Harker Aquila

Taking responsibility for our actions


Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






As high school students, we’re constantly told that what we do now–every test, each interaction, each triumph or misstep– will impact our future. This seemingly-prophetic concept sometimes makes us view a less-than-ideal SAT score as a blemish on our lifelong resumes.

When put in perspective, though, the SAT– as with many things that consume us in high-school– will have little impact on our lives and the lives of others.

Yet, other actions we take as we step into adulthood can have a greater effect. We see the consequences of these choices everywhere, from job interviews to the U.S. Supreme Court.

After three women came forward in September to accuse Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct during his high school and college years, it sparked intense conversations about gender and privilege both within the Senate and across the country.

But these allegations also catalyzed another conversation. In the days before the trial, many contemplated a question with far-reaching implications. Kavanaugh had been a young adult at the time of the alleged assault in the early 1980s– so should the accusations, if true, affect the confirmation process in 2018?

The answer is clear. Harm, inflicted at any age and at any time, is just that– harm. While the allegations may have stemmed from the 80s, assault, harassment and bullying are all realities that students face today. And the effects haven’t changed, either– pain can stay with survivors, whether adults or teenagers, throughout their lives.

This conversation in our nation’s spotlight reflects an issue embedded in youth culture: the need for accountability.

With each passing high school year, we get closer to taking on larger responsibilities, both in our own lives and as citizens. Some of us are turning 18. We’re applying for jobs, or taking on internships. We’re living away from home, or learning how to drive. We’re preparing to vote, or perhaps casting our ballots already.

These are all actions for which adulthood holds us accountable–actions that cause harm should not be an exception. Some decisions may not seem permanent, but they can have a lasting impact on others.

Each choice we make molds us into the adults we ultimately become. Only by accepting responsibility for our decisions now, can we change ourselves for the better. And it’s through taking ownership of our behavior and its consequences that we earn others’ trust and respect.

While we are tasked with taking responsibility for our own decisions and actions, it’s critical that the institutions and people around us hold us to the same standard. For schools, this means being more transparent about issues, mistakes and consequences to allow everyone to learn. For students, this means speaking up when someone causes harm.

In less than a year, nearly one-fourth of our campus will embark on the next milestone in the journey of adulthood: college. With this expanded freedom, we won’t have our parents or our school to hold us responsible– and so we must take accountability ourselves. After all, we’re a sum of our actions. So let’s make those actions count.

better. And it’s through taking ownership of our behavior and its consequences that we earn the respect and trust of those around us.

While we are tasked with taking responsibility for our own decisions and actions, it’s critical that the institutions and people around us hold us to the same standard. For schools, this means being more transparent about issues, mistakes and consequences to allow everyone to learn. For students, this means speaking up when someone causes harm.

In less than a year, nearly one-fourth of our campus will embark on the next milestone in the journey of adulthood: college. With this expanded freedom, we won’t have our parents or our school to hold us responsible for our mistakes– and so we must take accountability ourselves. After all, we’re a sum of our actions. So let’s make those actions count.

This piece was originally published in the pages of The Winged Post on Oct. 17, 2018.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Taking responsibility for our actions

    Online Exclusive

    Crossing a line

  • Taking responsibility for our actions

    Online Exclusive

    Impacts of increased ethnic representation in the entertainment industry

  • Taking responsibility for our actions

    Opinion

    Perspectives (Issue 2)

  • Taking responsibility for our actions

    Opinion

    Editors’ Note: What we cover and why

  • Taking responsibility for our actions

    Opinion

    Bench for life: Term limits needed for Supreme Court justices

  • Opinion

    Heart of Harker: The meaning of adulthood

  • Taking responsibility for our actions

    Opinion

    A conservation of conversation

  • Taking responsibility for our actions

    Online Exclusive

    Redefining masculinity: What this means to all of us

  • Taking responsibility for our actions

    Online Exclusive

    Serena Williams shines spotlight on sexism, exposes racist media

  • Taking responsibility for our actions

    Editorial

    Editorial: Channeling our anger to effect change

The student news site of The Harker School.
Taking responsibility for our actions