This word has been on my mind a lot recently, for a variety of reasons.
Last week, in my state of NJ, we elected a new governor. It doesn't matter who I voted for (although it does matter that I voted), the new governor come 2018 will be Phil Murphy. Once he is sworn in, I hold him accountable for what he said he will do as Governor. Idealistic, I know, but I at least want to see some progress in his promises. For me, his promise to end PARCC (or as you know I call it CCRAP) testing is a BIG thing. So if movement ISN'T made towards eliminating PARCC, I will hold Mr. Murphy accountable; with my voice and with my vote.
Mr. Murphy is not the only politician I hold accountable for his word. There are plenty of others on BOTH sides of the fence. And when I am not pleased (or even when I AM pleased), I make sure my representative knows it. Does my one voice matter? Alone, it may not, but we ALL have a voice and we ALL need to hold our representatives (on all leaves) accountable.
Of course politicians are not the only ones who have to be accountable for their actions and words. We ALL need to be. And when we slip up, me need to "man up" and get back on the right track. Simple example; towards the end of the summer it became abundantly clear that I was on the wrong track when it came to my weight. I HADN'T been holding myself accountable, and those pounds that had been creeping on, started to move a little faster. I needed to be accountable for what I was doing to my body...what I was putting into it and what I was doing to keep myself healthy. I knew I couldn't do it alone, so I went back to Weight Watchers Online (and was annoyed that I had to "pay" to lose weight). Since then, I have, for the most part, being able to stick to my plan and the pounds have slowly come off. I am not at my goal...it still seems like quite a long ways away, but I'm working towards it. And when I slip up (and believe me I DO slip up...especially recently with all the Halloween candy that has been hanging around and taunting me), I have to hold myself accountable. I have to do the proverbial look in the mirror and say, "You made a commitment to do this; you NEED to do this. YOU are ACCOUNTABLE for yourself." And so, after two weeks of ups, I'm doing my best to get back on the right track.
Accountability is something we also need to teach our children. Their actions have consequences. Their words have consequences. They need to "own" what they say and do.
As a parent, I may have been a little lax in this department. Hence when the word accountability popped into my head today, I realized that it's something I need to discuss with my son. He's a great kid, but he's a typical tween. Or maybe not so typical. He's intelligent, but he's no super genius or straight A student. If he held himself accountable, he COULD be an honor student (which means all As and Bs). But he hasn't. And for the third marking period in a row, despite some efforts, his report card does not reflect what he IS capable of. So while we've tried a bunch of things, I'm thinking now might be a time for a discussion on accountability. What he chooses to do or not do has consequences; he is accountable. What he does every day of his life (and not just in school) is like that pebble tossed in the lake...it forms ripples that are far reaching.
Now whether or not this makes any difference in his grades remains to be seen. I CHOOSE to be hopeful, but...Of course, as a parent, I need to hold him to his accountability.
My point is that we, as human beings, need to be accountable for our words and actions. And when we are not, we need to be called on it. We all have the ability to be responsible people; whether we are or not is up to each of us. We are all accountable. And it is vital to our society that we remember it.