Spirit & Soul
Accountability: It’s NOT Spirits, It’s NOT The Devil, Nguwe! (It’s You)
Accountability as an act/action can only be performed by a someone who wants to – it’s a choice.
Right ke, the Nyanga returns, grand intro yada-yada – you get the picture. Let’s get this started. As the title suggests, today we’re dealing with accountability, what it is, what it means to be accountable, and the multifaceted implications of it. I know what you’re thinking, “this seems a bit far removed from your usual work” and unfortunately, you’re both right and wrong. The whole objective of ukuba yinyanga (being a Nyanga) is mystery, and hence I can be, and will be, whatever the situation requires of me, provided it’s within my abilities.
And as far as you’re concerned, I’m basically Kirito in this world of ours, so, – “you don’t have to wonder where your god is, because he’s right here, and he’s fresh out of mercy” <grins in chaotic neutral>
But I digress, we’re gathered here to read my perspective on stuff you probably already know about. So, let’s dive in:
Firstly, we can define accountability as ‘the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions’ – key word to note, willingness. What does this mean in a broader sense? Accountability as an act/action can only be performed by a someone who wants to – it’s a choice. Now, I don’t think I have to tell you what that means for anyone who uses any of the beings mentioned in the title as “an excuse” for something they did – *cough cough*
The basic premise of accountability seems simple – so why do we feel the need to deflect? Responsibility. That not-so-hidden ‘small print’ that comes with being accountable is a burden most don’t want to deal with. After all, who want to have to ‘prove’ themselves by changing their ways? As we all know, once you take responsibility for something, you have to try to “right that wrong” – not necessarily in the moment, but certainly for the future.
Naturally, this goes for everything. In the context of dogmatic practices that attribute ills to various incarnations of uSaran (Satan) however, this tends to open the door for “blame shifting”. I don’t have to tell you how badly that can end. If you’re curious, look at how the Catholic church ‘disciplines’ its overly ‘child friendly’ men of the cloth – spoiler alert, you will be disappointed (read the United Nations publication on the matter).
Yet the question remains, why the fear? What’s so terrifying about this aspects of navigating life that we’d rather cook up excuses? Consequences? Maybe, but that assumes what we’re running from warrants severe punishment, and maybe it does. To cement my point, Let’s look at relationships – they’re subject to stress and eventual endings, due to one reason or another, sometimes both parties are to blame, sometimes it’s just you. Is it safe to assume that accountability in this instance requires you to accept your short comings and the results of that? What does that look like?
Assuming you’ve ‘accepted your fate’, what comes next? Should you work towards reconciliation? Or do you forge forward, having learnt from your mistakes, careful not to repeat them? Maybe you think it should be both? If so, how much is the “forgiveness” of the wronged party worth in this exchange? Should that even play a role if you’re deeply holding yourself to account for whatever the transgression?
And herein lies what is lost when we reject the burden of responsibility. Yes of course, anything that seeks to absolve you of any level of hardship is always welcome, since we would not be humans without our “tools”, but what of the machine that robs you of your skills? What do we say to that? Who do you then blame when it breaks down and you’re ill-equipped to handle that loss? Maybe you’re of the mindset that it can be repaired? Or maybe replaced. By all means, but what happens when the price is too high?