Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Gospel of Matthew Essay

The Gospel of Matthew Essay

The Gospel of Matthew introduces Jesus (Joshua) as the Messiah (HaMashiah or Christ) and the savior of the world. Matthew gives details of Christ’s lineage establishing it back to King David and the Patriarch Abraham. Christ’s life is detailed from his birth to Mary, to his death on the Roman cross. All of the significant events surrounding the birth, life and death of Christ were recorded by Matthew. Some scholars, however, believe that Matthew was not completely responsible for the writings, yet, today it is known as his gospel.

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The Story of Matthew
One of the most important events in the bible was written by Levi Mattheus, also known as Matthew. The Sermon on the Mount by Jesus Christ was described by Matthew in detail as to what was said, who attended, and what was Christ’s message. Matthew, was not regarded as a great man by his Jewish counter parts in the Galilee region of Israel because he was a tax collector. This job was shunned by the populous because it was seen as a deed for someone collaborating with the occupying Roman force, and in turn enriching its coffers with money as well as supporting the despot king Herod. This was happening at the time of Rome’s occupation of Israel in the first century C.E. and the people resented this. It was not uncommon for the various groups within Israel set on liberating their country from the occupiers, to go after fellow Jews who were seen as friendly to the Romans. Hence, Matthew was seen by many as a collaborator and traitor to the Jewish people. It was then, that as Christ was walking by the tax collector’s office, he saw Matthew sitting and working inside. He called on Matthew to come with him, which he did. There, Matthew and others shared a meal with Christ, after which point Christ was asked why he is sitting together with sinners. He answered that it is the sick that need a doctor, not the healthy, and in a way, this came to symbolize Christ’s treatment of all peoples. Jews and Gentiles adhered to his teachings based on salvation and redemption. (Matthew)

Matthew’s Gospel puts emphasis on the “fulfillment of the promises of salvation to a particular people, Israel, and also the fulfillment of the universal promise of salvation to all the peoples of the earth.” (Arnold 7) What this symbolizes is that redemption and salvation are only possible if Christ is accepted as the Messiah for the Jewish people. At the time, there were conflicting opinions on Christ’s role in Judaism. The common people loved Christ because he played the role of a good man and a charismatic leader. His actions and words drew many from all corners of the country to see him perform miracles. The Cohenim establishment in Jerusalem felt threatened by him, as well as the Romans. He was a troublemaker for them, because he was about to turn the status quo on its head. His preaching called for fairness and equality, justice and the end to oppression, which made the authorities very uncomfortable. For the Romans, he was trouble because of his undermining their authority and in turn, their financial interests were becoming vulnerable. For the Cohenim, the high priests in Jerusalem, his claims to be the Messiah were becoming too loud and were threatening their positions as authority figures. The priests had one way of conducting business, and this was not to be interfered with. So when Christ began to preach everything that is contrary to the priests, they became uneasy about his presence. Unfortunately, the priests were not as convinced about him as the rest of the populous. The author’s assertion pertaining to the fulfillment of the promise of salvation was directly related to Matthew’s assertion in his gospel that Christ’s teachings come directly from the Jewish Torah. His teachings reaffirmed the Torah as the Holy Book for the Jewish people and Gentiles, he was just going by what it said.

The Sermon on the Mount was intended for all of Israel to hear. Christ’s goal was to have the people of Israel accept his teaching, and live their lives accordingly. He was known to be a great healer, which brought people from all over the country to see and hear him preach. The beginning of the sermon, The Setting, takes place on top of a mountain, where Jesus preached to the crowds of Jews waiting to hear his gospel. Matthew’s use of the mountain is explained as the historic use of mountains in Judaism to bring the message of G-d to the people of Israel. In a way, this sermon was there to challenge the Jews to accept the teachings of Christ which came to be a proper interpretation of the Torah. Christ felt that the hypocrites all around are not doing the work of G-d that is supposed to be done, and he elaborated on that. The way to live life and the ways that one should pray had all been misconstrued in Christ’s eyes in order to attain money, power and status. His reiteration that G-d, our father loves all the people of the earth no matter who or what they are, and they should love him back with recognition of his Kingdom in Heaven. (Matthew) Therefore, the life’s reward was to seek the words of G-d and act upon them, meaning do good deeds humbly in your current life, and when you reach Heaven, the Holy Father will reward your deeds.

Many centuries before Christ, Judaism allowed for missionary work on the part of spreading its gospel, yet by the time Christ’s message was heard by the people, it was not a common occurrence. The Gospel of Matthew changed all that by allowing for the words of Christ to be spread throughout the world to all of its peoples. This is one of the reasons why the gospel spread so quickly throughout the Middle-East and Eastern Africa. In the beginning, however, Christ commanded his twelve disciple to go amongst the lost souls of the Jews in Israel and spread his good word. He commanded them not to go to the gentiles or to the Samaritans, just to the Jews. They were told that there will be hardships ahead during their journey, but their words would not be theirs, but that of the Holy Father, therefore the villagers who accepted the gospel along the way would be saved and redeemed.

The message of Christ as described by Matthew was that of repentance and acceptance as Jesus being the Messiah for the world. The author emphasized salvation for the people as well as the spread of the gospel. This was a necessary step to move Christianity from a local Jewish sect, to a new and blossoming religion that would once rule a large portion of the earth. The only way to convince to populous to accept its teaching, the Gospel pointed out all of the negative things that were wrong in people’s lives, yet made it clear that the hypocrites who command them religiously and in civic matters were living as they wished. It offered the common man salvation in return for the acceptance of Christ as their leader. It preached being good to others and even turning the other cheek to them when the other was slapped. This was a new and radical concept, which did share some similarities with the Torah, but for the most part was in a league of its own. Hence, the Sermon on the Mount, and Christ’s sending his disciples to spread the word, were the building blocks from which Christianity arose to spread the faith to all the peoples of the earth and save them from sin.
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

System of Inquiry Essay

System of Inquiry Essay

Ethical conduct is of paramount importance, especially for an educational organization like EDMC. Having carefully reviewed its Code of Business Ethics and Conduct (hereinafter the Code of Conduct or the Code), I propose the following System of Inquiry for ensuring ethicality and integrity of EDMC employees’ behavior in all work-related situations. Firs of all, the questions with regard to why, how, when, and by whom it is used will be answered. Secondly, possible problems associated with its implementation as well as implications for organizational development will be discussed.

The Code of Conduct was developed in order to ensure compliance with relevant legal regulations as well as maintain “the highest moral, legal, ethical and financial reporting standards” (Code of Business Ethics and Conduct, 2007, p. 7). It was created with the broad goal of enhancing the welfare of all stakeholders dependent on the success of EMDC. The Code should contribute to the realization of EMDC values, such as excellence in education, culture of learning and collaborative decision-making, as well as it vision and mission, which is to meet employers’ needs through producing qualified graduates.

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At the same time, EMDC aims at profitable growth. At a first glance, pursuance of broad social agendas and emphasis on ethics is counterproductive, since competition in the business world is stiff and requires swift and determined action that sometimes has to be taken without regard for or even in spite of ethical considerations. However, experience has shown that “ethics and profits are not mutually exclusive in principle and in practice” (Cooke, 1991, p. 251). Moreover, Somers (2001) argues that “firms with codes of ethics might be more concerned with profitability than are firms without such codes” (p. 194).

