Where Ignorance is Bliss, It is Folly to be Wise.
The proverb, where ignorance is a bliss, it is folly to be wise implies that where ignorance brings happiness, it is mistake to claim knowledge that brings unhappiness.
Human life has two aspects i.e., social and psychological. Man is a social being. He lives in society. In every society there are certain norms that regulate the affairs of its members. Therefore, one should possess full knowledge of the things that may affect one’s position in society.
From psychological perspective, a wise man leads a more stressed and worried life that an ignorant person. This is because knowledge is power and power entails responsibility. An ignorant person may escape strenuous labour for he knows nothing. But a wise person is always burdened with responsibility. His knowledge puts an obligation on his shoulders to act in the best interest of everyone. For instance, Socrates, the wisest man among the early Greeks, was bounded by his conscience to inculcate his knowledge and wisdom into the young minds. He was charged of corrupting the youth and was asked to forgo his emphasis on the spirit of inquiry, which he refused under the compulsion of his intellectual responsibility. He preferred to drink hemlock and chose death.
Similarly, in modern times, professionals and experts are leading more stressful lives than ordinary citizens. For example, the scientists are worried about the gradual increase in Earth’s temperature. They fear that constant rise in temperature may adversely affect the life on this planet in the coming years. All in all they are living more stressed life than an ignorant person, who oblivious of these developments leading a life of satisfaction and contentment.
All this, however, does not mean that one should stay ignorant and does not strive to acquire knowledge. One should remain abreast of all the latest developments in the field of science and technology. However, one should abstain from knowledge which instead of bringing happiness and joy creates unhappiness and makes life more stressful.