Does this bother you?
You interact with someone at their job, maybe getting a coffee or something. The server is rude, obnoxious, entitled, and unhelpful. Maybe they’re even condescending toward you. You may or may not say anything, but, hey, you want your coffee. Maybe you think about it later, but at some point it occurs to you that they were not good at their job in that moment. Maybe it was an isolated event, maybe it was the norm.
But what gets me, and maybe you, too, is that they were THERE. Which means this WAS an isolated event or their supervisor didn’t notice. In any event, and this is where my mind always goes, the fact that they were still working suggests that there was no ACCOUNTABILITY for their behavior.
Whenever I see someone acting like an asshole I think, “at some point someone was supposed to kick their ass and didn’t’. In other words, people act the way they do because other people ALLOW them to, or ENABLE them.
So one thing accountability does is remove that enabling. It calls people out on their shit.
And that’s the point I’m trying to make with Accountability this week.
Again, from Miriam-Webster:
Accountability: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions
So, yeah, the misbehaving barista? No one was holding them responsible for their actions. Neither you, their supervisor, coworkers, other patrons, nor themselves.
And that just doesn’t work.
I’d argue that one of the main assumptions of any society is Accountability.
Where there is no Accountability, there can be no rules. No norms. No laws. (See Episode 56: Domestication for more on these)
So there is no society with out Accountability, yet we are maybe not doing the best job practicing this obligation.
We are obligated to hold each other AND OURSELVES accountable for our actions – and probably our thoughts, ideas, and other things where they influence other people.
When did we forget this?
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