Thus, there are good reasons why EDMC designates each of its employees as “a trustee of our reputation as a legally and ethically responsible member of the community in which we conduct our business” (Code of Business Ethics and Conduct, 2007, p. 21). Every EMDC manager and officer is seen as representing their company in all business situations. In such a case, ethical behavior of each individual employee becomes the foundation of the company’s public image.

EDMC has established a clear framework for resolving ethical issues. It has created Corporate Compliance Website and Hotline where employees can receive all the necessary information. Employees are encouraged to ask questions about the Code’s policies and procedures in order to understand the overall intent of the Code as well as specific policies. Corporate Human Resources Department oversees the Code’s implementation, with the assistance of Law Department and Internal Audit Department. All EMDC employees have to sign the appendix to the Code titled “Code of Business Ethics and Conduct Acknowledgement” where they ascertain that they have read and understood the document.

All employees of EMDC have to observe the Code in their daily interactions with internal and external stakeholders. In case a suspicion of violations of the Code exists, employees are encouraged to report such suspicions on the conditions of anonymity; any form of retaliation against such a person is not tolerated by EMDC.

One of the main features of an effective Code of Conduct is its applicability to all employees in all work-related situations, be it a receptionist or senior manager. Only in such a case the organization of work practices will be perceived as fair by everyone, and all workers will develop strong alignment with organization’s vision, mission and ethics. Somers (2001) observes that “the highest levels of commitment were observed in those organizations with codes of ethics” (p. 194). In order to ensure such commitment, EMDC specifies that the Code “applies equally to EDMC directors as well as employees at all levels” (Code of Business Ethics and Conduct, 2007, p. 7).

Problems of Implementation
Any change in any organization is likely to meet resistance. Even if in the long run a Code of Conduct turns out to be a development welcomed by everyone, a lot of work is required from senior management at the initial stages of its implementation. Senior management should first of all communicate the changes openly and effectively: in a situation like this, they “should meet with all managers and staff to explain reasons for the change, how it generally will be carried out and where others can go for additional information” (McNamara, 1999, “How is organization-wide change best carried out?”, para. 2). It is true that “communicating with employees during times of change -- and recognizing them as primary stakeholders -- is critical to an organization's success and survival” (Gillis, 2004, p. 30).

Secondly, senior managers should become leaders by example in implementing the Code of Conduct. They should refer to it in their decisions and actively apply it to the resolution of problems which arise. In other words, senior managers should “share their perspective and be open” (Haneberg, 2007, pt. 2). However, EMDC delegates the responsibility for implementing the Code to all employees if the company: all “officers and managers are responsible for communicating and implementing the policies contained in the Code within their specific areas of supervisory responsibility” (Code of Business Ethics and Conduct, 2007, p. 7).

Implications for Organizational Development
It is not counterintuitive to suggest that ethical organizations are more successful than those which have not elaborated on their own Code of Conduct, although this statement might be hard to support by empirical findings. Ethical organizations encounter lesser problems in the process of establishing lasting and productive relations with all concerned stakeholders, such as customers, suppliers, regulatory authorities, and local community. A certain uniformity of work practices allows external clients as well as employees themselves to expect the same approach to decision-making and problem-solving in different situations.

The term EMDC itself employs is “ethical risk”. As Cooke (1991) notes, “any firm that creates an internal environment that either discourages ethical behavior or encourages unethical behavior is at risk” (p. 251). Thus, ethical risk should be analyzed and handled in the same manner as other types of risks, the only difference being that firms have more control over their internal environment than external environment. Promoting observance of a codified set of ethical rules is the first step towards eliminating ethical risk, and a culture of honesty and accountability is conducive to organizational success.

Trevino, Butterfield and McCabe (1998) stress the importance of two factors that have potential to shape employees’ behaviors and attitudes: ethical climate and ethical culture. The notion of ethical culture has been briefly discussed above, while the concept of ethical climate merits further reflection. Cullen, Parboteeah and Victor (2003) suggest nine types of ethical climate organizations can have, along three axis of analysis (egoistic, benevolent and principled) and three loci of analysis (individual, local, and cosmopolitan): egoistic-individual climate (focus on self-interest), egoistic-local climate (focus on company interest), egoistic-cosmopolitan climate (focus on efficiency), benevolent-individual climate (focus on welfare of individuals), benevolent-local climate (focus on welfare of groups inside the organization), benevolent-cosmopolitan climate (focus on welfare of external stakeholders), principled-individual climate (focus on personal morals), principled-local climate (focus on organizational rules and regulations), and principled-cosmopolitan climate (focus on external laws and codes).

EMDC Code can be seen as a promoting combination of several typologies of ethical climate. On the one hand, the emphasis is on complying with legal regulations (principled-cosmopolitan type). Simultaneously, the mission of EMDC is to promote the welfare of all stakeholders it is dealing with (benevolent-cosmopolitan climate). Finally, EMDC recognizes that there are no universal answers to all ethical dilemmas, therefore it trusts its workers to act in an ethical fashion in accordance with their individual moral codes (principled-individual type). Despite the fact the Code of Conduct cannot be seen as establishing a particular type of climate at EMDC, it is still rather effective in promoting ethical and moral behavior and compliance.
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Friday, May 25, 2012

Essay on Teaching

Essay on Teaching

Teaching in a high-need school in New York poses some very serious challenges for educators. First of all, class sizes in such schools are usually much bigger than the city average. Therefore, the teacher might fail to allocate sufficient amount of time and attention to individual students. It is an absolute must to maintain strict class discipline to avoid disruptions of learning process which can happen frequently in large groups of adolescents. In order to do that, the teacher should be a visionary leader and command respect with his or her exceptional personal and professional qualities.

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A set of issues in a high-need school can be caused by the fact that students come from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, including underprivileged families. Problems driven by jealousy or hatred can extend far beyond the classroom.

Therefore, it is crucial to establish a relationship of trust between students and school staff – including teachers, counselors and administrators – so that teenagers would feel comfortable approaching them about problems that often plague neighborhoods where high-need schools are located. These problems include bullying, arms, small weapons and underage sex. Since teacher turnover rate in such schools is usually very high, students do not have time to establish such a relationship with their educators. Therefore, a teacher intent on working in a high-need school should be first of all committed to stay there for a time long enough to make a change. If school staff assists students in resolving their personal difficulties and interpersonal conflicts, dropout rate can be decreased, and an atmosphere more propitious to learning can be established.

Another barrier to effective teaching in high-need schools is inadequate supply of study materials. While schools in more well-off parts of the city are equipped with latest technology, students attending educational institutions in poorer districts might not be able to afford even the basic set of books and stationary. As a teacher, there are two possible ways to ameliorate the situation. First of all, school staff should try to attract sponsorship and charitable donations – in cash or inkind contributions – to provide adequate teaching materials to all students. Secondly, teachers should encourage sharing of study materials among students. The teacher can divide the class in small groups for working with a particular book or equipment on a rotating basis, so all students get to do a particular exercise even if there is not enough study materials for all.

