Recently my journey led me down a trail that explores the meaning of accountability. I was amazed at how many sources used the word accountable in the definition of accountability. Not helpful dictionary editors. I found two definitions that work for me.
1. Accountability – responsible to somebody or for something; an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility. (Encarta Dictionary) I might even switch it around to say ‘responsible for somebody or to something’.
2. Personal Accountability – Being willing to answer for the outcomes resulting from your choices, behaviors, and actions. www.toddherman.com
Personal accountability is very familiar to me. As someone who has made unconventional choices in my career and personal life, I accept total responsibility for my actions and behaviors. I was able to make those choices because I have only been accountable for me. No need to confer with someone or consider someone else’s needs. Some of those decisions led to less than optimal results, but no regrets here. Each decision has made me the person I am today. I like to believe that the whole person I have become is greater than the sum of the parts. With many more decisions to make, I am only a fraction of the person I will become.
Just over two weeks ago I made a personal decision to become accountable for someone else. My last blog introduced Juli, an exchange student who is now a part of my life. Each day I am accountable to her and for her and that has increased my personal accountability.
My life has more structure. I set the alarm so I can get ready for the day and get her to school on time. Sometimes I set an alarm on my phone to be sure I leave to pick her up from school on time. Meals need to be planned for and prepared. I get texts and emails from her school about schedule changes, homework assignments and whatever else the school deems important. We are planning some sightseeing trips to enhance her visit to the United States.
Adding structure to my life to meet my responsibilities for some else has helped me add structure to meet my goals for this year and beyond. My personal accountability has reached a new level by taking on the responsibility for someone else.
To bring this blog to a close, I would like to share a few quotes I found that ring true for me.
“It is wrong and immoral to seek to escape the consequences of one’s acts.”