I feel honored to represent people who buck the system, whistleblowers, victims of illegal retaliation, etc. It takes a lot of courage to buck the system. We are social animals. People act differently in groups than they act when alone. We all want to fit in. But, sometimes we can't, or decide that we won't. Whistleblowers can appear to be misfits, because it is hard for people who really want to fit in to buck the power, the social or employment situation in which he or she finds him or herself.
In my experience in representing the people who have the courage to buck the system, my clients have to endure more than rejection from their former group. It seems that it is human nature to vilify the person who has the courage to differ. My clients suffer from the humiliation of lies and rumors spread about them. For instance, I have represented women in sexual harassment cases where the employer claims they engaged in sex at work, that they "asked for it," that they were the real harassers. In my own life, I have been part of an organization where those in power wrongfully accused my friends of trying to wrest power and overtake the organization to justify their treatment of those who differed with the ones in power. These situations were lies, but the people perpetrating the lies wanted them to be true, to justify their actions. Lies get spread this way.
Group dynamics are illustrate strange phenomena in human behavior. Being the descendant of Jewish German refugees from Nazi Germany, I have always been interested in group dynamics. How can a leader, an employer, the cool kids in high school, get others to engage in behavior as a group that would appall them if they had rationally engaged in such behavior individually? We so want to belong, that humans are capable of doing horrible things if the group sanctions them. That is what happened in Nazi Germany, in Rwanda, in the Spanish Inquisition. I wonder what I would have done if I were in the majority in one of these situations. I hope that I would have the courage to fight the status quo. Most people do not. If we had not had people like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, where would we be as a society?
Here's to those who have the courage to do what is unpopular, to buck the leaders, to speak the truth. We need people with such courage. I am proud that I have the honor to represent some of the people who show this great courage. I hope that, if tested, I could count myself as one among them.