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BellaOnline's African American Culture Editor

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Being Accountable


There are many things that are happening in our lives that we don't like, don't understand, and wish never happened. In deed there are some circumstances that are out of our control. But when do we stop and begin to be accountable for the things which we do have control over?

You've heard the old saying—The world is going to hell in a hen-basket. Well for many this could feel more closer to reality, than just a saying. Many a persons world has been turned upside-down, inside-out. The difference between those that make it out the tunnel to tell their story, and of those who don't, is accountability. The world we live in is not going to get any easier, but we cannot allow other people's mistakes, decisions, or lack of decision, take away our responsibility for keeping our own yard clean—so to speak.

Growing up, I was always taught that I needed to take responsibility for any choice I made: knowing that every choice had a consequence—whether good or bad. However, a major step in taking responsibility is being accountable. Many of us are not accountable to anyone, so therefore, we live our lives not worrying about the next person. Not truly understanding that every decision we make will have some sort of impact on someone, somewhere, at sometime.

When we make ourselves accountable to someone for our actions, we have a responsibility to do what we say we are going to do. Being accountable can help us see where we are lacking or slacking off. If we were treat ourselves as the CEO of a business entity that has a board of trustees, shareholders and consumers, we would be held accountable for any profit gain or loss; good or bad public relations; the hiring and firing of good or bad employees; the making of any sound business decisions that would effect our business.

It really is no different in our lives. If you are a mother, your home is your company. You have a board consisting of family members, and your consumers are your children. As a mother, you make a business decision every single day concerning the running of your company. As you run your company, you expect the same work from everyone that is involved. You are accountable to your family. If you were to decide to walk away from your job, or stop doing what you do as a mother, you know in no time, your company will crumble.

The same goes for a father. You are leading your family in such a way that they will be able to make sound decisions in your absence. You carefully lay the ground work, and prepare your family for the different tasks that may lay ahead. You have a responsibility to make sure that their needs are met. You may not always be able to provide for their every want. But you do what is best, and what you can to ensure that they are safe, sound and secure for whatever may come their way. You are accountable to them. You are accountable for making sure that their needs are met, and that should a crisis rise, you will not abandon ship.

Another part of being accountable, is sticking it out. There are many things happening that we do not like, we do not understand, and wish would just go away. Just because you run away from the problems, does not mean they don't exist. They are there; waiting to be solved. Waiting to be addressed. Waiting for someone to fix them. Being accountable takes on the hard task of sticking it out, even when every fiber in your body says to give up and run.

Yes. Other people have made a mess of things. Many have shucked their responsibility, and have made themselves accountable to no one; leaving in their wake, a multitude of problems and headaches. And a hole so deep, it looks as though there is no end in sight.

We cannot continue to pass the blame, and keep pointing the finger at someone else. If we want the circumstances of our lives to change, we have to be first in line to make that change occur. We can blame the government, our families, our employers; but at the end of the day, the choice is ours. What you decide to do with what life throws at you, is up to you. Just remember: whatever you decide, there is a consequence—good or bad—for the decisions you make.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Ruthe McDonald. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Ruthe McDonald. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Ruthe McDonald for details.

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