Committing to be accountable - to yourself and others - is a lot like gravity. You don't have to agree to do it, but you can't avoid the effects. In the end - and this is not just some intellectual conversation - there is only one reality. And we all use the Model in our head, our brain, to perceive reality as best we can. For the easy things, this works well. We all agree on what grass is. We all see that the sun rises every day and warms the planet. And we all know that we have to eat in order to live. Beyond the basics, though, we start to differ.
Ultimately - and this is a huge thing that we don't discuss - what we see is colored by emotions. Those emotions include how we viewed the world during our youth. In some instances that means that we won't see things as they really are because some flaw was present at age three and was left uncorrected in our youth. As a result, we allow that flaw to continue unheeded, unless those around us counter that incorrect notion. They seldom do and that's a large part of the problem because it prevents the fundamental aspect of what emotions do. Homogenize behavior and, in effect, get us all to agree on what reality is.
This may come as some surprise, but the divisiveness in our country today is almost exclusively emotions driven. I mean there is an inidividual's taste and then there is fact. One is qualitative and the other quantitative. One can say that they prefer Hip-Hop versus country, but one isn't better than the other. That's taste or opinion. Fortunately, we don't need to have uniform agreement in every area. However, there are issues where we do. And when we don't, there are problems. A perfect example is vaccines.
As a person who lives in the Pacific NW, this is something I watched play out. Granted, there is science that is new and not widely agreed on. But there is definitely science which is unquestionable and is more or less universally agreed to. Vaccines fall into that category. The people who wish to say there is some negative aspect to them are speaking emotionally. There is zero science behind that argument other than that which may have been promulgated by emotionally-biased scientists. A vaccine is inactive. It can't harm you. But they do cause the production of antigens so that when you get exposed to the active version of the virus, you are protected. That is science.
Not wishing to push the issue, especially those who started using religious grounds to block their use, authorities allowed parents to say no. Then the measles outbreak hit. The problem with antigens is that, sooner or later, anybody's system can become overwhelmed. Meaning, even if you are immune at some level, if you are flooded with a virus, you can cave in. And this is what started happening. The unvaccinated kids were so many and were so infected that they started to infect others who had had the vaccine. The end result of this whole exercise was that hundreds of individuals were needlessly sick because their parents have a phobia around modern medicine.
So what does this all have to do with accountability? Plenty. In the end, you can say you are not responsible for your behavior. In actuality, what you are really saying is that you want to do what you please. You may not immediately pay a price for doing so, but others will as you force them to bend to your alternate universe. Over time, though, you will also pay a price. If you are the belligerent boss, when times get good, your best staff is going to leave. And when times get bad, at some point you will become dispensable. So the best strategy is to recognize that you are accountable to everyone else, like we all are. Else, you wall yourself off for some period of time while the water backs up in the dam around you. And we really don't think you want to deal with the inevitable flood.