This week instead of hosting a fellow Indie Author to gush about their latest and greatest book, I have a wonderful Indie supporter who’s agreed to sit down and write out a guest post! Please join me in welcoming Albert Robbins III.
Accountability and Responsibility: Our Choice
So I am driving down Gordon Drive here in Sioux City and I see a billboard for JEL (Just Eliminate Lies). On this billboard is a pack of cigarettes with the words “PLEASE GET YOURSELF ADDICTED” written large enough to see from a 1/4 mile away. This would normally just be yet another billboard in the vast sea of billboards that we pass along our travels of the roadways of any town we are driving in but this one stuck on my mind and I could not help this nagging feeling in the back of my mind. After a few minutes I realized why it was nagging me and making me angry. These feelings boil down to two words that we have seem to lost sight of in this country and those two would be accountability and responsibility. Why is it that this billboard felt it okay to remove those from the users of tobacco? Why is it that we allow anyone and everyone to pack those two words into a trunk and lock them in the basement?
This billboard was saying to tobacco users (of which I am one) that it is not their fault they are addicted but the fault of tobacco companies for selling their wares. It is like the people who smoke or chew can sit back and suffer their pains or ills and say to themselves that it is not their fault because JEL says that the tobacco companies wanted this for me and how can I overcome that. This is something that irks me as I see that ultimately people are solely responsible and accountable for their own actions. Hey what do you know there are those two words again.
I have seen in the last few years some prime examples of the not my fault because bug going around. I have also been trying to teach this lost art of being responsible and accountable to my children and the world at large is trying hard to work against those teachings. My father taught me that when we are not held to our choices, whether good or bad, then we are doomed to not live up to our full potential nor will we experience the life meant for us and this is the lesson I want to teach my children. I want my children to grow up and become adults that do not blame whatever new fad or billboard or commercial and whatever it may be for their choices. Choice, now there is another good word. We go through life making choice without fully realizing what that choice may mean. It is my belief that when we make a choice we need to accept the responsibility and accountability that goes with it. Such as, the choice may lead us to pleasure right away but pain later or vice versa.
I have heard many excuses for peoples actions over time but never just the reason with a head held high proclamation that they will suffer their choice whether good or bad. For example,former President Bush jumping into a war on terror without looking to the future of that choice or playing with the nations treasury as his own bank account. Another example is President Obama continuously blaming the previous administration for the debt, war and any number of other things plaguing his administration when he should just admit that he is not sure how to fix it or if it can even be fixed. Everywhere we turn someone wants to say I did ….. because …….
We need to grow up and realize that the only way forward is to admit that as humans we fail to succeed. Since we first stood tall to look over the grass and hunt we have been succeeding because of our failures and despite them. I know I have made plenty of poor choices, both good and bad, that have shaped the person I have become. I, as any other person, look back and say “If I only knew then what I know now” but truthfully I would not do anything different as I have no regrets in my past as it made me who I am. When we are accountable we accept our choice, good or bad, and that which occurs because of that choice. When we are responsible we show others that an excuse is just an attempt to escape the accountability of our choice.
So I ask that others pass this along, show it to your children, teach it to the world. Let us take the first step in bringing our world back to some sort of balance. For if we continue with the excuses who shall we blame when the end comes due to our own doing? I for one refuse to let it end on an excuse, I choose to show the world and more importantly my children that an excuse will never be good enough for them and the ultimately they will answer for their choice.