An Ignorant Bliss

By Zehra Kamani

They say that ignorance is a feeling of bliss,
Nothing seen or heard, nothing to miss.
I see its relentless fist closed tight
Around the necks of those oblivious to their plight.

I ask how ignorance can truly be bliss
When faith becomes an unpleasant menace.
It plagues us with fears that hold no name —
Superstitious powers to appease and tame,
Condemned to adhere to rituals and rules,
Blind followers committed to act as fools.

I ask how ignorance can truly be bliss
When it fosters hate through prejudice.
It views others with disdainful eyes,
Ready to believe all rumours and lies.
It makes us audacious to censure and chide
And instigates within us a sense of feigned pride.

I ask how ignorance can truly be bliss,
When it allows us to meekly accept injustice.
How can we hear of our neighbour’s sorrow
And pretend that things will be better tomorrow,
Without having a voice or a say,
Leaving others to plead or just pray?
If we choose to neglect the world that is vast,
How will we ever learn from the past?
How can we avoid the crooked way
When we know not where it led yesterday?

I ask how ignorance can truly be bliss
When it has made us slaves of the materialist —
Ephemeral treasures life’s sole aspiration,
Succumbing to whims and minute temptation.
To gain it all, we endlessly toil
Without realizing the lives we spoil

But beyond it all lay true treasures to cherish,
Of knowledge and reason without which we’d perish;
Of light upon light and opportunity’s grand door,
And wisdom a resource to refine more and more;
A chance to become unique and great,
With the purpose and power to carve out our fate.

Once learned, one can no longer dismiss
The truth that ignorance can never be bliss.

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