Greetings all! 2019 is here. I declare that this year will be glorious! We will succeed in every way conceivable. I love the New Year. It gives us a legitimate reason to reflect on the year that has passed and think about how we can improve or tweak things that need such. I try not to make New Year’s resolutions as they are almost always unsuccessful. Instead, I just strive to do better. Last year, I vowed to open up to my friends more and I think I did a good job. This year, I strive to just go harder in every way possible. Of course, you know 2016, 2017 and 2018 owes me a boyfriend. LOL! You know I had to throw it in there. But we’ll reflect on that another day. Today, I choose to reflect on accountability and why it’s so important.
Personally, I think that a lot of people are not successful in their New Year’s resolution or other goals due to a lack of accountability. As an educator, accountability is a word that I know all too much about. Accountability in one’s career is important but I believe it is much more important in one’s personal life. The lack of self-accountability is the main culprit with our unsuccessful pursuits, but exactly where is accountability needed the most whether it’s accountability of one’s self or others.
“Accountability feels like an attack when you aren’t ready to admit and own up to your transgressions.”A.Grandberry
Too often in the black community, we do not hold ourselves accountable, for even the smallest things. I mean think about it, how often growing up did our parents actually apologize to us when they made a mistake? Not too often, they just carried on. No one held them accountable for an apology. When there was a boy or girl in the neighborhood who was a known bully, how many times did anyone make them accountable for the terror that they delivered to the innocent? Almost never. Our ideas of accountability in that aspect was to dethrone the bully with another tyrant. We aren’t even accountable with our food choices even after we know better. We know that we are genetically predisposed to diabetes and hypertension but still every holiday season we are scarfing down chitterlings and all of the other things that we shouldn’t be ingesting coupled with a regular diet that is just plain unhealthy. All of this is due to a lack of accountability. Come on people we have to do better. With all of that being said, I think the largest deficit of accountability is how we treat others.
Accountability with Friends and the Opposite Sex
Accountability is defined as the quality or state of being accountable which is the acceptance of responsibility for one’s actions. It sounds simple once you read the definition, but I’m telling you to put it into action requires one to put on their adult drawers and recognize that you have to be as responsible for your wrongs as much as you are for your rights. With personal reflection, I have realized that many of us are not being accountable with the relationships that we are a part of. First and foremost, getting some people to apologize is like getting Jacquees to admit that he is not the King of R&B, it’s downright impossible. Did I pronounce his name right? Eh, who cares? You get it.
You will have people in your life that you call friends and they do sh*t to you that you know they wouldn’t want to be done to them. Then when you call them out on it, they’d rather avoid you than to apologize. This is all due to their lack of accountability, more importantly, the lack of a desire to be held accountable. Doesn’t that seem crazy to you? These will be the same people who will cry “victim, victim, victim” whenever someone commits an infraction against them.
It’s called being an adult to get called out on your sh*t and own up to it. Look, I did it, I was wrong, I’m sorry and I’ll do my best not to let it happen again.
I have witnessed female friends who will not support their friend when she’s embarking upon a new journey or venture but that same friend is there for every milestone, birthday, baby shower, etc. Truth be told, I have been the girl who’s supportive but when it comes down to me, my “friends” fall short. True to form, those less than supportive friends would rather avoid the backlash and then all of a sudden they disappear. Friendship shouldn’t be a one-sided journey. If you are that friend who is doing most of the giving, call these people out and if they cannot be accountable for their actions, then it’s time to leave them where they are. They aren’t worthy right now, they don’t want to be accountable and pretty soon, karma, the cousin will be on the horizon for them.
The same goes with the opposite sex. Hold these people accountable. There are some things that people shouldn’t have to put up with. If your significant other isn’t supportive, call them out on it. If your significant other is harsh with their actions and words, call them out on it. If they are doing anything that you do not like and is detrimental, call them out on it. If they cannot own it and change their behavior, then do you really need to be in a relationship with that person? My last observation when it comes to accountability with the opposite sex and with friends is this, why is that women would rather forgive their man for an infraction, but as soon as their friends make a mistake, it’s unforgivable? With men, it’s just the opposite, they will forgive their boys in a New York minute but punish their lover for wrongdoings. That’s very interesting and crazy.
Dealing with family can be tricky. Depending on the family member, you don’t want to be disrespectful and no matter what you do, they are always family. With that being said, you shouldn’t let family members off of the hook for doing shady sh*t whether it’s dealing directly with you or others. For instance, if you have a cousin whom you’re close with and he/she isn’t the best parent, challenge them to be a better parent. No one wants to be in the village anymore but the reality is, you ARE in the village, hell we all are. Your family’s lack of accountability may result in a less than desirable situation. How often have you heard of a crime being committed and then hearing from a family member that they aren’t surprised by the behavior? Whenever I hear that I wonder two things: Did someone call them out on their sh*t and were they accountable for their wrongdoings? I will guarantee you that the answer to both of those questions is no and no.
Regardless if a person is a relative or not, we must hold one another accountable. If they owe you money, call them out on it. If they have the tendency of putting their children off on people frequently, call them out on it. If they are constantly seeking support from family members, but not reciprocating, call them out on it. Trust me, it’s needed. Do it with love but do it.
Accountability with Yourself
This one is the hardest to deal with by far. We all know this. If this wasn’t the case, no one would make the same New Years Resolution every single year. It’s a hard pill to swallow but if you cannot swallow it, you won’t ever reach your full potential. Two years ago, I took it upon myself to make sure I apologize whenever I was doing something wrong, no matter how small it was. That level of accountability was small but it moved mountains for me because not only did it help me to build better relationships with those around me but it opened my eyes to others who aren’t as accountable as they could be. If you cannot call yourself out on your own sh*t, how can you call someone else out on theirs? Everyone makes mistakes, everyone, no one is exempt. Deal with it.
In conclusion, own your sh*t. Fix your sh*t. It’s just that simple because if you wouldn’t want it done to you, don’t you do it to someone else and if by chance you make a mistake and do it, own it. Trust me, it makes all of the difference in any kind of a relationship. I’d rather be friends with someone who genuinely cares about being there for me than a narcissist who only cares about themselves and the same thing goes for a relationship. When it comes to family, you can’t really get rid of them but you can definitely move differently if they aren’t being held accountable. No one is aiming to be confrontational or combative, accountability is meant to elevate. Come on, it’s 2019 people, do better.
January is a hard month for me. Last year on the 5th, my cousin Bridgett had a terrible accident, by the grace of God, she’s rehabilitating, is on the mend. The absolute worst thing about January is the anniversary of losing my dear, departed friend, EJ. I dedicate every blog to him because I miss him so much. EJ was one of those friends who would call you on your sh*t and I thank God every day that I had him as a friend. Rest in Love sweet friend, I miss you.