Tid-bit Musings

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by Elva Patterson Rutters RSSW

Accountability verses responsibility. Are you accountable for the completion or neglect of your responsibilities? All too often, the human nature is to slug off accountability and responsibility with a flippant “who cares” mentality. Perhaps you believe no-one is taking notice.

We are responsible for our own actions, beliefs, and thoughts. We are responsible to those we care for, those we love, and those with whom we interact. Failure to provide stellar customer service typically ends in a dismissal of our employment.

In performance reviews, we are held accountable for the professional attitude, performance, and completion of the job description.

Unfortunately, there are powers at the top that often do not believe that they are also to be held accountable for poor work conditions, negative atmosphere, or exercising exploitation of the employee.

Failure to nurture friendships reduces our social circle. Failure to give back to a community that supports you is short-sighted and borders on selfishness. It creates a closed and bitter environment. Yet dictation of what you can and can’t do borders on a cult-like existence.

So, where is the line drawn between responsibilities verses accountability? And who draws the line?

We are not responsible for someone else’s decisions, actions, or words, just our own. That grows from being responsible for an infant, but as they learn to master their world, you switch from “responsible for” to “responsible to.” Teaching your child to complete tasks is elementary to their self-esteem and ability to grow successfully. Doing the tasks for them only negates them. Some consequences hurt, but simultaneously provide a great learning curve.

The rationale: “but I love them”, is a given emotion, and doesn’t translate into enabling. Hold the person accountable for their actions. Bear in mind third-party info is just as harmful as swallowing poison.

Talk out the situation in question before you make a decision that could haunt you for many years. Everyone has a different perspective on situations based on their own template.

Unconditional love means you love the person regardless, but not necessarily the behavior. Withholding love is emotional abuse. That applies not only to a parent withholding love from a child, but a child withholding love from a parent. Who are we to judge?

Standing before the Maker will be the final act of accountability, regardless if you confessed a faith in God. The responsibilities he entrusted you with will be reviewed in detail. Otherwise, the scientific theory will determine if you treated your body with respect and will decompose in an environmentally friendly manner.

The choice you make will reflect in your accountability of your responsibilities! Choose wisely, because you are worthy of great responsibilities, every day, to many people!

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