The main message emanating from a teacher in a high-need school should be focused on the importance of education for future career and personal advancement. Frequently, education is the only means of breaking the circle of poverty many families find themselves in. A teacher in such a school should be psychologically prepared to handle a lot of adversity from the side of students and witness a lot of human misery. But this is what makes this job so honorable and personally fulfilling: helping students to make a radical change in their lives and pursue a better future is a great mission in life.
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Essay on Fraud

Essay on Fraud

As Overson (2009) informs, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners defines occupational fraud as “[t]he use of one’s occupation for personal enrichment through the deliberate misuse or misapplication of the employing organization’s resources or assets” (para. 2). Typical examples of employee fraud are asset misappropriation or fake statements of financial or non-financial nature. Employee abuse can be explained by drawing a parallel with misuse of office, which is defined as “using government property against its intended purpose, not necessarily for personal gain” (Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative, 2009, “Misuse of Office”). Following this logic, occupational abuse can be construed as using property of the employer in a way not authorized by him or her (or by chief executive/board of trustees in case of a corporation). In literature, there is a very weak differentiation of the two concepts.

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However, fraud necessarily involves deception, while abuse can occur without such element. A manager is always obliged to report occupational fraud, since fraud violates both the written and psychological contract between the worker and company. In some instances, it even violates the law. For example, in case of larceny or document forgery, a failure to report makes the manager an accomplice in this offence, which in turn might lead to administrative or even criminal responsibility for both the employee and manager. While reporting occupational fraud might lead to conflict and uncomfortable investigation, it is a must to inform relevant authorities – both within and beyond the organization – about such cases.

Overson, R. (2009). “Employee Occupational Fraud and Abuse: A Guide for Business Owners and Managers.” Retrieved November 21, 2009, from
Regional Anti-Corruption Initiative. (2009). “Glossary.” Retrieved November 21, 2009, from

The article (Wessling, 2008) discusses the underlying principles of evidence-based practice (EBP), its potential for bridging health disparities among diverse populations, and case studies of its effective implementation and application. Citing a number of high-profile nursing professors, the article tries to answer the question about what EBP essentially is and how it is different from other paradigms of care. EBP can be best defined as integration of relevant research data with the nurse’s clinical expertise and the patient’s needs and preferences. Perusing academic literature is an integral part of finding relevant research data, yet it can be a challenging task. The article suggests using the PICO framework for formulating a clinical question, where P stands for Patient, Population, Problem, I for Intervention, C for comparison, and O for Outcome.

After formulating the clinical question, the algorithm which should be followed starts with looking for the best research studies available, after which a quick critical appraisal of the findings should be made and evidence integrated with clinical expertise and the patient’s condition. Evaluating the outcome with a view to making changes to current practices is the final stage of this process. The article proceeds with examining how EBP can benefit minority patients. At present, most clinical studies are done on white males, which precludes their findings from being comprehensive. The article also offers several links to EBP resources and outlines several models of how EBP can be implemented, e.g. by sharing resources online or instituting a journal club.
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Self Awareness and Empathy Essay

Self-Awareness and Empathy Essay

Research in the field of empathy development establishes a parallel between processes of self-awareness and empathy formation. As a result, acquiring a better comprehension of the existing relationships between the latter processes is integral in understanding not only standard but also atypical development in the studied sphere. Consequently, this article re-examines “theoretical and empirical considerations of self and empathy development during infancy…in both normal and atypical development” and brings to attention “practical implications in the form of concrete developmental interventions” (p. 2).

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Earlier research, presenting interrelatedness between developments of the empathetic concern and the sense of self by infants during two first years of life, was used as the background information. Basing on the latter, the authors proposed unambiguous interventions, aimed at enhancing “self-concept and empathetic concern” formation processes of infants developing typically as well as children with autistic complications (p. 1).

The Interventions, presented by the authors, stressed the importance and noted the variety of activities to be conducted with infant participation and aiming at enhancement of self-development and “ability to relate to others in an empathic fashion” (p. 9). Additionally, active role of a care-giver (particularly in the case of the autistic infants), assisting the children in constructive discovery of the surrounding world through formulating of empathetic and “structured environment, one that promotes continuous learning and progress”, was noted (p. 9).

It is suggested that future continuation of the study, with both disabled and normal children, will contribute to the understanding of basic development and “empirically based interventions” to influence formation of infants’ healthy self-understanding and empathic capacities (p. 12).

It is commonly believed that increasing ability to relate to those around is a distinct and essential feature characterizing typical infant development. Unambiguous form of connection to others is empathy. The children in their early years undertake various expressions of the latter. Moreover, occurrence and the complexity of empathic reactions alter as the normally developing children become older. The notion, prevailing in the field, suggests a correlation and existence of a parallel between the formation of self-awareness and development of the empathetic responses. Furthermore, the latter occur as responses to distressful conditions. Various empirical explorations have confirmed the connection between the two development processes. Further comprehension of the relation between forming sense of the self and developing empathy, has an exceptionally important meaning not only a as a contribution to the cases of normal infant development, but also that of atypical development. Children born with the autistic syndrome tend to face “great difficulty in developing both physical and representational sense of self” and as well as lack of “empathic capacity” (p. 1). Consequently, a number of interventions, aiming at providing stronger incentive for development of the self-awareness and, parallel to it, empathic response as reaction to distress of others, are presented. Additionally, the latter are formulated as universal formulas, with application being possible for children developing on the normal pace as well as infants with autistic syndrome.
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Essay on Dolphins in the Navy

Essay on Dolphins in the Navy

Dolphins are marine mammals which inhabit mild and temperate seas worldwide (Britannica). They are known for their intelligence and unique method of communication, using sounds and ultrasonic pulses to associate with their kind. This system of echolocation makes them suitable to aid marines in the location of underwater mines (MMP website). The specific characteristics of dolphins and other marine animals has lead to the development of the Marine Mammal Program, which is a navy research, training and employment project for the use of mammals in the marine forces. As any other interaction which implies use of animals for human needs, the role of dolphins in the navy is a disputed issue with many viewpoints.

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The use of dolphins for military purposes was pioneered by engineer and physicist James Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald formulated the idea of using dolphins in warfare based on his knowledge of the mammals’ sonar. He went on to conduct research with the support of the CIA. Via his Morse code – like method of communication with the animals, he discovered that there was indeed reason to believe that they could be trained for naval use. Their intelligence, trainability, and swimming precision combined with their method of sonar communication would make them perfect helpers to the marine operations. As a result of the findings of the researcher, dolphins were already being used in 1965 (Holley, 2006).

Today the use of dolphins for naval purposes is a developed practice based on experience and scientific knowledge. The Marine Mammal Program has incorporated the use of a number of species; however its primary “helpers” are bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). This species is the one we think of when we hear the name dolphin. It possesses all the necessary characteristics required for training and use by the marines. Bottle nose dolphins are especially playful and inhabit the waters of Hawaii which makes them both accessible and easy to work with (Gardner).

