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Dutchess_III's avatar

Can you give some concrete, every day examples of what you think Thomas Grey meant when he said, "Where ignorance is bliss, 'Tis folly to be wise."?

Asked by Dutchess_III (36153points) May 8th, 2012

As asked. I’ll withhold my thoughts for now.

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12 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

There are some things we are probably better off not knowing. Like when I was crazy about this guy and found out from someone that he didn’t think I was pretty enough for him. I think I would have preferred not knowing that. It was hurtful.

tranquilsea's avatar

Without seeing the comment in context I read it as it being slightly dangerous to be a wise person amongst an ocean of ignorant ones. Ignorant people often don’t want their worlds rocked in any way.

Jeruba's avatar

How nice to see the statement quoted in full instead of misleadingly shortened. I posted comments on this verse once before, here.

There are plenty of things we’re better off not knowing. I don’t believe I’d want to know that I’m heading toward a miserable slow, lingering death, for one example, nor anyone close to me.

Blackberry's avatar

We all know there are innocent people dying at the hands of other humans, but we can’t do anything about it. You have to worry about going to work and making your own money to live your own life.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Intellectuals were sometimes burned as witches, yes?

Trillian's avatar

How ‘bout our children’s private lives, and their everyday conversations?
When my oldest was about 7 I came home early, walked in just in time to hear her tell her little friend “Now I’m going to fuck you.” I once found a letter she had written when she was about 13; something about “I just chillin’ and ‘mokin’ in my room.” She had let it fall on the bathroom floor, or I’d never have seen it.
The faces our kids show us are completely different from what they show to their peers. I had forgotten how it was when I was a child until I had it driven home for me by her.
I’d much prefer to remain ignorant of the ridiculousness and drama of their lives. I’ll save wisdom for abstracts and my own life applications.

Dutchess_III's avatar

O well. I didn’t know there was more to it, or I would have qualified it @Jeruba. I just saw it, as I quoted, obviously now I know out of all of it’s context. Didn’t know it was about miserable slow death, or people physically killing other people. My first thought was that it was about everyday life. Even by itself out of all context, it’s something to think about.

To me, for example is you have to be careful about coming up with “new” ideas, if there is someone around you who will take issue with the fact that it’s a good idea, but it wasn’t theirs, so they’ll tear it into nothingness. Or you come up with an idea that will make life easier and more efficient, but to those around you it’s “We’ve never done it that way!”

janbb's avatar

I’m thinking about the example of falling in love with someone even though all the red flags are flying and you know it ain’t going to end well.

bkcunningham's avatar

I think about praying I could turn back time and praying I’d never met someone as a way of trying to escape the pain of losing them. But to put a modern twist on it, like the song says, “And now I’m glad I didn’t know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I’d of had to miss the dance
Yes my life is better left to chance
I could have missed the pain but I’d of had to miss the dance.”

Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College always makes me cry. “Since sorrow never comes too late, And happiness too swiftly flies.” What truth in those words.

majorrich's avatar

I used to love bologna, until I saw what was in it.

bkcunningham's avatar

@majorrich, you made me laugh.

ucme's avatar

Sit on the knee of a tramp that’s just parked his backside on a freshly painted park bench.

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