Taking A Closer Look At: Responsibility And Accountability

Written by: Emmanuel

By liking what we do and living our meaning, we're in harmony with everyone and everything. Emmanuel van der Meulen. CEO, Peace Evolution.

Published: November 16, 2020

water colour portrait of woman | responsibility and accountability | Peace EvolutionA big occasion is coming up.

We need to make a decision about the occasion.

The following is what invariably happens:

We contemplate what could happen and if what we contemplate happens, how would we be considered by others?

Abdicating Responsibility And Accountability

And if not favourable, maybe we shouldn’t take the option we’d want to.

And if favourable, then maybe we should take the option we’d want to.

After careful consideration, we then make a decision.

When the event happens, and it doesn’t go as expected, we experience several emotions, for instance being angry, irritated, and frustrated.

We say things like: Just my luck! and This only happens to me!

Is such a stance healthy? Keeping in mind many people live by this stance. And begs the question is this responsibility and accountability?

Would it be okay to make a decision, take an option: No matter what the outcome is?

Invariably we say, “NO, we can’t! We should not do that, we should consider the outcome. We should only do things if our results are almost guaranteed.”

When living by such a stance, take note, the possible consequences are in charge of our lives.

Is this being responsible? Or accountable? Seems so, alas No it’s not.

In the aforementioned, we are making decisions to satisfy our fear of the possible consequences.

In Responsibility: Do We Recognize Our Responsibility? I explore responsibility further.

Owning Responsibility And Accountability

When taking a closer look, we, therefore, were accountable to our fear. Responsible for mitigating the possible risk our fear conjured up.

Were we – the SELF – in the picture at all? NO, we weren’t!

When we allow ourselves into the picture – thus allow ourselves into our lives – we choose, no matter how it turns out.

That is being responsible for and accountable to ourselves. Do we understand and live by responsibility and accountability?

If something ‘goes wrong’ or the outcome isn’t favourable, we are aware consciously that we made those decisions and we do not shirk our responsibility therein or blame ourselves or others. We are accountable for our actions, no matter what the consequences are.

This is however quite the opposite to how we conduct ourselves in daily life.

What we do instead, as motor activity, fleetingly, fast and unconsciously and unaware, is, we consider the possible consequences and we let that govern our decisions.

Taking an even closer look. When we consider the possible consequences and we adjudge those as failing or unsuccessful, we immediately draw a conclusion from there, to the outcome being a reflection of us. The short version: If our decisions are unsuccessful and they fail, that implies we are unsuccessful and a failure.

Two dynamics are invalid with this reasoning.

Firstly, we decide against such action due to the possible consequences. There is nothing that says the possible consequences are the outcome. It hasn’t happened yet – and such might never transpire.

Secondly, we mistakenly derive that when we aren’t choosing ‘well‘, that such is a reflection of us. In short: If our choices or decisions fail, we are therefore a failure.

Do we need to choose well to have responsibility and accountability, and to be a success, or to be a failure?

That is simply not the case. Those deductions or implications are erroneously and mistakenly nurtured.

We are brought up to see ourselves that way. Our caregivers mean/meant well when they reprimand/ed us. Or guide us. Or help us.

A simplistic example. We are taught to stay away from a hot heater or stove, or open fire – so we won’t burn. That is excellent advice and guidance and shows the responsible actions of our caregivers. Where the flaw exists is; we are not naughty or bad or failures because we touch such and even burn ourselves. And are sent to the corner or to our room when we don’t listen.

The fact that we didn’t listen should not be seen as a judgement of us. We should rather see whether our responsibility and accountability towards ourself was placed in jeopardy?

At best it is about us being inquisitive. At best about us not being dictated to by the possible consequences.

There are many ways that we can be taught or exposed to the lesson that hot things would hurt us when we go too close or touch them, where the outcome is useful!

This is not about blaming our caregivers or ourselves. Instead, it is about recognising our responsibility for mistakenly taking on flawed reasoning and deduction from the behaviour within our environment.

Once we see the dynamics as they are, we stand a chance to rectify our mistaken belief. And we become accountable for our choices. Whether they succeed or fail. Thereby breaking out of the chains that we created and with which we keep ourselves captured. So we instead free ourselves.

What do we do if we are afraid of the possible consequences and this is the stance we live by? Is this about our responsibility and accountability?

We acknowledge that we want to live without the fear of the possible consequences governing our lives, even though we do not know how.

We acknowledge further that we want to be responsible and accountable only to ourselves, even if we do not know how.

We acknowledge further that we want our lives to be an exploration journey as opposed to playing it safe due to our fear of the possible consequences. That we want to instead live our responsibility and accountability.

We acknowledge further that even if we do not know how to proceed, we want to shift to such a life.

In Self-Accountability: Essential But Not Enough? the article states: You are the first and last line of defence for your integrity.

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