System accountability doesn't mean you can control all of your system's parts. It means that when anyone in your system screws up and you owe someone an apology and genuine effort to prevent harm in the future, you're responsible. Even if you are not the part who wronged them.
System accountability doesn't mean that you have to see yourselves as one person or function as one person. It means that you are inherently tied to each other and have to learn cooperation.
if you had asked me as a child what colour the sky was, i would have confidently said blue and yellow. because i grew up on the baltic coast next to one of the most travelled ship routes of the world, and the unfiltered sulfur pouring out of the exhausts of nearly a hundred cargo ships every day turned into a thick layer of sickly yellow laying over the horizon. especially on sunny summer days, it settled of the sea like the cheap imitation of a sunset, out of place during the bright daylight.
then, from one summer to the next, the yellow slowly but surely faded away. because a new legislation passed - one which heavily penalised airborne ship emissions in the area. and while the silhouettes of ships across the passage never became less frequent, their backdrop was now such a pure blue that its hard to imagine that it was ever different.
i think about this everytime someone tells me that climate legislation doesn't work, everytime a new media story declaring our helplessness in the face of certain environmental doom makes the rounds. don't get me wrong - the situation we are facing in terms of climate change and environmental destruction is certainly terrifying. but everyday, people are working tirelessly to implement law and policy that could change that fact. and because of those people, a newly bright blue sky touches down over the baltic sea. and that has to count for something, i think.
so i’m currently working at a law firm and the other day one of the attorneys was talking to me and he mentioned that he’s “not very confrontational” and i was like you are?? a lawyer???
and he said “yeah but in court there are rules. i can argue with some shmuck in a suit in front of a judge no problem, but when i leave the courthouse and go home i’m not gonna argue with my wife about dinner. there are no rules in our kitchen. i would die.”