When Forgiveness And Creativity Walk Hand In Hand
How we can find inspiration in acceptance of the way things are.
One day, I came across a very interesting quote by poet and writer, Maya Angelou. I’m not a fan. I wasn’t looking for her. It just came across my Twitter feed and I was captivated by it. There may be better Angelou quotes, but this one really hit home for me:
You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. — Maya Angelou
Quote Investigator has a nice write-up on the history of that passage. I like it because Angelou’s observation is supported by my own experience. I have found that just writing makes me want to write more. The act of writing inspires creativity within me. The writing process forces my mind open to expose solutions to the next word, sentence, and paragraph. And like any exercise, once I get started, I want to do more.
Einstein believed that stupidity is an infinite resource, so there is little reason to object to the idea that creativity and forgiveness are infinite as well. Walk with me.
I am a father of two wonderful girls. I am husband to a woman who has stuck with me for 9 more years to raise them. We’re still together. Along the way we made mistakes. All of us. I could have harbored resentments for years over those mistakes, but early on, I learned forgiveness. With every slight, every offense, every error, I had to choose between reprisal and forgiveness.
So I thought through every temptation for reprisal. In every single case, I considered reprisal, I did not like the outcome. I worried about getting into an endless cycle of unhappiness. I could think through every scenario and each time, I considered reprisal or forgiveness. I always landed on the side of forgiveness.
Forgiveness requires creativity. Forgiveness requires imagination. There is no fear with forgiveness but there is fear with reprisal. So I tended to err on the side of forgiveness. After some time, I began to see forgiveness as a way of supporting and encouraging creativity. I began to open my mind to what happens after I forgive someone. In every act of forgiveness, I found a reward.