aren’t meant to sit around and be idle. When we are idle, bad things tend to happen. Relationships get ruined, our health deteriorates, we’re bored. When we’re busy, however, life is better. Not too busy, like an investment banker, but busy enough to be working towards something and building something up. That productivity is what America was built on, as Hunting describes in Who Are We?, a great book on the American spirit. Working hard and being productive is what makes capitalism work and the economy grow each year. Productivity is the path to success and its antithesis is idleness. Don’t be idle, be productive. Americans get out of bed and build something. It’s what we do.


As Jefferson notes, we seem to have much more time if we use it wisely. Jefferson certainly used his wisely- just look at all of his accomplishments in life. Use it wisely, and you’ll be happier.

By: Gen Z Conservative

Image at top from AZ Quotes


Read about Jefferson’s presidency here: https://genzconservative.com/book-reviews-history-of-the-us/

And buy the book about it here: https://amzn.to/2WwbjBV

Check out this other great quote by Jefferson: https://genzconservative.com/thomas-jefferson-on-liberty/

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