It seems like everywhere I look people are taking NO ACCOUNTABILITY for the fucked up things that happen to them, or to those around them. While that thought has been bouncing around in my head I started to wonder if accountability and responsibility were synonymous.
According to a very quick Google search, The main difference between responsibility and accountability is that responsibility can be shared while accountability cannot. Being accountable not only means being responsible for something but also ultimately being answerable for your actions. Also, accountability is something you hold a person to only after a task is done or not done. Responsibility can be before and/or after a task.
Hm. Very similar explanations but I can see the minor differences. Either way, people (for the most part) seem like they can be held neither responsible or accountable for their actions.
In the news currently there are two big stories going around that prove this in my eyes. There is the story about the baby that fell from her grandfather’s arms off a deck on a cruise ship. And then there is the story of the woman who went out clubbing and left her kids home alone overnight and there was a fire in the apartment causing several children to be injured and one child to die.
Both of these stories are awful. Innocent children were involved. The grandfather and family are saying that the child liked to lean against windows; like when she went to her older brothers hockey games. That it was the cruise ship’s fault for having an open window pane. YES, the cruise ship is responsible for the window being open for WHATEVER reason. But there is also some responsibility on the person who was watching the child. I would like to think it was obvious there was no window there but we don’t know. I have personally never been on a cruise. Are their windows so clean that you wouldn’t notice an open or missing window? It is a tragic, tragic accident that no family should endure but where is the personal accountability that someone fucked up?
Then there is the story of the woman who went out clubbing. While I have not followed this story as closely… after the initial report all I saw was this young mother on the screen crying that she loved her children. I am not negating her feelings for her children, but, again, where is the accountability?! Lady, YOU WENT OUT CLUBBING AND LEFT YOUR CHILDREN HOME ALONE. Own it. Yeah, you’ll be called an heartless irresponsible mother but at least you’ll be taking responsibility for what happened BECAUSE of your negligence.
In my own personal life, I hear about all the injustices people have placed upon them and how it is ALWAYS someone else’s fault. Never once have I heard someone say, yeah, I fucked up – I overreacted. Never. People will just pretend something never happen. People will downplay their role in how things played out. People want to attack others and be offended. Very rarely is someone ever completely innocent in a disagreement.
I like to think that I am the first one to say, yeah… I screwed up when I screwed up. Missed a conference call? Yep, I completely forgot about it. Overdue bill reminder, yeah… I dropped the ball – I can’t complain about the extra fees.
It is okay to disagree. Accidents will happen. But, you will never find peace in your life until you take some personal accountability for the things that happen.