Friday, September 07, 2007

Know the "Agenda" of Your" Proxy Representation"

The representation of people through professionals whose whole career is based on the knowledge of a certain subject or field is sometimes absolutely necessary, but that doesn't mean you (the one being represented) is required to passively accept everything your representative or "expert" says and/or does. Quite the contrary, if you can speak for yourself, then you should do so, but if you must seek representation, you should speak up as well because no one knows "you" as well as you.

After reading Gore After Gore in Vanity Fair Magazine, it occurred to me that letting someone else represent or stand or act in place of you, as a substitute, proxy, or agent is a very risky enterprise considering everyone has a personal and professional "agenda." Not only that, the representative’s organized plan for matters to be attended, or things to be done on your behalf, may be based on one or a combination of many different reasons that range from selflessness, empathy, compassion, love, altruism, idealism to ambition, greed or the desire to gain financially, anger, hatred, revenge, sexual and the list goes on indefinitely, but usually falls under one or many of the categories I mentioned above. The scariest part of "agenda" is that the person serving as a representative may not be conscious that his "agenda" exists, or cognizant that it is completely at odds with the "agenda" he is aware of.

Journalism and law are perfect examples of professions that demand a certain level of objectivity.

Take for example an attorney who works for a firm. Above and beyond all else, he must zealously represent his or her client to the best of his ability, defending the rule of law our Justice system has established and he must also be mindful of the deficiencies in the administration of justice concerning the ability to afford legal representation. This attorney must also establish a career and a reputation amongst the judges and his or her peers that he will be associating with now and in the future. And then of course, there is one's personal "agenda"...conscious or subconscious, one's personal "agenda" is not supposed to play a part in representing his client, but it most certainly does for better or worse.

The problem is that many "professionals" do not admit to having a bias or that their view is somewhat limited depending on the prism of popular culture, personal experience and significant others have had on influencing the construction of their reality and belief system. Therefore, it's best that the person "representing" is as aware as he can be of his personal bias and acknowledge it so that he can recognize when it starts to interfere with his duties.

Unfortunately, many "professionals" do not admit to or are not aware of their personal bias. It's up to "us" as consumers, clients, citizens to know the person representing "us" is indeed human, and that his past, present and what he hopes for the future all will affect the quality of his representation or in a journalist's case, reporting.

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