The dolphins enrolled in the program are involved in protecting ports and assets from swimmer attack, finding and attaching recovery hardware to targets, and locating potentially dangerous sea mines. (MMP website) The sonar of dolphins helps to track objects in the water and is much more effective and useful than any other man-made sonar device. The animals are usually trained to perform specific tasks, dubbed systems, but may be taught to carry out various activities. Human trainers usually work alongside the dolphins and ensure that the tasks are being carried out effectively.

The use of marine mammals in navy operations has caused its share of controversy and raised a number of questions as to the humaneness of these practices. The first and foremost concern about the use of marine mammals is that they are in fact wild animals. In the website of the MMP dolphins and sea lions are compared to search dogs. Although this comparison may reflect the duties and usefulness of the animals, it misses a crucial point, dogs and dolphins are hardly of the same background. Many adversaries of the idea ask whether it is ethical to train wild animals for human purposes. Do we as humans have the right to take animals out of their natural habitat in order to convert them into tools for our advantage and if so what happens when a surplus of animals arises? Such a problem arose in the after the cold war, when were cutbacks to the program. A reintroduction program was too costly and the marines had to care for the redundant animals until their death. (PBS Frontline. The Story of Navy Dolphins)

Another ethical matter arising from the use of dolphins in the navy is their physical well-being. The mine tracking performed by bottle noses is not a threat, because the animals are not big enough to activate the devices, but the employment of animals in hazardous situations as well as the way in which they are trained are both sensitive issues. Although it is claimed that the training practices used when preparing dolphins for their duties are harmless, animal right protectionists are concerned about what goes on behind closed doors. There is no way of ensuring that no mistreatment of animals goes on during the training, which makes it difficult to support the practice without reservations. 

Physical harm which may come to the animals while fulfilling their duties is another potential danger. Dolphins may die or be injured during war time or in other dangerous situations. The mammals might be more efficient and effective in carrying out the tasks, but this is at the price of putting them in harm’s way. Whether the damage is caused by injury or release of the dolphins in an unsuitable environment, it is equally likely to occur.

In conclusion it may be said that the use of dolphins as help to the navy is a big step in the connection between animals and people. The established system works for the benefit of the marines and is meant to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the animals. Although the utility and efficiency of the marine mammals is undoubted there are many concerns when dealing with animal helpers, and especially with those of wild origin.
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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Essay on Intelligence

Genetic and Environmental Influences on Intelligence

For the purposes of this assignment, article titled “Malnutrition, Poverty and Intellectual Development” by Larry Brown, director of the Center on Hunger, Poverty and Nutrition Policy at Tufts University, and Ernesto Pollitt, professor of human development in the department of pediatrics at the School of Medicine at the University of California, was selected. The article presents research into environmental influences on intelligence and argues that their importance has been underestimated to date. During the previous decades, the link between poor cognitive development and malnutrition was recognized, yet inadequate diet was considered to cause permanent structural damage to the brain. Brown & Pollitt (1996) call this view “the main-effect model” and criticize it as simplistic. Adherents of this outdated view believe malnutrition can produce harmful irreversible effects on children’s brain during the first two years of their life, when the brain is being formed. The authors of the article refer to findings which demonstrate that nutrition can have impact on intelligence throughout entire childhood and that negative effects of poor diet in the first two years of life can be reversed.

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One way in which malnutrition can affect intelligence is through its influence on child’s energy levels and peer interactions. By virtue of being less mobile, undernourished children encounter a problem of reduced interaction with other people and with their surroundings. This may in turn affect their cognitive development in a negative way. This was first discovered by Levitsky and Barnes in the 1970s: having studied rodents, they found out that malnourished animals underperformed on tests of mental ability because, lacking energy, they withdrew from contact with their peers and objects in their environment. Furthermore, undernourished children tend to be coddled by their parents, which again prevents them from exploring their surroundings and coping with a variety of attendant learning challenges. Also, factors such as income, education and other aspects of the environment have an effect on children’s intelligence.

To provide empirical evidence for the fact that malnutrition has palpable effects on intelligence, the authors cite the results of a broad-scale eight-year study of children in Guatemala. Children were given two types of nutrition supplement, one with higher protein content, and reported significant health gains. In a follow-up study eleven years later effects of better nutrition on long-term intellectual development were measured. Children who were given nutrition supplements performed better than their peers on literacy, vocabulary and reading comprehension tests, general knowledge exams, arithmetic tests and nonverbal intelligence tests. However, education and economic status, operationalized as house quality, father’s occupation and mother’s education, were discovered to have a moderating effect on the relationship between nutrition and intelligence.

While the article does not call into question the existence of genetic factors influencing intelligence, its main thesis is that environmental factors affect cognitive development in more ways than thought previously. This discovery has numerous practical implications: from nutrition programs in developing countries to initiatives aimed at supporting achievement among underprivileged children in developed countries, many policies are based on recognition that environment plays an important role in intellectual development.
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Essay on the Desert

Essay on the Desert

Revealing the Truth: The Desert as the New Frontier of Environmentalist Art

1 Introduction
Since ancient times, art has been a tool for conveying messages to society. Whether the artist’s intentions are ideological, political, theological, or of other nature, art can contribute not only to raise awareness, but also to affect people’s opinions on the matter (although not as a predominant mechanism). When it comes to rather overt topics such as desert ecology (comparing to other environmental issues such as air pollution), the artist is even more significant, because the artwork is among the very few channels, which can arise any kind of public awareness.

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Sustainability is a hard concept to grasp. Modern sustainable communities are scarce, and their lifestyle is too different from urban communities to provide any kind of role model for the major bulk of the population. Artworks can help to close this gap, not merely through documenting such lives, but more importantly by indicating how sustainable living might look and feel like. Thus, similarly to writers and cinematographers, artists can provide view on the future, and use aesthetic elements to convey ideas and influence the public.

This paper focuses on the work of Richard Lerman, a celebrated sound artist and art scholar, who emphasizes issues of sustainability in his themes as well as in his unique materials. Moreover, Lerman’s work is evaluated here in the context of the current exhibition at the ASU Art Museum, (“Nowhere to Hide: Three Artists in the Desert”; October 2009 – February 2010). Throughout the following two sections, this paper will first analyze the artist’s contribution, and later develops it into the boarder context of the exhibition and its importance to the construct of environmentalism.

2 Richard Lerman as a Unique Environmentalist and Artist
Richard Lerman’s work is considered by many as rather unconventional, even in the framework of the sound art milieu. Contrary to the usual meaning of environmentalist art, which tend to focus in recent years mainly on ecology and preservation, Lerman is also interested in prospects and changes of the urban audio environment. In addition, a major bulk of his work takes place in the wilds, mostly in the Arizona desert, where he uses “inexpensive (under $1) microphones out of piezoelectric discs” to record sounds of e.g. rain, grass and ants, which create “immediate, shocking, intensified and brilliant” (Rothenberg and Ulvaeus 243) pieces of sound art. By respecting both the natural and the artificial world, and by creating art in highly sustainable means, Lerman opens new spaces in the triangle of man, nature and art.

