“It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.” -Molière
In a society that promotes individuality, ideologies of being self-reliant and independent we are always expected to be aware of our sole actions and the consequences that follow. Yet, people tend to search for the “easy way out” by pointing at others or making excuses without reason. Some may go as far as denying a situation rather than taking full responsibility of their actions. It is easy to confuse the two however, accountability and responsibility are two distinct terms. Explaining accountability is asking someone to honestly answer questions for their actions, but being responsible is being in control of those actions. To help break down accountability, we would define this as answerability; being able to justify your actions and accepting the consequences that follow. As children our guardians teach us a very important lessons on how to be answerable with the popular assertion ” what is done in the dark, always comes to light.” As we transition from children to older ages, we find more and more people not being able to justify themselves accordingly. Which in turn has a negative effect on surrounding relationships because with honest and open bonds there should always be belief without skepticism or lack of trust. This is where the importance of accountability should be emphasized, when we lack accountability we neglect to sympathize with others and their feelings. Brings us to question, why is it so hard for us to own up to things? Why are we not able to give people logical and reasonable answers for our actions? Is there something in us that we are better off hiding rather than expressing? Such questions point us to the realization that with accountability comes reflection; reflecting can be bittersweet because to understand ourselves we have to dig into the parts of our characteristics we may not like, in search of why we are the way we are. For example, ever since I started driving, I have gotten over three speeding tickets, two violations, and a warning from the state to take a defensive driving course. When my mother found out, the first thing she asked me is ” why do you drive so aggressively?” As I stood there in silence, the only thing I could utter was because I have gotten to complacent in my driving and have become so comfortable the many times I did not get caught. This in part is where you can find an answer as to why we have a hard time being accountable, we become so complacent in our actions that we disregard the consequences that may follow or any problems that may arise. We should always be willing to answer for the outcomes of these choices rather than deflect towards others, just like in my situation I can blame the police for profiling. However, I admittedly said that I am an aggressive driver who gets a thrill from going high speeds on the highway. In life, we will come across many situations where we should be accountable by telling ourselves ” no one made me do it, I made the decision myself but why did I make that decision.” Truly that is what accountability is, it is not what you were doing before the decision was made or during your actions, it is the after. Knowing how to hold yourself accountable for internal and external conflicts helps gear towards self-progression. Start looking inside of ourselves for answers concerning our actions rather than putting the weights of your self-inflicted troubles on others.
- Tell the truth – Giving honest and open reasons for your actions is easier than lying or creating excuses. We are not perfect, mistakes will be made in life just learn as you go.
- Police yourself – Just because no one caught you stealing does not mean it is acceptable to steal. Policing yourself is holding yourself accountable regardless of who knows your mistakes or not.
- Look to yourself – first – When trouble arises, ask yourself before going to others. What is the problem? Is it a reccuring problem? What am I doing or not doing? and How can I solve this problem and be accountable for the result