IS IGNORANCE REALLY A BLISS?

The phrase ‘Ignorance is bliss’ originates from the Thomas Gray’s poem, Ode on a distant prospect of Eton College. Gray coined the phrase in the final lines of the poem, “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.

Staying ignorant and accepting it, in a way, keeps our mind fresh and open to learning new things in life.It helps us to acquire knowledge, as the very same ignorance becomes a fantastic catalyst for us to learn something new.So, I think staying and accepting being ignorant rather than acting like a know-it-all personality , when it comes to the learning phase of our life, might really work wonders in sharpening our creative mind.

In case of the worldly problems- to be in the know or to be not? To be aware of the situation, well in advance and be ready to strike, staying anxious and over the edge or staying ignorant of the predicament and just be happy in our own bubble? Which is wiser?

Though knowledge is power, is being ignorant really a bliss? Case in point, I steered clear of every news channel and news paper magazines for fifteen days at a stretch, fearing the worst due to COVID and other depressing law & order situations throughout the world. There is nothing new happening around otherwise, to lift my mood and spirit anyways. Guess I wanted to retain my sanity for a while, concentrating on only the happy happenings in my life to stay positive.Did I achieve it? Yes.I went about my work everyday radiating positivity.I was happy taking care of things, that made me happy, neglecting anything that might hinder my blissful being.

After two weeks of staying away and being meticulously ignorant, I indulged myself in the current affairs updating. And lo! everything I had stayed back from, came back to me with such a force, leaving me stumbling.The same recycled news of people ending their lives, ending others’ lives, doing things worse than ending others’ lives appeared, but in all new gory versions. Seriously, where are we heading? Staying off these news helped me rejuvenate myself, but I couldn’t stay away from them longer.I had to face reality anyways.It is not like, ‘Let me close my eyes, let the darkness drift off and let me light the world with the brightness from within’. No.It is definitely not happening.We can stay as far as possible, but it doesn’t make things go away.Come on, we ought to face it anyday we decide to come out of that self inflicted slumber! So, is staying ignorant really a bliss?

Ignorance works very well for the children.They stay oblivious to the big bad world, thanks to our protective realm.The lesser the awareness as a child, the lesser the anxiety.They are just seeing the world through their pink tinted glasses for a while.We keep them almost in the dark, offering them information only on the need-to-know basis.It has definitely worked for us when we were young and naive.But, truth be told, today’s world is ten times fast paced, a hundred times technologically driven and a thousand times mean and self-centered. Hence, the need-to-know realm’s circumference had to be increased, whether we like it or not.The children have to be made aware of the situations, good or bad happenings in the today’s world, though not entirely but atleast we have to get down to the nitty-gritty of them.This is better said than done.It is indeed difficult to have the demarcation on how much to offer, when to offer the information and not to mention the worry that we are destroying their innocence in the process.

Today’s world make our kids outgrow their age so fast.With too much information and too much negativity around, the huge responsibility lies in our shoulders to make a better person out of our kids if we can’t promise them a better world out there.Let us help them survive in this world, by letting them know how it is; cautious enough to avoid it; to be strong enough to face it, if needed.

Let us face the fact. Children are anyways susceptible of knowing everything very soon, if not from us, then from an outside source, as anything that is happening around can’t escape from them in this crazy on-your-face world. So, it is better that they know it from us, parents.Protecting our next generation has got a whole new meaning now- it is not just protecting them from any physical dangers but also protecting them from information overload; preparing them mentally to face an unforeseen danger; if by any chance they are subjected to those forbidden dangers, they should know to trust us to not let them scarred for life.

Neither every problem has a solution, nor every story has a conclusion. It is just how the story unfolds, how we handle the situation, how we protect ourselves and our loved ones, that matters the most! As we ain’t sure if there will be a turn around from here  and if we are headed towards a better path, it is better to tread the narrow path safely and cautiously.

Throwing caution to the winds and marching ahead is not wise in all the situations.Caution is not cowardice, even the ants march armed and are ready to strike when they sense danger.It is definitely not selfishness, if we are hell bent on protecting what’s ours. If we can’t change the world, let us make our kids be more vigilant and God forbid, if the situation demands them to be selfish, let them be! Ignorance is definitely not a bliss anymore!

*Image Credit: reddit.com*

Published by Ramya Vivek

Formerly a Software professional, I have been a homemaker for a while. My life revolves around my two daughters. Having started writing only recently, I just discovered what I have been missing all along in my otherwise almost-perfect life. I want to create postive content inspiring minds across all age groups.

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