(A note from the blog hostess: today’s blog is a “guest post” by Reggie Black…who’s sorry now?)
It’s easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.
How did you hear that? Some people hear things differently than others do.
Sailors have a saying about the Navy’s three major warfare specialties, aviation, surface warfare, and subsurface warfare. Each one is a unique environment with its own unforgivable requirements. The saying goes, For the submariner, unless it is expressly directed in the manuals, it is forbidden; for the ship driver, unless it is expressly forbidden in the manuals, it is allowed; for the aviator, it is easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.
I spent the majority of my Navy career in aviation, where my first boss was killed in a mid-air collision. Less than two years ago, a dear friend from that first squadron died in another jet mishap. Aviation is uniquely unforgiving of any mistake, and per another saying, everyone up there is trying to get you killed. It’s all the pilot can do to keep himself alive and bring his aircraft back safely. There are a lot of rules and procedures, but if needed to stay alive and bring the airplane back, they all go out the window.
I hear “It is easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission” as a recognition that life requires breaking the rules to survive from time to time.
Oh, did I butt in? Sorry.
Oh, did I scratch your car? Sorry.
Oh, did I fart in a crowded elevator? Sorry
Oh, did I steal tens of trillions of dollars from your and your children and your children’s children? Sorry.
Well, the last one’s a bit of a stretch. I haven’t heard a single bank, insurance company or other financial services corporation, never mind the Congress and the two Presidents who arranged to give them $85 billion a month plus a $700 billion down payment (with generous side payoffs) say they were sorry.
I thought it was love meant never having to say you were sorry?
At any rate, I understand how Julie hears the saying that way. We live in a sociopathic society where people will do whatever they want, and then expect to get away with it by just saying sorry. In other words, they know what was expected of them, but they sloughed it off anyway, and then expect you to let them off the hook with a few dropped words, a wave of the hand. Never forget the key part–they knew what was the right thing to do, and didn’t do it, anyway.
You decide whether “Sorry” is appropriate.
I prefer the way I hear it, people acting when necessary for their good and the good of others without waiting on some arbitrary nabob’s permission to do it, whether town council, newspaper editor, colonel or President. Just do it. Get ‘er done. Make it so.
And I’m not sorry.