There has been a lot of talk lately in various forms and from multiple sources about one subject: accountability. Here’s my two cents worth on the subject.
To me, accountability and personal responsibility are so closely tied together that they are more or less the same entity. No matter the case, be it a second-grader who didn’t do his homework or a Wall Street Exec that used loopholes to his advantage, there is and always will be a level of personal accountability for your actions.
You hear a lot from the government about “holding people accountable” for their actions and that the guilty will be brought to justice. If this is truly what the goal is, then do it. Call people out on what they have done and punish them for it accordingly. It’s as simple as that. No loopholes, no evasions, none of the bullshit that people use as an excuse. They messed up. They’re wrong. End of story. Deal with the situation and move on.
It just amazes me that a country which likes to think of itself as a Christian nation could act so child-like over such a simple problem. Nothing that those on Wall Street did nor the current responses by our government are correct. The simplest solution is to hold those responsible accountable. Mr. President, are you reading? HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE LIKE YOU WOULD ANYONE ELSE WHO IS NOT RICH.
I don’t give a damn if you’re rich or poor, black or white, tall or short. All of us are human beings. We are the same species. The same entity. We are a unit. What one of us does can, and in so many ways does effect every single one of us. I don’t know how the whole ‘rich is better’ or ‘white is better’ mentality all began, but it all needs to stop. The sooner we as a whole realize we are all in this together and that we need to work together to survive, the sooner messes like the Wall Street nonsense will end.
But you ask yourself: “I am just a lowly, single person…what can I do?” Again, a simple answer: live the golden rule. We drill this into the heads of our youth, but somewhere along the way we lose the knowledge that simple rule gives us. Take the time to relearn what the golden rule actually is. Treating other people how you want to be treated goes much further than simply holding the door for someone or saying “please” and “thank you.”
When you know you’re going to be late or absent from work or class, have the decency to let your superior (be it a boss or a professor) know in advance. If you didn’t do the work for a class, be honest and say so and find out what you can do to make up for it – even if you know you won’t get full credit. If something is even indirectly your fault, be the bigger person and admit you messed up. Never ask anything of anyone you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself first.
I’ve been told that my moral compass is permanently fixed on north – I believe this honest mentality is common sense. Treat everyone the same no matter what color, background, or social class they may be – and that includes your own self. You can’t hold anyone accountable for anything if you can’t hold yourself accountable for your own actions. I think this is where the problem lies. Everyone is so convinced that everything will be taken care of by someone else, they just stop caring.
For example, a parent buys their under-eighteen-year-old child a violent game that is clearly marked as inappropriate for young children. The child plays the game and decides it would be fun to re-inact the game in real life, culminating in a school shooting. The parents then demand the video game company pays as they are at fault.
Wait…what? Does anyone else see the problem here, or is it so glaringly obvious that it’s completely overlooked? The parents are responsible. They ignored the warning label. They gave the child the game. They ignored their responsibility as a parent. But somehow they and many people outside of the situation demands the company CEO’s head on a stake.
I’ll admit, it’s difficult to look someone in the eye and say “Dude, I f*****d up.” In fact, it’s damn hard – especially if the person you’re telling holds more power than you. But in the end, you’re only doing yourself a favor. To the person you’re telling, you’ve gained more respect. “Wow, this guy messed up big time but he’s man enough to take responsibility for his actions.” That kind of respect means a lot to the recieving party, whether it’s your classmate, coworker, boss, or professor.
So before this rant goes on any further than it has to, let me sum it up by saying this: you control you, so why not make the correct decision the first time? Just be honest with yourself and others – that’s what personal accountability boils down to in the end. And trust me when I say this mentality can save a huge mess of trouble even if you commit to it half the time. Change doesn’t start with a big mess of people demanding things, it starts when a single person wants to better themselves. Do yourself a favor and make that change now so you too can be the example which sparks that change in another.
Now, I typically don’t beg for feedback from my four or so regular readers, but if you’re out there, give me a moment of your time with your feelings on accountability. What does it mean to you?