In many African homes, getting an apology from our parents is as rare as a blue moon. Usually they just appear after a few hours acting extraordinarily nice, or even offering some grand favours and/or gifts. That’s their way of apologising and perhaps some of us have inculcated this personality. Slowly and surely, we have forgotten (or chosen to ignore) the fact that we need to be more accountable for our actions.
The rise of the internet and social media has exposed a lot of people for their wrongdoings. It’s no longer as easy to do something that’s morally wrong and get away with it. This, of course, is partly a good thing. Brands have been left with no choice but do as best as possible to please their clients. Consequently, the quality of produce has increased in order to boost brand image.
If for nothing else, individuals have had no choice but to act right, lest they find themselves trending for the wrong reasons. For social media influencers and celebrities who depend on brand campaigns for a livelihood, it becomes even more serious. Brands want to be associated with valuable traits – goodness, kindness, loyalty, and love. If your personal brand does not speak to that high esteem, then you lose out. In short, now more than ever, we must think about our actions and behaviours and how they affect our personal brands.
Recent events, however, have proven that despite all this knowledge, we still seem to lack one thing – personal accountability. Every other day, you log onto social media and find someone trending for the wrong reasons. More often than not, the person will either ignore it entirely or give a half-ass apology. Whatever the case, the goal is to never be that person.
Whether you’re a social media influencer, a celebrity, or even a ‘nobody,’ you never want people knowing you for your evil doings. It can affect your career, love life, family relations, and basically every aspect of your life. Your story might turn into a joke, and memes start to fly around. But one thing about the internet is that it never forgets.
But it’s not just on social media, it’s everywhere. In our homes, our workplaces, school… Nobody wants to come up and say yes, I was wrong, and I’m sorry. We have chosen to ignore that being accountable for our actions is a path to self-development. It makes us better people. We are not perfect beings. To err is human, and it takes strength to accept this.
If you get caught up in an expose, the best thing you can do for yourself is to apologise. With that, an apology should always be in the first person. It’s I offended you, not You were offended by my actions. You must never transfer responsibility and blame to the victim. After all, you don’t get to decide whether your actions hurt someone. It is, however, your full responsibility to apologise for the negative impact your actions/behaviour had on someone.
It may be tough to come out and admit to being in the wrong, but it’s a brave and courageous act. Accept that every day you grow into a whole different person and that those traits do not define you. You are not who you were a week, a month, or even a year ago. There is nothing wrong with admitting that you did wrong and are willing to change.
We will no longer let things slide, and vices such as bullying, pride, and arrogance should not be tolerated. People must learn to be accountable to their actions, not only for the sake of the victims, but for their own sake.
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” ~Jim Rohn
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