In his 2009 work Hoover: Water | Power (water, audio and video recordings, plant matter, electronics public domain imagery and other mixed media), which is currently presented in the exhibition mentioned above, Lerman provides a multidimensional outlook on the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. The dam, which was opened in 1936 and is one of the best known examples for Roosevelt’s New Deal, serves humans in more than a few ways: Employment during the Great Depression, hydroelectric resource for more than 25 million residents and a ‘water Bank’ for several states (from the exhibition). The installation combines both visual and auditory element, all joined together to form a meaningful experience (and hence a powerful mechanism of raising awareness) of the importance and the diversity of implications of the dam and the true meaning of the contemporary drought in the region.

3 The Exhibition and the Environmental Construct
From an environmentalist point of view, the exhibition tries to address several problems in the construct of art and environmentalist activism:

First, the immense public discussion on environmental issues has indeed reached the critical mass needed to initiate change at the policy-making level. However, at the personal level, the conventional media may create a sense of saturation, hence turning environmental messages to white noise. Similarly to photographers such as Julie Anand (whose works are also presented in the exhibition) and Peter Jordan, Lerman deals with facts and figures, whose magnitudes are so great, that they may fail to gain attention due to the phenomena ‘rule of big numbers.’

Second, deserts are not traditionally seen a major domains of environmental activism. In fact, deserts are often perceived as unattractive pieces of landscape, which are also wide enough to serve as a dumpster, both symbolically and liberally. Nowhere to Hide suggests an antithesis for this misconception, arguing that since the desert is an important source of life (e.g. water) and modernity (e.g. electricity), droughts that are partially man-induced and other man-made impairment to this fragile environment may have severe direct and adverse implications to large US populations.

4 Conclusion
Roosevelt’s vision of the desert and its inhabitants as a significant layer of the land with unique contribution to sustainable seems is usually concealed in the artistic discussion of the environment. The exhibition’s title and exhibits may suggest several meanings. ‘Nowhere to hide’ may be associated with the sinister image of the desert; however, the exhibition excels by suggesting more meaning to this phrase, such as the notion the desert is not a place to hide our trash, or that we cannot hide from the implications of a damaged desert in Arizona.

Notwithstanding the thematic significance of the exhibition and the role of Lerman’s unique approach, the exhibition’s extent of influence may be somewhat questionable. That is, in the light of the public’s current saturation from environmental messages, the works seem to focus more on the cognitive sphere and seldom penetrate emotional barriers. In this context, Lerman and his two co-presenters arguably tend to position themselves as documenters rather than original critiques. This notion, which mainly stems from the artists’ focus on state of their objects rather than on the latter’s implications (e.g. by focusing on the falling water quantities instead of the resulting shortages in water supply), may be considered as a the most apparent flaw of the exhibition. However, this drawback is rather minor compared to the overall positive effect of the exhibition, which helps to uncover a major component of Arizona’s ecology and provides stimuli other artist (as well as art fans) to continue developing the construct.
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Alegent Health Essay

Alegent Health Essay

This paper will discuss employee retention practices at Alegent Health. Suffering from high turnover and low levels of employee satisfaction, the organization decided to pay more attention to its Human Resource practices. The first step was the establishment of the Employee Retention Task Force. Not all firms to date have a dedicated function that works on the issues which affect employee retention. Putting this problem in focus allowed Alegent Health to reduce absenteeism, turnover and the number of unfilled position. This led to winning several important awards for Human Resource excellent and probably significantly affected the organization’s bottom line in a positive way.

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Thus, Alegent Health learned the hard way that it is very important that employees are offered effective training and advancement opportunities. Low levels of commitment and psychological alignment with the goals of a company can be devastating for any business. Turnover is one of the most serious Human Resource challenges companies have to grapple with. Investing into training of employees and spending significant time and effort to communicate organizational policies and values to them is a waste of valuable organizational resources if such employees spend only several months at the company. Furthermore, information leakages can occur when employees leave the company. Although high turnover rates are perceived as inevitable in healthcare sector, lowering them to below 10 per cent was a great achievement that must have enhanced Alegent’s competitive position. Now that the organization recognizes that its employees are its main asset, more avenues for success are open.

Training and development as well as possibilities for career advancement became a successful tool for both retaining and attracting competent specialists at Alegent. Availability of training opportunities is one of the voting issues for employees choosing their future place of work, together with career growth prospects. Therefore, Alegent’s broad-based approach to nursing retention was effective. The tandem and mentoring system, coupled with a learning program for high performers, evidenced a comprehensive approach to tackling the issue of nursing turnover. Furthermore, it helped enhance the overall effectiveness of the workforce as nurses gained more expertise through formal education sponsored by Alegent as well as through on-the-job learning.

Mentoring relationships have proven to be a very useful HR tool. This is a widely used method of preparing employees for assuming responsibility: more experienced employees (preferably in a decision-making position and with outstanding leadership qualities) are paired with less experienced workers in a tandem system in order to transfer knowledge and experience. Working side by side with another employee and observing the working process on a daily basis, with all the attendant difficulties and unavoidable blunders, employee will comprehend the message that they should not be afraid of making mistakes or voicing an opinion different from those of senior colleagues. In this atmosphere, employees will be more ready to accept responsibility for their own performance and overall performance of the organization. Greater responsibility and participation in decision making can, in turn, increase employees’ commitment to the job.

Given that less experienced employees treat more experienced colleagues with respect and reverence, and senior employees are offering help and advice to novices, this model can yield impressive benefits. Apart from that, training is reported to dramatically increase labor productivity.

Furthermore, if training programs are designed as a form performance appraisal, they can help to achieve two goals with one measure. At Alegent, best employees were offered a chance to complete a nursing degree at the company’s expense; taking into account that nursing education is very expensive, this step was timely and necessary. Recipients of this privilege as a form of recognition of his/her achievements serve as role models for others. At the same time, Alegent offered free training opportunities for all employees, so that nurses who wanted to become high-flyers and receive education or advance to management positions could do that by showing their individual initiative and willingness to learn. Retention programs can only be successful if rewards are competitive and tied to performance: during the current financial crisis, it was discovered that if rewards are not clearly tied to performance, they are not only unfair but also ineffective.

Therefore, it is possible to conclude that Alegent discovered that if retention, training and development of employees are largely neglected by managers, it can decrease the level of satisfaction with the job and, in extreme cases, result in employees’ leaving the company. The host of measures implemented by Alegent increased employee satisfaction, dramatically decreased turnover, and ensured better skills and greater committed among staff. Recruitment, development and retention of talented workforce are the key to success in the contemporary marketplace.
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Essay on Deborah Tannen

Essay on Deborah Tannen

In Deborah Tannen's "Fighting for Our Lives", she states that it seems we are creating a "warlike atmosphere" in everyday life and I believe it is true. She is able to convince readers of the brutality of an argumentative society by showing unnecessary attacks and criticism against certain people. Dr. Robert Gallo, who "codiscovered the AIDS virus" is used as her example. Gallo was accused of "stealing" the AIDS virus from another scientist and was put through four years of hell. He was investigated and attacked by the media, while he could've been devoting more time to research; scorned while he should've been praised.

