Watchdogs are those who work to make sure government officials follow the law and make
good on their promises to all citizens whom they represent. Given the need for our society
to provide a more level playing field, the watchdog role is the most important function of
the citizen as a Genuine Do-Gooder. However, it takes a special person who has the right
combination of traits and character. To be a powerful watchdog, you should be a mixture
- A blood hound sniffing for corruption,
- A retriever keeping eyes and ears on the public interest
- A terrier digging out the facts with excruciating persistence
- A sheepdog organizing people to fight for their rights and a better society
- A rotweiler barking vigorously when danger is suspected
These breeds all have stamina and are accustomed to hard work. Shaping government
actions is not simply whining about laws or venting to whomever will listen. You need to
attend government meetings, read newspaper articles about the issue and talk with your
representatives and other government officials. Genuine Do-Gooders educate themselves
first, and then attempt to talk to those in power to shape legislation and government
decisions. It is a long arduous process.
Watchdogs also must have a strong self-image because they are constantly under attack.
Those in power do not like to be criticized; so they call watchdogs nay Sayers. The
criticism becomes more intense and personal as the watchdog begins sniffing up the right
trail. The attacks will escalate to allegations of being crazy, power hungry and even
corrupt in behind-the-scene whisper campaigns.
For these reasons, time spent as a citizen watchdog is a very highly valued activity of
the Genuine Do-Gooder.