Ignorance & Bliss

picture of mouse unaware there's an owl closing inTo say “ignorance is bliss” is to quote out of context:

“Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.” -Thomas Gray

What’s the difference? When read carefully, it’s significant. It’s the original version of today’s TMI or, that is, Too Much Information. Knowing about stuff that doesn’t help us…doesn’t help us.

Having always been troubled by the phrase and before I found the full quote, a related truth dawned on me yesterday. Given that ignored or masked or hidden ignorance leads to misery, acknowledged ignorance can lead to bliss. It is only after the ignorance is recognized that any progress can be made. Turning a blind eye leaves one blind, regardless of the intention.

May we all feel a little more comfortable with the fact that we don’t know everything.

Your thoughts would be much appreciated.


Cleveland Heights, Ohio, United States of America

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