Two off duty Secret Service agents, on their way home from a party at a bar, drive their car through police tape and barricades where their colleagues were investigating a possible bomb. And, while supervisors on the scene suspect that the two agents are intoxicated they are sent on their way without a breath test. No ramifications from driving into a sealed investigation scene and then actually put back into their car to drive home. An onlooker would conclude that the Secret Service belief is that their people get preferential treatment.
When what you believe is that some people get preferential treatment then everyone acts accordingly. There are too many people who are operating under the mindset of, “I know that the rules don’t apply to me so I can do what I want.” It doesn’t work for business leaders, community leaders, police leaders, government leaders, religious leaders, family leaders and it doesn’t work for the Secret Service either.
Accountability is keeping your commitments to people. In this case the Secret Service is not keeping their commitment to uphold the law, to be beyond reproach and to always act with integrity. Everyone involved in this incident shows a gross lack of accountability. They didn’t live accountably and they didn’t model accountability for others in the service, in the public or in their families.
If we are to live accountable lives we need to know exactly what we believe, we must realize that what we believe matters and we must be non-negotiable with our beliefs. We can never compromise our beliefs for short-term gain.
Until we demand accountability, first from ourselves, and, second from everyone around us, we will continue to live in a society where accountability is just a buzzword and not a lived word. Accountability matters.