"Accountability breeds response-ability." ~ Stephen R. Covey
There is one thing for certain concerning the traits and characteristics of our human nature...we do NOT want nor desire any accountability! We are proud, haughty, and are quick to repel any authority over our lives. Yet, if the truth be known, it is only in becoming accountable to one another, do we really gain the necessary means for true freedom. We live within this earthy vessel called the human body. Trapped by its passions, feelings, hurts, pains, fears, hopes and dreams and many times, the only way to see outside this box is to have someone outside the box to point out things we cannot see! Elbert Hubbard said, "Responsibility is the price of freedom." It is the alcoholic, when he finally takes responsibility and says, "I am an alcoholic", does he then gain a measure of freedom. When he makes this statement, he can no longer fix the blame on someone or something else. He says, "I made the choices. I am the one who is to blame for where I am right now in life!" Then and only then can a person begin to be loosened from the chains that have fettered him during his life. Freedom, true freedom, can now be had because this person, rather than finding excuses, can now begin to look within himself and change those things which caused the wrong choices in the first place. "A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make." (Denis Waitley) All of us must become accountable in order to become free!
When any such discussion takes place concerning becoming more responsible, we are quickly moved by a knee jerk reaction called pride. In our pride and the illusion of our feelings we refuse to admit there is or can be anything wrong with us. Many of us feel we have had a right to feel the way we do! We have been hurt by our dysfunctional homes. We have been slighted by society! We have been abused by a deranged parent. We have a right to live in a self pity party of victim hood and retaliation. And as the years flow by these feelings entrap us behind prison walls of shame. Our life becomes cocooned into a hermit life of predictable patterns of living. We eat, drink, and live our hurts and pains until we end up on societies statistical pile of 'should have, would have, and could have'. Erica Jong said, "Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame." If we really take a moment to stop and think about it, real progress in our lives truly happened when we were made accountable for our actions. From our parents who corrected us to our teachers who taught us, truth growth was obtained through their observation. "A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with - a man is what he makes of himself." (Alexander Graham Bell) You cannot 'make yourself' anything until you see yourself in all your faults, idiosyncrasies, and misconceptions. There has to be SOMEONE outside the box of this flesh that can open our eyes to a better reality than what our feelings are exposing us too.
Those who have ears to hear, and eyes to see will be sparked to accept accountability for their actions. It is here and only here, can the fetters of darkness fall off and the prison doors break open to a new light of day. Josiah Gilbert Holland said, "Responsibility walks hand in hand with capacity and power." Once responsibility is taken, then you can tap into your true potential and God given power! Sure you will still have to deal with the harvest of bad choices, but from that moment on, the course of your life is set anew. How? You say? Let me put it this way. It is a saying I have told my students throughout my years of teaching. Watch your thoughts; they become your words. Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. And your character becomes your destiny! So where did your destiny begin. Yes...it began with a thought. You are here, in this place today, because of the thoughts you have allowed to nest in your heart and mind. The harvest of the self pity party blame game has come to past and only YOU can change the harvest by changing the 'seed' thoughts of your life! "Put yourself in a state of mind where you say to yourself, "Here is an opportunity for me to celebrate like never before, my own power, my own ability to get myself to do whatever is necessary." (Tony Robbins)
I am reminded of an allegory Socrates wrote many years ago about a man who had lived in the darkness of a cave. In this story, Socrates is talking to a young follower of his named Glaucon, and is telling him this fable to illustrate what it's like to be a philosopher -- a lover of wisdom: Most people, including ourselves, live in a world of relative ignorance. We are even comfortable with that ignorance, because it is all we know. When we first start facing truth, (like coming out of the cave of complete darkness the intensity of the light will hurt our eyes), the process may be frightening, and many people run back to their old lives. But if you continue to seek truth, you will eventually be able to handle it better. In fact, you want more! It's true that many people around you now may think you are weird or even a danger to society, but you don't care. Once you've tasted the truth, you won't ever want to go back to being ignorant!
Today, do not run back into your cave of darkness, but remain accountable long enough to get a taste of the truth and you will never return!