Sometimes in the month of May I ponder too much. Then I wonder as I ponder, and this usually leads to random “mind noodling.” In this particular May my thinking has been circling and circling, becoming a vortex which has come to rest with the words accountability and supervision. Or maybe supervision and then accountability. Whatever the sequence, a lot of the problems that we face daily are caused by a “lack” of accountability and a lack of adequate supervision. And these are two sides of the same coin. The structure of our society is based on these two terms, and when they break down we face serious problems.
In education, roughly speaking, this sequence is: parent-student-teacher-principal-school board-superintendent, etc. In our cities and towns: citizens-police dept.-fire dept.-city council-mayor, and on to the state and national governments. Each of these structures, and many more, includes supervision and accountability, and problems begin when they are interrupted or lost. Parent to child or teacher, worker to boss, boss to manager or owner, elected officials to their superiors or constituents, all are vital to our very existence. Without the structure and supervision and accountability, we face chaos, anarchy and returning to the law of the jungle with its survival of the mentally and physically fittest. And living day to day without a strong infrastructure doesn’t last very long. In this situation the only accountability left when all else fails is to our God, in whatever form we choose to believe, as our ultimate supervisor.
Many societies have risen and fallen in the past on this same earth that we are inhabiting. Small cracks started appearing, unrecognizable except to a very few voices lost in the din of daily living. And who even listened to them? Some of the signs were the break-up of the family, mores loosened, perversions accepted, and day to day living over regulated to the point of claustrophobia. Everything was being done for the individual, leaving no room for self-reliance, self-management, creativity or free-thinking. Then the cracks widened into religions and customs and government, leaving no room for either supervision or accountability. Who benefited? Only those at the very top of the food chain where the accountability stopped. At this point absolute rule of some kind takes over. A dictator or a king or a despot rides in to rescue the society. Religion and education have to be controlled or eliminated. And that is the end of individuality.
This process is so slow that it is almost unrecognizable in day to day living. It has happened many times before in the history of our earth, and it is happening now. There are cracks appearing and occasional breakdowns not only in our own society, but globally. Families are being restructured to fit any situation. Christianity, and religion in general, is being systematically erased from public view (forced to go figuratively underground), every little thing is being legislated, but penalties for large offenses are being diluted so that accountability is also being relaxed. In other words, both supervision and accountability are being lost for the individual. We are being forced into the law of the herd where we mindlessly follow whatever leadership is the loudest or the most compelling. And the question becomes: Is this process preventable? Can it be reversed? Individually, yes. Collectively, maybe. As long as the majority of people in a society are content to be passive recipients of life’s necessities, the collective “maybe” will change to “no.”
Common sense is the foundation of any solution, based on facts, not emotions. Accountability and supervision and a willingness to recognize self control and self motivation are vital. Read a book entitled “The Death of Common Sense” (How Law is Suffocating America) by Philip K. Howard, pub. 1994 by Warner Books. For over twenty years we have ignored warnings which are now becoming part of our existence. That’s long enough. Now we need to get serious.
Musically speaking it’s time to D.S. (Dal Segno), or go back to the sign which indicates where we have been and the firm foundations which once permeated our society. We need to get rid of “political correctness.” It has only been used by those with questionable agendas to blackmail and intimidate, and anything that has these for their mission statement must be stopped. Bringing back supervision and accountability will help all facets of out society to re-adjust our thinking and our actions. And we need these in order to survive.
Also in music, when there is a conductor there is supervision, and all of the musicians are accountable to all of the various sections in the group and also to the conductor. Beautiful harmonies and musical structures are possible. The same is possible in our lives.