CASA GRANDE — Accountability has been a term that I’ve seen thrown around a lot lately, especially for those of us in education. And while this can be an extremely complex subject and easy to argue, I’m going to try to simplify it as best I can. While it’s easy to point out the faults of others and we all could probably write a novel about people who have wronged us, that’s not what I want to talk about here. Let’s talk, instead, about personal accountability and trust.

This can be a hard pill to swallow, but none of us is perfect. Well, Mary Poppins is “practically perfect in every way,” but she can fly, so let’s not compare ourselves to her. We’ve all got flaws and faults that we need to own if we’re being painfully honest and while it’s no fun to have to admit we’re to blame for something, owning our own shortcomings and admitting fault when we’re wrong is the only way to be personally accountable. Let me say that again: Admitting fault is the only way to be truly, genuinely accountable, and being accountable is a required ingredient in an even bigger matter — trust.

“To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” (George MacDonald)

I love this quote and have enjoyed learning more about the concept of trust as I have become a certified “Trust Edge” facilitator along with some fantastic colleagues and friends. One of my primary personal focuses since starting has been incorporating a “it starts with me” mindset. Admitting when you’re wrong and stepping up and saying it is definitely not my idea of a good time and it’s probably not yours either, but once you’ve held yourself accountable and apologized for any harm caused, the weight lifted off your heart will pay for itself and create a ripple of trust to spread. Being accountable also speaks volumes to your character and makes it easier for people to trust you. Over time, if you consistently do what’s right over what’s easy, that trust will grow and your reputation will be built upon a solid foundation and questioning of your integrity will be difficult for anyone with sketchy motives.

As parents, grandparents, role models, etc., we also have a huge responsibility to teach our children to be accountable and personally responsible for their choices. Lessons on how to be trustworthy can’t start early enough either. Those little eyes are watching what we’re doing and learning from us before they can even use the potty on their own, so let’s teach them well and start them young. Let’s be the best possible version of ourselves and help prepare the next generation to be the best they can be. Let’s place value on being accountable and having integrity. Let’s thank and appreciate the people in our lives who have shown us that we can trust them. Let’s work each and every day to walk our talk and let’s always love our lives!

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Contributing writer Skyla Teel is a wife, mom, professor, rodeo coach and life coach. She can be reached at skyla@skylateel.com.

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