Social Accountability is the New Black

A photo of a window with rain on it and a sticker that says "don't touch" with the picture of a hand crossed out.
Photo by Andrej Lisakov.

Commenting on our friends' life choices isn't something we normally do. If anything, our culture has shifted farther and farther away from this as we (finally) realize that there are sometimes REASONS and PAIN behind circumstances once thought of as benign.

Over the past weeks, however, I have had a number of friends comment on my choices.

From comments when I posted about being at the playground with some friends and their kids, to an "ummmmm, I wouldn't," when I told a friend that I was still planning on having the staff at my office come in once a week to touch base in person, to a ringing silence when I invited folks over, there has been pushback.

(Don't worry, mere days/weeks later, these scenarios have aged about as well as the homophobic jokes in Friends. They shan't be repeated.)

In each case, I started by defending myself before realizing that, SIGH, they were right.

It would have been easier for my friends to make a general post online about how "PEOPLE shouldn't be going to the playground" or "NOBODY needs to gather at work in person - STAY HOME!" or to simply blow off steam by shaming folks who bought too much toilet paper.

They didn't do that.

They took the risk to speak to me directly about my choices, and it worked.

The situation we are in is brand new. If we want to get through it with as little loss as possible, we need to get over ourselves, fast. We need to be brave and hold the people we know accountable in a direct, honest, and loving way.

For inspiration, here are the characters of Schitt's Creek being very straightforward with one another.

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