Ignorance is not a bliss….. it is the social norm


When getting the train to work this morning, I was suddenly questioning the silence. Trains are generally full with people from all walks of life; school children on their way to their lessons, teenagers going to college or university, young workers, old workers, business men and business women to name a few.

Wherever the destination, there are no two people that have had the same experience in life that isn’t worth knowing. Yet they are very few communications between passengers. I generally believe that by talking to at least one person, you have never known benefit, can benefit you.  For instance another passenger was reading a book that I had never read before, but is by an author I recognise and love; if I were at work I would quite happily go over and ask about the book and enquire whether that person reads any other books by that author. However once you pass through the train doors it is the cultural norm to keep to yourself and only talk to others if you need help or information, but even then some frown upon it.

As a down-to-earth bubbly character I find it difficult to go through life without talking to strangers, and it is from these conversations that I have gained a better understanding of trivial things, well I have been able to see things from others points of view anyway. Such as today, I could have gone up to the other passenger, talked to them about the book that grabbed my attention and could have learnt a bit more about that particular book, but unfortunately I shied away from making general conversation, in order to keep the irritable silence.

Interestingly enough, if in any other social environment ignorance is not appreciated and is an act of rudeness, so why is it the social norm in certain environments?


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