Today’s meme comes from publicity extraordinaire, Anne Edmond, founder of the Craft Agency.
Accountable is an adjective used to describe the expectation of responsibility of someone, an organization, or institution, who are typically held to a high regard. While liable, responsible, and “to blame” are words that can used in its place; one cannot hold someone any of these words without expectation.
Having expectations connote a belief in the future. Somewhere between our individual experiences and another’s reputation, we hold others to a standard that we have created; and it is often unrealistic. Very seldom do people live up to the outcome we desire. People will almost always fall short. However, because of what we have made of them, we feel that if they are to blame for their part in things not working out. People don’t and life doesn’t work that way.
To hold someone accountable for their actions is virtually second-nature to people. We want to let people know how their actions affect us, others, and themselves. More often than not, informing people those of high esteem that they let us down isn’t for the sake of making them more responsible, it is for ourselves. We want to feel better by letting someone we care about-or depended on-that they hurt us.
The truth is that it is difficult for others to grow when they are being held accountable. Unconsciously, they know that and we do, as well. This is the reason that wrongdoers will maneuver in a manner that makes the wronged the bad guy. For the sake of one’s own sanity, they have to do this. If people were aware of who and how they really are, we would all be clinically depressed. We have to convince ourselves that we aren’t that bad after all. We often avoid those that we have left hanging because we are forced into looking into a mirror and recognize that what we are doing to others, we have had done to ourselves.
Has being told how you have sucked ever made you think “Man, I really fucked up. Starting right now, I’m going to be a better person?” No. That is a lesson that we must learn on our own. I think that is the true definition of karma. Eventually, we all reap what we have sewn. The heart breakers become the heart broken and the lesson is more likely to become applied knowledge because the feeling gives context. All that we have given them are just words.
The key to holding others responsible or to blame for their actions is discernment. If someone is acting in an irrational manner or irresponsibly; what purpose would it serve to rationalize or hold them responsible? It’s an exercise in futility explaining anything.
The words that we use are more powerful that we realize. They may only make up 7% of communication; but we remember what people say more than how they say it or the body language that accompanied it. Perceiving how one might possibly respond requires holding one’s self accountable. You are responsible for what you say and do and how it affects others. Gauging what to say, who to say something to, and when to say something is a reflection of one’s own perception and judgement of others. How we handle wrongdoers says more about ourselves than them and we become the responsible ones.
Sometimes, we all just want to say “fuck it” and let people know how we feel. There is nothing wrong with that. I am one of the high chieftains of “keeping it real;” often keeping it a little too real. In all relationships, there is a time and place for that and we are just doing our part in the universe. In these times, the burden of self-sacrifice for the greater good is too heavy and we all need to get something off of our chest…just be aware that it will at one point or another happen to you.
To some extent, I will admit that as I am writing this, I am also talking to myself. At this point in my life, there are many things that I would love to let off of my chest to a few people. It would make me feel a lot better and the very little sleep that I do get a night a little more restful. For the most part, time will handle that. Maybe it isn’t right to do so just now, in the near future, or at all.
Personally, my loyalty lies within my honesty. I am often very insensitive to others because of how loyal I am to being truthful. The price that comes along with this is that there are often two sides to every story and in being this way, I am often prepared to receive it right back as a means of finding common ground. I guess the best way to look at all of this is as simple as switching out “things” with “people” in the serenity prayer: Grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change. [The] Courage to change the people I can…and wisdom to know the difference.