Forgiveness isn’t easier than permission

The phrase,  “forgiveness is easier than permission,”  was popular  a few years back, and perhaps still resonates for some. But forgiveness is not easier than permission;  it’s a much harder, a much more dismal path to take.

Even if it’s a situation where you shouldn’t have to be “forgiven” for whatever it is you’re doing, that “you are right from your side / as I am right from mine”  (Dylan One Too Many Mornings).  Permission, if you can get it, is a hell of a lot better than forgiveness.

Of course, the situation is changed if there’s not a chance in hell that you’re going to get permission.    If permission is out of the question, then the question cuts much deeper.  If we’re talking about something that’s important to either person,then doing something impermissible is automatically unforgivable.  So it’s absurd to think that forgiveness is easier.  If it’s unforgivable, that’s it, it sticks, it doesn’t become forgivable later on.


Essays on creativity, community, social change, and the search for meaning