2500 Words on Responsibility and Being Personally Accountable

Topics: Exxon Valdez oil spill, Petroleum, ExxonMobil Pages: 6 (2574 words) Published: July 28, 2010
In many situations in my life, I have been personally accountable for my actions. Every part of being who I am has something to do with morality. Being responsible and accountable for what I do is something I take very personally. It is a key point in my personality and a critical part of being part of the US Army. Being accountable is something a lot of people typically avoid. In many instances of our lives, and in our country and our society, there are times where people aren't accountable and don't own up to what they're doing. Social and political problems are abound in this country from people not being accountable and responsible for what they do. Our country is full of instances, playing out everywhere, of people who make poor decisions, and try to get others to bail them out. While this is a fact of life, it's certainly not one I want to be a part of. Long ago, people used to not have a choice about accountability and responsibility. In the 1800's, people didn't have a choice as to how they spent their summers and falls- they were farming and plowing and bracing for the cold, harsh winter to come. Without being responsible and accountable to tend to their families, the frontier families of America's history would have been victims of terrible famines and starvation. Without controlling their animals and tending to their crops, they stood to lose more than money, or the respect of those around them. They stood to lose their lives. I grew up in a rural part of Alaska, and while most people grow up with modern convienences, I wasn't so lucky. While most kids sat around playing video games or basketball on paved courts, I spent time in the woods gathering firewood. I lived off of a small generator and a fireplace. Without wood in the fireplace, we froze. Without the generator, we didn't have light, and our food wouldn't stay cold inside. We didn't have thousands of amps of electricity to play with. I learned responsibility at a young age by saving energy- turning the lights off when I left rooms. Most people don't know what it means to be accountable for what they do, either. They attempt to heap responsibility on others, to avoid being blamed for usually very silly reasons. These reasons can be anything- some people are afraid what others think of them, others are afraid of getting in trouble by those above them. It's easy to see why some people would be uncomfortable or try to avoid responsibility for their actions. I am not one of those people, either. I take accountability for my decisions. As a contractor and electrician in the oilfields, and working in the city on telephone lines, it wasn't just a matter of good business to make sure that my work was clean and complete. I was working on people's 911 lines, their Life Alert systems, their security systems. If those systems failed, my customers could have lost their livelihood or even their lives. I had to be 100% sure of what I did, and if something didn't work, I stayed until it was fixed. I watched other contractors act very differently about their work, and it never ended well. Many times, when someone would do a crappy job, I would be the guy to go and fix it. They weren't accountable for what they did- they used excuses to cover for their work, or problems they ran into. But at the end of the day, if someone's phones weren't working, it didn't matter why, it only mattered they didn't have an emergency line, and their lives could be in danger because of that. In my time as a contractor, my reputation for being a good tradesman actually meant job security and it meant that I had a good working relationship with my customers. I had businesses request me by name and I did special wiring work for people, who gave me pay raises and flexible hours to keep me happy. The reason they did this was because they knew I was going to do it better than others. Knowing this, the companies and businesses I worked at wanted me to be the one to work for...
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