From the moment we are born, we are accountable to someone. Right after the stage where we sleep, eat and cry all the time, we are accountable to our family members for the very first things we learn. Thankfully, in most cases, the members of our family hold us accountable for developing behaviors based on love. We get rewarded for smiling and laughing. As we get a little older, we get rewarded for playing nicely with others, for learning rhymes, songs and games at the urging of those closest to us. In these and many other ways, we are held accountable by people who want to see us become valued members of society.
Not every child remains accountable to people whose goal is producing people who are a credit to society. A very famous novel by the English author Charles Dickens describes young children who are raised by criminals and trained to engage in a number of illegal activities. These children were accountable to people whose only purpose was using these children for their selfish, illegal purposes.
This type of gang activity is portrayed in many books and movies. Young people seeking acceptance are recruited into these groups, holding themselves out to represent acceptance and material gain in exchange for unquestioning loyalty and obedience. The criminal activities demanded of the gang members coupled with the threat of death for leaving the gang, gang can be called holding oneself accountable—to absolutely the wrong type of people.
There are ways that some of us hold ourselves accountable that can have entirely different-totally positive results. When someone decides to go out for sports, when they become seriously involved with music or theater, one of the primary things that happens is holding yourself accountable. It may be to teachers, coaches or some other group that gives guidance, direction and a sense of real purpose.
Sometimes we hold ourselves accountable to the wrong people. It is important to be certain the people we choose to hold ourselves accountable to share our values and beliefs. There seen to be many people today whose first response to everything is to hate. If we hold ourselves accountable to those who speak hate in every situation, it is hard to see that lining up with our values and beliefs,
Holding ourselves accountable to the right people will keep us from leaving the right path. Holding ourselves accountable to people who know what is right is essential in a world filled with so many conflicting voices. The right person can guide us back if we get sidetracked.
As we move forward, it is always a good thing to ask ourselves who we hold ourselves accountable to. Occasionally, veering off the path can happen to any of us. Staying off the path has grave consequences. To whom do you hold yourself accountable? Are they giving you the guidance and direction you need?If you would like to receive new As We Move Forward posts, please subscribe to the As We Move Forward mailing list by clicking here. I release entries on a bi-weekly basis.
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