Learning Accountability from Mountains – Hilary Oliver
In this short article, Hilary Oliver, a seasoned climber, reflects on taking responsibility for your own actions.
An hour before dawn Hilary is racing down the highway to reach her friend who she’d told she would pick up for an alpine climb. Already knowing it was inevitable that she would be late, Hilary tries to come up with various excuses to shift the blame away from her. We spend a lot of energy pointing blame at others to explain our own weaknesses. This statement is again proven when Hilary makes a sloppy ascent up the face of a cliff. Her mind wants to blame the rock, or the chains, or the fact that it was cloudy for her mediocre performance, but ultimately she realises that she is in control of her body, and that “Mountains don’t accept excuses and don’t care who you blame.” Egos can get prevent us accepting responsibility for our mistakes, but climbing lets Hilary counteract this influence. The less energy we spend pointing fingers, the more we have to go in the direction we want to go.
I really enjoyed reading this article, especially the last statement that “The less energy we spend pointing fingers, the more we have to go in the direction we want to go.” I agree that it’s very commonplace for people to shift blame over to others, especially when there’s pride or an ego on the line. I think that people can really get carried away by wanting to never make any mistakes and not have any shortcomings, and shifting blame is a way people think they can accomplish that. I’m definitely guilty of blaming others/things when things don’t go as I want. The classic “It was the wind!” in soccer springs to mind. J If there’s one thing to take away from this article, it’s that it’s better to be honest with yourself and with people around you about your mistakes.
Oliver, Hilary. "Essay: Learning Accountability From Mountains." adventure journal. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2014. <http://www.adventure-journal.com/2014/09/essay-learning-accountability-from-mountains/>