Ignorance is a heavy burden.
Note: Compare this to the popular English proverb, “Ignorance is bliss.”
To each his suff’rings: are all men,
Condemn’d alike to groan,
The tender of another’s pain,
Th’ unfeeling for his own.
Yet ah! why should they know their fate,
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.
This was from Thomas Grey’s poem, “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College,” 1742. This sentiment had been expressed in the Old Testament, “Óir, dá mhéad í ár n-eagna is ea is mó ár gcrá agus dá leithne é ár n-eolas is ea is géire ár bpianpháis. Cóheilt 1,18. (For in much widom there is much sorrow, and he who stores up knowledge stores up grief. Ecclesiastes 1,18)
However true this may be, consider another English proverb, “Knowledge is power.” Again, this second proverb comes from the Old Testament, “Is fearr an críonna ná an tréan, fear na gaoise ná fear [an ghaisce].” Seanfhocail 24,5. (A wise man is more powerful than a strong man, and a man of knowledge than a man of might. Proverbs 24,5.)
We at Daltaí na Gaeilge subscribe to the latter proverb. Knowledge of your language gives you power. It gives you an identity, a pride in a rich heritage. We would encourage you to explore your heritage, your culture, your roots. Dip into the oldest literary tradition in Europe. Enroll at an Irish language course in your area. Sign up for an Irish immersion weekend.
Do not burden yourself with ignorance of an Ghaeilge any longer. Bí linn anois. (Join us now.)