The quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions.
Everything starts here, flourishes or diminishes here… And in the end, everything finishes here.
Accountability is the basis for any human system that contains trust and allows care and loyalty to flourish.
In as much as a Sensei holds himself/herself accountable for the condition of the dojo, the discipline and nurturing of students, the oversight of the well being of everyone in his/her care, and the outcomes of individual and group training, accountability has a beginning, a middle and an end.
When one considers a beginning, middle and an end, one must consider the moments between the beginning and the middle, as well as the moments between the middle and the end. The spaces between are in essence, no different than the concept we might hold in our minds about the cycle of life.
There are no moments in between, such as when we train and then not train. Accountability is an action that takes place all the time. Accountability is a state of being (Sonzai jotai). A state where the mind does not churn rapidly attempting to devise a reason for some unaccountable behavior, rather a place of acceptance and peace that allows one to be present fully in the moment.
In the moments in which we panic, or chose dishonesty over full disclosure of our mistake or error in judgement, we cannot be attentive to our inner self or Seishin, as we are engaging in a struggle to create an alternate reality where we are not responsible for our action or word, or perhaps too embarrassed to remain truthful.
In western culture, accountability often takes place only at the fringes, or when a person realizes that accountability is the best choice for a moment in time, as opposed to a number of other, far more difficult, poor choices.
To enter the dojo free of alternate realities, fully available to take in both the physical and mindful lessons, is a gift we can only give to ourselves.
The challenge, and as Sensei has reminded us repeatedly, there are always challenges at every level in Koei Kan, is to be willing to extend ourselves outside the dojo in terms of our accountability to ourselves and toward everyone with whom we may choose to have in our lives.
The greatest gift we can give in our lives, is the one in which we hold ourselves accountable, and our word is sacred.