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Webster defines accountability as "the quality of being accountable -- especially: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions." It was pretty easy to look up the definition, so why is it so hard for people to understand the concept of accountability?

I actually believe that the lack of accountability -- personally and within society as a whole -- is a critical reason we are having so much trouble in this country. It seems that no one wants to take responsibility for his own actions. You can see it at every turn and every day.

I know that I am a dinosaur by the standards of many in today's society. I still think that your actions have consequences and you have to accept those consequences -- regardless of how bad those consequences might be.

That doesn't mean that I don't believe that we shouldn't forgive people for bad things that they might do or that we shouldn't have compassion. But, that doesn't mean we should ignore their actions or allow them to not be held accountable.

There seems to be a pervasive sentiment in society that we should do everything to keep people from failure or from "feeling" bad. We live in a time where "feelings" are paramount and a belief that people should be shielded from hearing things that they don't like or from suffering consequences from poor choices.

I could take the easy route and blame society as a whole but, in reality, the problem starts with the family. We have way too many "helicopter" parents who hover around their children trying to keep them from failing in everyday life. Couple that with the number of parents who just plain don't care about their children, and then we have a crisis of accountability in America.

And the government sure doesn't help to do anything to solve this crisis. Quite the opposite, the government exacerbates the problem by trying to be the answer to all problems -- small or large. Not everyone in government feels that way but a lot of liberals sure do.

I have been following the two dozen presidential Democratic wannabes in their quest to be the candidate in 2020. A number of them want to "forgive" all student debt for college students. "Forgive" in this instance means that someone doesn't have to pay an obligation that they agreed to pay for services rendered. Pretty good deal for a lot of people.

You know, both of my boys went to Missouri Southern and didn't have student debt. They worked, applied for scholarships and mom and dad helped. I understand that not everyone can graduate from college debt-free and some may need financial assistance.

But, I don't feel real sorry for those that just "had" to attend an expensive university that they couldn't afford, and many got degrees that aren't that marketable. They made the choice, so why should I, as a taxpayer, allow them to not be held accountable and basically pay for their poor choices?

Kevin Wilson is a former state representative who was born in Goodman and now lives in Neosho. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 07/11/2019

Print Headline: OPINION: Accountability Defined

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