Sunday, September 28, 2014


Occasionally when I am writing posts I stumble on my own hot button.  I don't realize how strongly I feel about something until I start writing and the words spill out.  Then I think about what I wrote and more and more stuff tumbles around in my head.  I feel so overwhelmed by information and it takes a while to get everything sorted out to my satisfaction or I decide to write more to see if writing it makes the words stop swirling around. 

Accountability is big issue to me.  I realize that part of this problem was many of the incidences with my mother where she said or did cruel things she looked around to make sure we were alone.  If I complained my reality was denied.  She functioned using denial as a weapon.  If I tried to hold her accountable for her behavior several things would happen.  She usually tried to deny it first.  Then she claimed I misunderstood her or she is a New Yorker and they just speak more bluntly.  Or she played the pity-me-poor-me card and claimed I didn't understand since her problems were worse than mine.  The classic was the day she told me I didn't understand what it was like to not hear.  I have worn hearing aides for over 10 years.  Wow.  Even my Dad shook his head over that one.  My mother refuses to be accountable for her behavior.  It is a sore spot for me. 

I understand the need for mercy and second chances.  I want them myself.  I feel it is important part of living.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Life would be very painful without mercy.  However, no accountability is not helpful either.  Part of a truth campaign is accountability for ones actions.  Refusing to take responsibility for ones owns actions leads to chaos in personal life and relationships.  Without accountability no one says, "I'm sorry."  Without accountability there is no opportunity to repent.  (I call repentance a great gift from God, His recipe for change.)  Without accountability bankruptcy becomes an easy out for careless spending.  I get that emergencies or medical bills can put a person in financial ruin and bankruptcy may occur but spending irresponsibly then writing it off without accountability is white collar stealing.  Mercy and second chances are essential and accountability helps track changes in behavior.     

Accountability is used at schools, weight loss programs, businesses, anywhere that change is implemented.  I work at schools that students are held accountable if they cut classes.  They are required to have every teacher sign a daily attendance sheet then have their parents sign it.  The student is held accountable to their parents and the school.  This program greatly reduced the number of students ditching classes.  Weight loss programs show that having a person to be accountable to someone else improves a persons chance of losing weight.  My counselors held me responsible for my behavior and had me check in with them on my progress.  In the repentance process, first a person must recognize they did something wrong then they are to confess their sins.  They are held accountable for their mistakes.  Without accountability, a truth campaign is almost useless. 

If I could give one tip for people - it's not an exercise or nutrition regimen. It's to walk your talk and believe in yourself, because at the end of the day, the dumbbell and diet don't get you in shape. It's your accountability to your word.

Maybe you're not perfect, but you're willing to actually look at yourself and take some kind of accountability. That's a change. It might not mean that you can turn everything around, but I think there's something incredibly hopeful about that.

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