this is a big word. it means the same to everyone according to the dictionary BUT it can be applied differently depending on what you need. as my favorite fridge magnet used to say...ok to have a clear conscious if your memory is fuzzy.
this is my recipe for accountabilty...
who in my care, did i drop the ball on?
what diseases/behaviors do i choose to mix, which diseases/behaviors do i choose to separate, what are the affects on the animals in my care for those decisions?
when someone dies in my care...why did they die? was it because i missed something important or did not act quickly enough? did they die of something preventable or treatable if treated soon enough..like fatty liver, or URI or pancreatitis? or did they die because really it was their time?
when i euthanize for not end of life reasons, do our animals simply disappear or do we talk about why i made that decision? do i expect that i need everyone to agree or am i willing to let folks think differently about it then me? how much, if anything, do i decide to share?
when i take someone into our shelter, can i actually not only provide the medical care that they need but can i also provide the necessary monitering...is there someone here most of 24 hours a day to watch the diabetics for hypoglycemic events, to watch the seizuring animals for seizure activity, to provide instant pain meds or emergency vet trips if someone suddenly takes a turn for the worst?
do i not only ensure that their home is clean, but the air that they breathe is not thick with ammonia fumes. do i make conscious decisions based on research that presents both pro's and cons, on medical advice which presents the same or do i just decide for whatever reasons to do things the way i have always done before despite what that means to the animals?
do i tell fairy tales of how wonderful we are or do i tell the actual challenges we face and the mistakes that we make?
accountability is a great word to apply to ourselves, but it becomes a tricky word to apply to others especially if we are not all that sure where accountability belongs in our own lives.
true accountability is ruled by 3 things...
the ability to provide honest assessment/evaluation including the pro's and the con's.
the ability to accept the consequences of whatever decisions you felt you needed to make (including maybe not winning in popular opinon)
and finally...the ability not to be lazy or afraid. (laziness and fear hides the truth about all of us, that can't be a very good thing for the practice of our own accountability for the choices we personally make)
that is my deep thought for today, and i think it is a good one.