Saturday, November 13, 2010

Accountability & Bicycle Wheels

Note: This is a brief excerpt from a longer post I wrote a long while ago and never published. This idea has recently been brought back to mind, so I'm posting it, even though it's still largely undeveloped.

I think accountability in human interaction is a big deal. Think of it like truing a bicycle wheel: if you want to tighten one spoke, you need to loosen another. Over the life of a wheel, you have to keep tending it. The action proceeds in increments of give-and-take, fine-tuning, trial and error, and careful observation. You can't make an adjustment to one spoke without taking the other spokes into account, and each spoke bears its portion of the wheel's tension. This means spokes are accountable both to themselves and to those around them. It's what keeps the wheel running true.