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Tannen also convinces readers by incorporating facts and reasons to back her argument. For example, Tannen brings up the fact that everyday life is plagued by military metaphors. The words battle, fight, struggle, and war are commonly used in everyday speech when two things are being compared. She states that "almost any human encounter can be framed as a fight between two opponents." (p. 16). To further illustrate that saying, she provides excerpts from two articles titled "Showdown At Lincoln Center" and "And In This Corner..." which are about jazz musicians and theater, respectively.

Tannen is also very convincing as she talks about the adversarial nature of the society manifesting itself in the media. She uses herself as an example in this section, telling of her experience with other journalists and producers who only wished to criticize and insult her work. "Why do you need to make others wrong for you to be right?" she asks. People want so badly to prove they're correct, that they will severely misconstrue others positions. Although her religion makes her seem a little biased, Tannen speaks strongly to the readers and offers sturdy arguments.
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dead Men Essay

Dead Men Essay

Dead Men Do Tell Tales, is a fascinating candid approach to the very morbidly mysterious world of crime scene forensics investigation. "From a skeleton, a skull, a mere fragment of burnt thigh bone, Dr. William Maples can deduce the age, gender, and ethnicity of a murder victim, the manner in which the person was dispatched, and ultimately the identity of the killer." (Forward)

The title of the first chapter sums up the ensuing pages with the quote, "Every day is Halloween" and quickly makes you a believer of that statement while unveiling your eyes to the underworld of crime. From insurance fraud to the false anthropological findings of the early 1920's, back to a young boys infatuation with Bonnie Parker, Dr. Maples introduces you to a side of forensics that is exciting and even sexy in a very strange way. He frames us up with a story that would almost seem like the movie Twister, with young scientists racing around the countryside chasing down crime scenes and evidence, instead of tornados.

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If there was a nieve bone in your body, I'm sure that he has collected it by the time you've reached the second chapter. Stories of professionals who fall down in front of moving vehicles and such, set to "bring you face to face with some of the most vivid, brilliant, highly plausible fictions ever spun by human ingenuity." One might almost be compelled to call everyone, as the Swahili phrase goes, "shenzi."

Today, Dr. Maples studies the highest profiled cases around the entire nation and operates labs that are tighter than Fort Knox, whiling technologies that might only seem fit for science fiction. I was extremely impressed to read about his archaeological expeditions to Rifft Valley in the foot steps of the late great Leakeys. That gave me a better sense of the authors over all experience, and a greater respect and perspective for the field of Forensic Anthropology. In his description of the working environment, I get a sense that there is a real concern to preserve evidence from tampering which raises questions about a jurisdictions "organized crime" rates where there is fully functional forensic crime labs that access new technologies at their disposal?

I found it interesting that a bears claw is so similar to a humans hand, but even more interestingly he describes the difference between a fracture to a living skull trauma and a break after the fact, such as when a passing animal steps on a dry bone, in that the living bone creates a hinged beveled effect that reveals the direction of motion to the blow where as the other is more of a cracking or shattering of brittled substance. Either way he is more the man than I, to beat a baboon who has its teeth sunken into his arm and not change professions.

As the reader, I almost have an epiphany of my own, as I have never heard a biblical passage quoted in reference to crime as is with the use of Ezekial where God brings a vision to the profit about the re-emergence of a dead people (nation). Only here they are brought to life by pragmatic scientists. In this, I find hope, that no crime is unsolvable, and that every case can be brought back to life through justice as God would have intended and by diligence is succeeded.

Maples puts a few old myths to rest about nails and hair that grow after death, is nothing more than receding skin shifting. I thought it was utterly disgusting when he described the body bag that broke in the trunk of his wifes car, leaking the gooey remains of a find, yet he won't give a skeleton a humorous name.

In the fourth chapter, the ensuing earth, I found it very enlightening that certain burial conditions can preserve a body so well, such as the ten year old infant in the suit case that was almost perfectly intact, with soft tissue still preserved. There was also a very interesting table of decomposition of open air, to water, to ground burial and I did not know that maggots are used to date a body and are birthed within 24 hours of death on a time clock almost. They do not hatch under ground beyond 2 feet, therefore, in cases where the body id dug up containing maggots they can determine how long the body was dead before burial.

I think the end is summed up quite well, as Dr. Maples ponders all that he has achieved and why, with the biblical quote, "sufficient unto the day is evil thereof." That it is quite tragic that this field has found such an abundant need, as by supply and demand, that neither he nor his students shall go without work is evident. I think that most of the accounts in this book support my enduring stance for the death penalty and wish that more people could get this picture of the grizzly realities of those select few, that walk among us, who are purely evil and a constant liability.
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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

My Life Essay

My Life Essay

Different people pick out their occupations based on different things. Though, there are some standard criteria a person usually figures out who he/she wants to be on. Some people choose a professional path in life due to the desire of their parents or some other external influence. Some people choose the profession according to the monetary remuneration it may bring in the future. Sadly, very few people base their choice of occupation purely on the actual desire of connection their lives with some particular career. With me it was different. Actually I never wondered who to become, this desire was just always inside me. From early years I just knew that I wanted to connect my life with medicine.

In my short essay I would like to tell you my life story and provide you with the reasons why I have always wanted to become a nurse. I really hope that my personal story will prove my sincere desire to enroll in the FIU program. 

My name is Elyam Munoz I was born in Cuba on November twenty-forth, nineteen eighty-nine. My childhood was rather happy and cloudless. I was a normal, happy child like everybody else…though not like everybody else. When I was eleven my beloved father set out to the United States of America in search of fortune. It was a great emotional and nervous shock for me. Maybe it was as early as at that time, when being so upset, I realized that in my future life I wanted to help those who are upset emotionally and unhealthy physically. Though, at that time, being so young, I was very far from fulfilling my plan and I went on living a life of a regular teenager.

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Of course, my family and I tried to come to the United States and join with my father repeatedly. Though, as ill lack would have it, none of our attempts worked out. Thus, for the next fifteen years I stayed in Cuba building my idea of the perfect occupation that was – helping people to get better. After graduating from High School, of course, my choice was to enter the Instituto de Ciencias Medicas – Medical University situated in Havana.

Six years later I graduated from the University and in August of year nineteen-ninety-two I was a newly-fledged ambitious doctor. I was very excited to finally get my diploma, moreover I was thrilled to start helping people. Though, that year was marked for me not only by receiving ht university diploma. That was the same year I got married to my dear husband and got pregnant with my first child that was born next year.

Subsequent to working as a doctor for the next couple of years in nineteen-ninety-five I came to the United States of America and rejoined with my father. Now, that my family was complete again I decided to move on with my professional goals and desires. When working as a doctor in small clinics I, over and over again, realized that working with patients was the only thing I really loved to do for work. Yes, working in a hospital included working long and often unsocial hours, and a pay level that was rather deprecating in comparison with many other jobs. Moreover, sometimes it included being abused and insulted by those that I aimed so hard to serve. Though, it all did not matter, because I was determined to continue what I have always wanted to do.

At some point of my medical carrier I realized that I wanted to do something more than being simply a doctor. I wanted to achieve something higher that would make it possible for me to influence positively the life of simple employees in the medicine field. For this purpose I tried to enter the Medicine Board in year nineteen-ninety-seven, however I did not succeed and had to face my failure.

