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Responsibility and Accountability
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I read an article about a giant Viking longship which will sail across North Sea to Ireland. If I were 20 years younger and wealthy enough that I could take months off from work, I'd have loved to have been a crew member.

I also liked this story because I’m of Scandanavian ancestry on my father’s side.

I work in an environment where nearly everyone around me, my coworkers, boss and subordinates alike, are people of a different background. Time and again, I have heard the following tale:

'Sure, I hit/knifed/pulled a gun/etc. because he started it, and anyway, I can’t help myself because I am (insert ethnicity here) and my blood calls for revenge, etc., etc.'

If the self-exculpatory story didn’t have such evil consequences, I might find it amusing. They accuse me of being a cold fish, self-controlled and unresponsive. Their words, not mine. Funny thing is, my friends often describe me as being over-enthusiastic at times, maybe even a bit of a hothead.

But and however, I work in an occupation where I deal with people, resolve problems, coordinate actions. For heaven’s sake, I don’t take it personally, though I confess to getting a bit stressed at times. Still I have to maintain a professional demeanor. That's my job, what I do, no matter how I feel at the moment.

If only they knew! My ancestors were berserkers, coming out of the North Sea to rape, pillage and burn, merciless and feared, huge bearded Norsemen (my father could easily have passed for one–dominant genes, I guess). Should I use my background as an excuse to go postal? The idea of using one’s genetic heritage as an explanation for present day violent and vicious actions would be ludicrous, if it weren’t so prevalent and if it didn't have such sad consequences. The intent and/or the rationale for an action is a major factor in the quality of the action.

An easy example: I am startled by a bee buzzing into my face and I unintentionally splash my hot coffee on someone. Or, I intentionally splatter hot coffee on someone because I perceive that they insulted me. Both times the person is burned by the coffee, but which is the worse action?

Beyond the personal excuses of individual background and perceived insult(s), factor in the lack of accountability and responsibility of our national and corporate leaders, which just adds to the craziness of this whole world we live in.

Time for me to find a good book and absent myself from this time and place for a while. I'll go back to dealing with it tomorrow.

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