Modern society hates to be accountable. But damn, do they love to blame.
President Babygate blames everyone for all of his shortcomings and inadequacies. Nothing is ever his responsibility, his doing, his fault — unless it makes him look good to his base.
From the top down it’s all about the “other” and placing blame while never being accountable or responsible.
It’s easy for all of us to place blame and not be accountable. We’re taught early on that someone is going to be “at fault” for lots of different things.
Accountability starts with you and me.
Nobody but me is responsible or accountable for the things I do — or don’t do.
There is nobody inside your head but you. Thus, nobody can make you do anything you don’t desire to do. Only you think and feel what and how you think and feel, and only you can take related actions.
When you practice being accountable for the things you think, feel, and do, you take ownership and control over them.
This can go a long way towards not just understanding yourself, but working with and understanding others, too.
You are not accountable for some things
Let me put this out there right now. Some things happen due to outside influences for which you and I are not accountable or responsible.
The people protesting the systemic racism inherent in the system and supporting Black Lives Matter are not personally accountable for the situation they are in. This is the result of decades of bad systems, poor training, and a (surprise!) lack of accountability on the part of police forces, political machines, and discriminatory laws and policies.
The protesters, however, ARE taking responsibility to bring our attention to the problem and make needed changes. It’s already working — but you cannot undo decades of issues in hours or even days.
Truly, you can’t undo anything — but you can change the situation and do more.
An important note here — while “we” are not accountable for these outside matters, we are capable of doing things to change them. Supporting the protests and organizations that represent progress and positive change, voting in elections, calling and writing letters to the leadership demanding action are a few options.
Another note — personal accountability does come into play here. Recognizing your own prejudices, biases, and unintentional racism/sexism/genderism and such is a matter of accountability. While I am an ally to those who are marginalized, I am well aware that my own privilege and experience impacts all I can experience and do for myself.
But being accountable for this is what’s important.
I blame nobody
Blame gets tossed around so carelessly. Everyone blames someone for this, that, or the other thing. To be sure, some things are the fault of outside situations and people. President Trump ignored the warning signs about COVID-19, and the surreal death toll in the USA is his responsibility. But, damn, does he cast the blame for it EVERYWHERE else.
And that’s the thing. Blaming doesn’t do anyone any good at all. If I blame someone for a situation that I am in, how does that fix it? It doesn’t.
Does blaming my parents’ divorce 42+ years ago do anything for emotional issues and beliefs I hold today? No. Being accountable for them, taking responsibility for my emotions and beliefs, however, will.
I recognize what I need and desire to work on. That is accountability. I can get help in certain ways form others. There are professionals, friends, books, blogs, podcasts, and such that I can turn to for information and ideas. But the only one who can do anything with it or about it is ME.
That is being accountable. When you practice accountability, you open yourself to being responsible for who you are, what you do, and other aspects of your life.
Being mindful is being accountable
Practicing mindfulness involves becoming aware, in the now, of your conscious thoughts, feelings, and actions. When you practice being aware of these you gain insight into your own psyche, headspace, mindset, and true self. That will open you to seeing deep-rooted beliefs, long-held prejudices and biases, and matters you may not even realize have been there a long time.
Doing this makes you accountable. When you recognize a belief you hold that’s old and unnecessary, you can take charge of it and influence, alter, and change it.
For example, I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis in the 1980s. For the most part, everyone I knew was white and straight. When I got to college on the East Coast, I met gay people.
At first, I believed they were different from me. I was uncomfortable with the idea of being identified with them — because I was insecure.
But during the 4 years in college, I came to see how my bias was unfounded. I went from being tolerant to accepting to supporting. Every year at National Coming Out Day, there was a huge gathering in the quad of the college. Freshman year I gave it wide berth. Sophomore year I got closer. Junior year I was on the outskirts of the gathering. Senior year I was right there in the middle of the crowd supporting a friend who came out that day.
Because I was mindful of my bias, I became accountable for it. That, in turn, opened me to evaluate and change it.
This is why being accountable matters. When you are accountable you can take charge of anything you think and feel and choose responsibly what actions to take or not.
Being accountable is empowering
One of the best ways to be empowered is to be accountable for yourself. Whatever thoughts, feelings, and actions you have, accountability is how you take control.
Consciousness creates reality. Practicing mindfulness and becoming aware of your mindset/headspace/psyche gives you control of your life. Then, being accountable and responsible for the results of the things you think, feel, and do empowers you.
The protesters are taking action to create change in the collective consciousness. That is not easy to do — but it begins with each and every one of us, individually. When you can be accountable for your life you can change it as you desire.
When you are responsible for your own life you gain control over it. That lets you choose for yourself who you are, who you desire to be, where you are now, and where you desire to go. Each accountable person becomes capable of impacting the collective consciousness by overriding the blamers and those who are less self-aware.
Please be accountable. If you find yourself blaming, ask, “How am I responsible for this?” If you are not, then ask, “How does this impact me?” When you have that answer, the next question is, “What am I accountable for that will allow me to alter this situation?”
Taking responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and actions matters in all you do. Accountability and mindfulness go hand-in-hand, and when you practice them you become capable of changing yourself. When you have that control and can influence, alter, and change yourself you become capable of changing the world, too.
Are you accountable for who you are, how you got where you are today, and where you desire to go in the future?
You are worthy and deserving of using mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter, as does empowering ourselves by being accountable.
Originally published at http://titaniumdon.com on June 10, 2020.