Being a very determined and goal oriented person I was not put down by not being accepted to the Medical Board. On the contrary – I decided to channel my energy in a bit different direction. I decided to make a special studying course to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Four years later I graduated from the courses and started to work at the Home Health Agencies.

I was overwhelmed by innovating ideas and some months upon graduation I was able to start my own business. This enterprise was a centre for an outpatient rehabilitation therapy. My business was successful, because I employed people who were dedicated to making people happier the way I have always been. Thus, we worked together in order to achieve our common goal and under these circumstances success was inevitable.

Being occupied with my business I did not stop thinking about acquiring more knowledge in field of medicine. Thus, when couple of year ago I found out about the Foreign Physicians Nursing Program in the FIU I set my heart on applying for it. My path in the filed of medicine was long and I have tried myself in several branches. Though, making one more course to become a real nurse was very exciting for me. I am really eager to enter the Physicians Nursing Program in the FIU and I really hope that upon graduating this program I would be able to do much more for people that I am able right now.

Many of my friends wonder why I choose to be a nurse. They think that this profession is not only not profitable but is simply thankless. According to them, even after being helped, most of the people do not appreciate what had been done to them. I listen to people who say such things with a smile because I know that they are not on the right. I know that I and many other people, who decide to become nurses, care about the fellow man or woman. Inside us all there is a desire to do something with our lives, which could improve the lives of others. We simply cannot do anything with it, and frankly speaking I am not willing to change it. Thus, now becoming a Register Nurse and later becoming a Nurse Practitioner are the top goals on the “To-Do” list for me.
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Life in Exile Essay

Life in Exile Essay

The life in exile inevitably evokes a lot of problems an individual should face. However, often people are unprepared for numerous difficulties they may face, while being in exile that makes their life absolutely unbearable. In this respect, it is important to underline that people are forced to live in exile and if they are exiled they are forced to abandon their native country against their will. At this point, it is possible to draw a lot of examples when people were exiled because of political or religious reasons from such countries as Afghanistan, Iran or Iraq. At the same time, the exile of an individual is accompanied by the dramatic change of his or her socio-cultural environment. In such a way, the exile becomes a turning point in the life of an individual which changes absolutely his or her life since an individual is forced to start a new life in a new environment. In such a situation, many exiled people are unable to adapt to new environment and suffer from significant psychological problems, including depression. On the other hand, it is possible to argue that exile is not absolutely negative since it can offer new opportunities for an individual. What is meant here is the fact that an individual can start an absolutely new life in a new country. Therefore, exile, being a very controversial issue, can have both positive and negative effects on an individual. On the one hand, the exile violates basic human rights of an individual and leads to serious psychological as well as socioeconomic problems, while, on the other hand, it can enrich his or her cultural and social experience.

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On analyzing the problem of exile, it is important to focus on causes of exile in order to better understand its outcomes and effects on an individual’s psychological state and his or her social position. As a rule, an individual is exiled because of various causes but the essential element of the exile is the fact that an individual is forced to leave his or her country or certain region where he or she used to live. In such a context, the pretext of exile may be even less significant than the exile itself. Nevertheless, the actual cause of the exile may affect the life of an individual dramatically. For instance, the cause of exile may be the political activity of an individual or his religious beliefs, which are different from those of the dominant political or religious force in the country. As a result, the ruling regime attempts to get rid of an individual, who disagrees with the dominant ideology or policy. In this respect, it is possible to refer to the example of Afghanistan under the Taliban rule, when many people were forced to emigrate from the country because of the difference in their religious views or because of their political position. In such a situation, an individual standing on a democratic ground and defending his position actively was likely to be either eliminated physically, though imprisonment or murder, or exiled. The latter measure was applied to individuals who had a considerable public support and imprisonment or murder of such people could provoke riots within the community. This is why, the ruling regime preferred to exile such people. At the same time, many people escaped from the country in order to avoid imprisonment or death and this was also a sort of exile for them because they moved to another country and they were forced to do so because of their beliefs and personal position or disagreement with the ruling regime.

Obviously, the exile is a very convenient tool for an undemocratic regime, but this measure produces a dramatic impact on the life of a person. In fact, as a person is exiled because of his political or religious beliefs, he attempts to move to another country or region where his beliefs and ideas will not be oppressed. In this regard, western countries, such as the US, are often viewed as a kind of the Promised Land because the well-developed democracy provides all people with equal rights and, what is more important, civil rights and liberties are really protected in these countries. In such a context, the exile, if it results in the migration of an individual from a country with a authoritarian regime to a democratic country, such as the US, may be viewed as quite a positive advancement in the life of an individual.

At first glance, such an exile provides an individual with larger opportunities to defend his views and beliefs. The life in exile should become practically ideal when the individual’s civil rights and liberties are not oppressed and if such oppression was the major cause of exile. It seems as if the exile turns to be realization of dreams of such an individual about the life in a truly democratic society. However, the actual life in exile is not as perfect as that. In stark contrast, the life in exile and the fact of exile itself should be viewed as a huge cultural shock above all. This is actually why people cannot bear the life in exile.

At this point, the causes of exile are still very important because the person, being expelled from his own country, cannot achieve his goals which actually led him to the exile and which became the major reasons for exile. For instance, an individual, who has different political beliefs, can face a risk of being exiled from an undemocratic country, such as Afghanistan under the Taliban rule. At the same time, the person is exiled only when his political opposition affects consistently the position of the ruling regime. For instance, the organization of political meetings or the development of public movements and any other socially significant activity which stirs the society or even local community is dangerous for the ruling regime. On the other hand, this activity is extremely significant for an individual because through such a protest he can convey his position to his countrymen and through the organization of public opposition he can potentially change the general situation in the country or even overthrow the ruling regime.

However, the exile deprives an individual of such opportunities. Moreover, the life in exile makes him unable to conduct any social or political activity which can influence his countrymen consistently and, therefore, being in the exile, an individual cannot change the situation in his native country at all. In such a way, an individual becomes totally isolated from his native country and his socio-cultural environment. Such isolation is particularly difficult for people who used to be active opponents of the ruling regime.

At the same time, it is necessary to remember about socio-cultural aspects of the exile. As it has been already mentioned above, the exile leads to the socio-cultural isolation. This means that an individual who starts his life in exile is not prepared for such a life. In other words, he is taken from his native socio-cultural environment and put into a new one, which may be totally different from his native environment. For instance, the exile of an individual from Afghanistan to the US will inevitably lead to the tremendous cultural shock caused by the enormous gap between traditional Afghani culture and traditional American culture. Even if an individual is exiled because of his political views and beliefs, it does not necessarily mean that he will feel comfortable in a new country such as the US. To put it more precisely, the change of socio-cultural environment inevitably raises the problem of the integration in the life of the new society in which an individual is forced to live. At this point, major difficulties arise because an exiled individual does not have social and cultural experience of the life in a different environment. Instead, he got used to live in a specific socio-cultural environment and the basic norms and standards he got used to are not observed in a new socio-cultural environment. For instance, in an individual is exiled from Afghanistan and moves to the US, he will definitely feel uncomfortable because of the dramatic difference of Afghani and American culture, since Afghani rigid, conservative, Islamic culture is absolutely different from American one, which is traditionally quite a liberal culture.

