Is Ignorance Bliss?

Inspired by one of the daily post challenge topics, I’ve been thinking about truth.

I’m a pretty terrible liar. There are circumstances where I can pull off a lie if absolutely necessary…but my downfall is sticking to the lie. I’ll forget a week later what I had lied about and say something contradictory resulting in my lie being discovered, which is why I usually avoid the whole lying process. Sometimes I’m forced into it though. I learn a secret that is not mine to tell and I’m forced to remember to keep it always, which is really very stressful and can get complicated. Again, why I avoid the whole business of lying if I can.

But besides my own personal experiences…

Is it better to know the truth, or is ignorance bliss? Like all good questions, there isn’t a clear-cut, black and white answer. We’d all like to think that we want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, all the time…but do we really? What if finding out the truth would only hurt you? It wouldn’t change anything in the past or the future…would you still want to know?

Example. Say your best friend is dumped by her boyfriend, and you find out from a reliable source that the boyfriend had cheated on her while they were dating. Should you tell her? They’re broken up now, her knowing that he cheated on her will not bring them back together, and she’s probably wallowing enough as it is without knowing this hurtful truth.

I suppose you could argue that it might help her get over him, knowing that he didn’t treat her well while they were dating; he wasn’t good enough for her anyway. Or you could argue she deserves to know. But you could also argue that your friend could work her way through this break up and emerge a stronger person without ever knowing that her boyfriend cheated on her.

So do you tell her?

Well, don’t look at me. I probably wouldn’t tell her. It’d be bad enough seeing my friend upset over a break up without putting salt in the wound. But it wouldn’t be an easy decision by any means. Plus, I say that now, but actually being in that situation might yield different results.

On the flip side, if you were the one who was dumped…would you want to know that your ex cheated on you? Would it help you move on? Or only hurt you further resulting in a deeper post-break up depression?

They say “honest is the best policy” and for the most part, I’d say that’s true…but it’s not always the easiest policy. I’m more curious as to other people’s thoughts in this topic. What do you think? Is it always more important to know the truth despite your feelings, or the feelings of someone else?


**Disclaimer: the situation described in this post is purely hypothetical. I do not know anyone in this situation, nor am I in this situation. Any relation to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.**


About MMM

Resolving to write in 2011!
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4 Responses to Is Ignorance Bliss?

  1. Kristen says:

    So, hypothetically…. if a close friend cheated on her boyfriend would you want them to tell you or keep it a secret?

    • mmontinieri says:

      My close friends wouldn’t cheat on their boyfriends. Problem solved.

      Haha, no but really. I guess it depends on the situation. Because if I was also friends with her boyfriend and knew she cheated on him, I’d feel a sort of obligation to tell my friend he was being cheated on.

      I suppose I’d want to know, but I wouldn’t know what to do with that information. The truth is such a tricky business.

      Thanks for reading and leaving a thought provoking comment 🙂

  2. Marisa Montinieri says:

    Hi honey. THANK HEAVENS YOU ARE STILL BLOGGING AND I CAN MAKE COMMENTS AGAIN! I am so intrigued by what you write about Mere. I was over your house on Sat., night when the very generous man picked up your tab at dinner. People just don’t do those sort of things anymore and it was nice to see that even in a bad economy someone can be generous with their $. It must of given everyone “faith” in these times! I have to comment, though, about your blog on “walk a mile”…you must already know by now that what you have been experiencing I think is a “family trait”…I have been the worse culprit of it. I think it is a great attitribute because we do get things accomplished; there is no grass growing under our feet but sometimes we do have to take a step back and just let bygones be bygones. I have a lot of trouble with this and look at my age~ When I think something is right, I believe everyone should see it the same way ~ not the way of the world. It has taken some of my pride away but I have, on more than one occasion recently, stepped back and let the chips fall where they may. Secretly, though, I am almost always right about the outcome!!! HAHA. Love ya lots, Auntie M.

    • MMM says:

      I’m so glad you’re reading again auntie! I missed your comments 🙂 Thanks for sharing your insight…I definitely know what you mean haha.

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