The Bliss Known as Ignorance

Yet ah! why should they know their fate?
Since sorrow never comes too late,
And happiness too swiftly flies.
Thought would destroy their paradise.
No more; where ignorance is bliss,
‘Tis folly to be wise.

Thomas Gray (December 26, 1716 – June 30, 1771), “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College”

Quoting Thomas Gray got me in trouble.

But that was years ago. Still, can’t forget how, by just carelessly uttering the phrase “ignorance is bliss,” I got an unexpected grilling in front of the whole class. And by one of my favorite teachers, no less.

Tonight, I’m still in trouble. But it isn’t for History of the English Language. Yet there is still some history involved, which I’d like to keep to myself.

Let me just say this though: knowledge is power and a great responsibility. But knowing also means it’s the ability to hurt yourself and others. “What you do not know cannot hurt you.” Ergo, some people would resort to being ignorant and unhurt than being informed but in pain.

Just before you choose, know that–like knowledge–ignorance has a price.

(And though the last quote may not be of much help, I’d still like to use it.)

I hope that if–like me–you are at a crossroad and you have to decide which path to take, I hope you make the decision on time. And that you stick with it. And that you do not have regrets. And if you ever change your mind, I hope that there’s still a chance to go back.

Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference which is an elegant name for ignorance.

G.K. Chesterton (May 29, 1874 – June 14, 1936)


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