We watched an interesting show tonight — Inside Man with Morgan Spurlock about education.
He went to a couple of different schools, one in Finland and the other in New York. The distinction between them was rather hard-edged.
On the one hand the successful school in New York, a charter school (as much as I have to hold my nose at the idea), was a very regimented environment with the lesson plans planned out to the minute.
On the other hand, the school in Finland was very loosey-goosey about the whole thing. While schools there have some of the highest performance in the world, they also focused a lot on fun; the idea of making learning enjoyable was ingrained.
There was a point that really stuck with me. When asked about “accountability,” the Fins noted that there really isn’t a word for it. You only need accountability when you lack responsibility.
Looking around that hit very close to home.
As I’m growing up, and growing older, I’m ever astonished by how seemingly most people around me are sloughing off responsibility and trying to get someone else, typically the government, to make sure they don’t have to do a thing. That they won’t be responsible for their own lives, safety, or much of anything.
Hell, the fact that sugary drinks are regulated in New York (to come full circle) speaks volumes. That people want to not be responsible for what they put into their own bodies and delegate that to anyone is amazing.
It really is something to think about — that responsibility comes from within while accountability is imposed from external sources. The two are the same in many ways, but opposites in the important ones.
Choose responsibility, by the way.