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accountability starts with purpose. He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how Friedrich Nietzsche. Any examination of accountability should start at the beginning. That is in the Garden of Eden. Accountability issues have been around since Adam and Eve ate the apple. In the garden of Eden. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the snake, blaming others rarely works as a long term solution. The snakes reward for his behavior was a lifetime of crawling. Eve's reward was painful. Childbirth. Adams reward was a lifetime of toil. Hold on. You're thinking. You just said in the preface that accountability is less about sticks and carrots and more about purpose and trust. Yet this old testament story clearly describes the wielding of a cosmic stick. True, but perhaps you missed the words purpose and trust. My use of the word reward is deliberate. The characters in the book of genesis each made a choice to test the limits of the trust they had been given. They were told You may freely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat. Despite this covenant or contract, Adam and Eve made a decision to eat the forbidden fruit and their individual choices set off a chain reaction of events for which they were rewarded. Some may view the reward as punishment. Others may see the result as the logical outcome of a poor choice made despite a clear set of expectations. We have been struggling with accountability ever since