At the same time, difficulties may be provoked by possible communication gap for many people who are exiled have poor language competence. Therefore, they can hardly communicate with other people in a new country when they are exiled. In fact, the language competence may be one of the major factors that define the life of an individual in exile because it is the major tool with the help of which an individual can find his own place in the new community. The situation is particularly difficult if there are no other people belonging to the same ethnic and cultural background that an exiled individual. As a result, an individual turns in a complete isolation from the outer world because there is no community he can associate himself with and he cannot communicate normally with other people because of poor language competence. The situation is deteriorated dramatically by his inability to maintain contacts with his native country, while in some cases the exile means the separation of an individual and his family. Obviously, in such a context, the life in exile is terrible and all the problems which have just mentioned above can lead to a profound psychological crisis and depression. As the matter of fact, the life exile often becomes purposeless if an individual fails to start a new life in a new country through the integration in the new community.

On the other hand, it is necessary to underline the fact that the life in exile is not totally negative and it may have some positive effects. First of all, the exile means the change of the environment but this change should not be viewed in a negative context since it brings an individual in a different environment. The new environment may be indifferent to an individual but it will be not as hostile as the environment from which he escaped or was forced to move from. Obviously, a political immigrant, for instance, is likely to feel more comfortable in a democratic country such as the US, where he can support any political force he likes, instead of the political repressions in an undemocratic country, such as Afghanistan under the Taliban rule, for instance. Consequently, an individual will live in exile in a more convenient environment compared to the one he used to live in. At any rate, he will not face a problem of political repressions.

Furthermore, the life in exile and in a different socio-cultural, political and economic environment provides an individual with a valuable experience which he could have hardly acquire in his native country. What is meant here is the fact that, while living in exile in a well-developed democratic country, an individual can learn basic principles of life of the civil, democratic society. This experience may be very important in his further life because the exile can end one day and an individual may have a chance to return to his native country. In relation to people exiled because of their political beliefs and ideas, the experience acquired in developed countries can help consistently make a successful political career after the end of exile and return to their native country. At the same time, an individual acquires important socio-cultural experience which is also very significant for him because it broadens his views consistently. The acquaintance with a different culture enriches the spiritual world of an individual. As a result, he can combine his traditional moral values and cultural norms with new ones. This can help an individual become more tolerant in relation to representatives of other ethnic groups and cultures as well as the cultural difference can help an individual better understand his own uniqueness and find his cultural identity.

Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that the life in exile is very difficult because it is inevitably accompanied by numerous problems and difficulties an individual will need to overcome, especially at the beginning of the life in exile. In this respect, the cultural shock, the separation of an individual form his native country, the inability to maintain contacts with his countrymen or even relatives, the lack of opportunities to participate in the social life of his native community are probably the most serious challenges an individual can face during his life in exile. In fact, an individual has to start a new life in exile. On the other hand, it is necessary to remember about certain benefits of the life in exile. Obviously, the life in exile is more secure for an individual because it deprives him of numerous threats he could have faced in his native country. In addition, the life in exile brings an important social and cultural experience for an individual lives in a different environment and he can learn a different lifestyle that naturally enriches his internal world. At the same time, he can use this experience in his further life and, what is more, he can extrapolate this experience on the life in his native country on the condition that he returns there someday. In such a way, the life in exile is highly controversial and it can have both positive and negative effects. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the life in exile is a serious test for an individual and it is up to the individual either to pass this test and succeed or fail.
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Essay on Positive Behavior

Essay on Positive Behavior

It has been proven that negative behavior patterns such as hostility have direct and indirect effects on health. The question is whether the same applies to positive behavior patterns. After surveying relevant literature, it is possible to say that positive behavior patterns and health are also closely linked. Friendliness instead of aggression and peace instead of hostility result in avoiding health problems associated with negative behaviors and also contribute to mental and physical health.

First of all, positive behaviors are linked with positive mental states and emotions. A study (Danner, Snowdon, & Friesen, 2001) has reveled that positive emotions are strongly correlated with better health and longer longevity. Engaging in positive behavior might be one of the ‘ways positive emotions might be tapped to prevent and treat anxiety and depression and thereby optimize health and well-being’ (Fredrickson, 2000, p. 16).

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Additionally, it has been argued that the repertoire of negative behaviors is limited, while engaging in positive behaviors broadens a person’s outlook by broadening the space between though and action. A study of married couples (Gottman, 1998) has found out that couples, in which spouses demonstrate negative behaviors towards each other, have a fixed and predicable repertoire of actions, while those couples that are characterized by positive behaviors patterns of spouses have a wider range of options. Thus, positive behaviors have an indirect impact on heath, since they broaden a person’s outlook and contribute to healthy personality development. It is believed that exploring new opportunities and engaging in new activities enhances brain development.

Extensive evidence wit regard to the connection between positive behaviors and health can be drawn from the studies of the influence of religion on health. While the direct causal link between religion and health is questionable on many grounds, most religions promote positive behaviors and are based on such values as humbleness, diligence, non-resistance, and love of one’s neighbor. It should hardly elicit surprise that ‘religious involvement is associated both cross-sectionally and prospectively with better physical health, better mental health, and longer survival’ (George, Ellison & Larson, 2002, p. 190).

A study (Ferraro & Albrecht-Jensen, 1999) has discovered that ‘people who pray and participate more actively in their religions have better health’ (p. 199). While religious practice itself cannot be evaluated as an example of positive behavior from an objective point of view, it is very likely to be associated with such positive behavior patterns as community involvement and charity.

Moreover, positive behaviors help people to develop and sustain extensive social relationships. These relationships serve as a source of emotional support during crises and inner conflicts; as a result, crises and conflicts are solved easier. People who exhibit negative behavior patterns, such as hostility and aggression, are more likely to face social isolation. Absence of social support ‘may lead individuals to engage in risky health behaviours, such as substance abuse, overeating, and high risk sex, as a coping mechanism to regulate negative emotion’ (Mayne, 1999, p. 601).

In fact, mental health practitioners have developed a guideline for positive behaviors that ought to be followed to avoid mental health problems. They developed the 320-item Pleasant Events Schedule (MacPhillamy & Lewinsohn, 1982; in Fredrickson, 2000) that includes a comprehensive list of activities people should engage in if they are desirous of avoiding mental health problems such as depression. Some of the activities in the list are social interactions, spending time in nature, engaging in creative activities, and being physically active. There is a growing body of literature arguing that invoking amusement and laughter combats stress and illness (Cousins, 1985; Fry, 1994; Kuiper & Martin, 1998; Stone, Neale, Cox, & Napoli, 1994; in Fredrickson, 2000). There is mounting evidence ‘for beneficial effects of humor and laughter on immunity, pain tolerance, blood pressure, longevity, and illness symptoms’ (Martin, 2002).

Therefore, it is possible to conclude that positive behavior patterns affect health in a positive way, both directly and indirectly.
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