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Better Leave It Unsaid; Ignorance Is Bliss


The expression “言わぬが花” literally means “Not speaking is the flower.” It could be translated as “silence is golden”- not speaking what we want to say is sometimes better, and “知らぬが仏” literally means “Ignorance is Budda”- not knowing the truth is sometimes better and it could be translated as “ignorance is bliss”.


In various situations and settings, from schools to companies, and from romance or work relationships, there are many “I shouldn’t have said that” or “I shouldn’t have known that” experiences for everyone, aren’t there?


I myself have too many of these moments. Sometimes it has happened to me when I was just trying to help and meant well, or when I just couldn’t hold my tongue because I couldn’t stand it anymore. Also, when I expect a certain response and get a different answer – eventually leading to bad results and miscommunication. These situations make me regret even asking.


But as the saying goes, “there is no use crying for spilled milk.”


In my experiences, even though I apologized to the person for the miscommunication and my part in the argument, there were many cases where I couldn’t solve the problem on my own, and relationships didn’t go well.


In such cases, I reason with myself  – “Even if I didn’t make a slip of the tongue, sooner or later that relationship was going to get broken eventually. The timing of the breaking just moved up.”


When I get an unsatisfying response, I feel I shouldn’t have bothered asking and it makes me feel depressed.


Insecurities arise sometimes within me and my reactions to these moments of feeling down can cause harm to relationships around me and make me feel relationships will start to fade. It’s important not to worry or be nervous. I’m bound to know everything I need to know at some point in the future, and there’s no escaping it. It’s best to let our path unfold naturally.


In any case, those times when we made slips of the tongue or when we discovered the truth about something which brought upon regretful feelings are not always bad. On the downside, sometimes, such situations bring me to loathe someone or lead to a broken relationship. If occasional slips of the tongue always push a relationship to the edge, it is bound to get broken eventually. I can say confidently that slips of the tongue or discovering unwanted truths can drive a wedge in a relationship and bring forth goodbyes.


But, as part of a journey towards becoming mature individuals, we have to learn a life lesson – think before speaking. With experience, we learn how to filter our thoughts and choose our words wisely. It’s important to ponder and think with ourselves before talking. Think through the possible outcomes of the conversation. Before taking drastic action tell yourself, “I shouldn’t talk about this topic with him because this topic annoys him.” If it will annoy the person to even talk about it, then you know the conversation will not go well and possible cause a bad day. This thought process will help us realize that as long as we cherish the relationship, we can maintain a smooth-sailing relationship with them. We have to be careful with what we say or ask.


To tell the truth, we humans don’t have so many things to talk about or ask.


Our thoughts influence our feelings either positively or negatively. Communication itself can’t be brought to heaven when we die. Of course, what we want to bring with us to heaven when we die are happy memories, aren’t they?


Photo: Peace like a river…I do hope to have a peaceful relationship