Accountability.

This is the key.  This is link that connects pretty much every woe we face today.  The one factor that I am totally convinced is most responsible for the state of this society – Accountability.  And in truth – the utter, complete, and contemptuous LACK of accountability on the part of pretty much EVERYONE.

From Dictionary.com:

Accountability

–noun

1. the state of being accountable,  liable, or answerable.

2. Education . a policy of holding schools and teachers accountable  for students’ academic progress by linking such progress with funding for salaries, maintenance, etc.

The state of being accountable.  And what does mean?

Accountable

From Dictionary.com:

–adjective

1. subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something; responsible; answerable.

2. capable of being explained; explicable; explainable.

Responsible, Answerable

From Dictionary.com:

Responsible:

–adjective

1. answerable or accountable, as for something within one’s power, control, or management (often followed by to  or for ): He is responsible to the president for his decisions.

2. involving accountability or responsibility: a responsible position.

3. chargeable with being the author, cause, or occasion of something (usually followed by for ): Termites were responsible for the damage.

Answerable:

–adjective

1. liable to be asked to give account; responsible: He is answerable to a committee for all his decisions.

2. capable of being answered: a question answerable by mail.

3. proportionate; correlative (usually followed by to ).

There is a common thread among these.  They all tie together.  Accountable.  Responsible.  Answerable.  All of them make up accountability – to be accountable, responsible, and/or answerable for or to something.

And this is the single greatest issue we face today.  Accountability.

Why do I say that?  Because NO ONE seems to be willing to actually TAKE accountability for their actions.  Or words.  Or ideas.  Or mistakes.  Or whatever.

The blame game dominates our world, our lives.  We have become so keenly adept at placing blame that we automatically seek an outside responsible party before we even CONSIDER if the source is closer.

Every stratification of our lives does this.  A man blames his mother for being overbearing for his inability to hold down good relationships.  His mother blames her overbearing nature on his father for his inability to show love.  His father blames his inability to show love on his employer for working him too hard.  The employer blames the IRS for forcing him to work his employers so hard.  The IRS blames Congress for making the tax laws.  Congress blames the President for presenting them with impossible budgets.  The President blames China and their currency valuation for the budget.  Need I go on?

NO ONE wants to be accountable for their own actions.  It is so very much easier to throw around blame.  It is so very easy to pass the buck, and let it be someone ELSE’s problem.  Because if we are accountable – we become responsible.

A woman gets fat from eating McDonalds for dinner three nights a week.  She sues McDonalds for not better controlling portions or calories in their products.  She blames them for making her fat, rather than actually looking at the fact that SHE is the one consuming that food.  Instead of looking at her OWN patterns, behavior and habits, she throws the blame to another.  This is in no way taking responsibility for her actions.

A parent buys their child a video game.  The child plays that game for four to five hours a NIGHT.  It is a violent game.  The child is unchecked, the parent didn’t see if the game was at all appropriate for their child.  The child commits an act of violence on another kid.  The video game is blamed.  The company that made the game is sued.  But neither the parent nor the child is answerable to the problem.

Why should they be accountable?  There is a whole legal system that can be finessed and tweaked and played with that will allow these people to NEVER be accountable.  Where is the reward for taking accountability?  Where is the profit?

And that is the problem.  We look for the profit, we look for the reward, we demand that we be entitled – and forget that what goes around, comes around.  We prefer to cast aspersions and blame rather than to take responsibility, take accountability, and CORRECT the issue.

EVERYBODY makes mistakes.  Everyone says something they will regret.  Everybody screws up.  And rather than find the blame, as we so very often seek out – we need to take the necessary accountability.  We need to fix this from the source, NOT by finding whom we can blame.

We need to be accountable.

THIS HAS TO START SMALL.  This has to start with EACH AND EVERY one of US.  WE need to be accountable for our words, our actions, our doing, our mistakes.  WE need to not throw about blame, WE need to not find the faults outside, and be accountable for OURSELVES.  If we become accountable, if we take the responsibility, we can make this world a better place.  We can live more full, more fulfilling lives if we can be accountable to ourselves.

Let’s be responsible.  Accountable.  Answerable.  And let’s not look for where to place the blame.  Let’s do our part to start the revolution, start being accountable to ourselves and those around us…and then let’s request that of our friends, our coworkers, our bosses, our religious and political leaders.

Please think about it.