30 Apr 2012

Essay Topic: Self-Concept Seen Through the Eyes of Philosophers

Throughout the history, human beings have struggled to find a satisfactory answer to the question of identity. Some of the prehistoric philosophers made a clear distinction between body and the soul and they were known as dualists, while others considered a human body to be the active as well as passive construct in itself. The modern philosophy has been concerned more about the role of consciousness as it makes the identity of self. It is believed that a self without consciousness is nothing but a floating existence that does not have an ability to sense anything and build perception. Self that can build perception is the one that can be taken into consideration. Self-concept refers to the capability of a self to perceive its own existence through different domains like gender, sex, society, environment and race. Self-concept is not an easily comprehensible phenomenon because it differs from self-awareness in a sense that it discovers the characteristics of self through a multidimensional analysis.

Self-concept refers to phenomenon that has a broader scope for the analysis of an individual. It is more like self-assessment but is not confined to the physical characteristics of the self. According to Jopling (2000), “When applied to the question “Who am I?” the intellectualist approach would hold that it is both rational and self-evidently desirable for persons to maximize their self-awareness and their self-knowledge, with a view to rendering the self, and the conditions under which the self develops and flourishes, as transparent as possible”, (p. 59). Self-concept deals not with the temporary state of existence but it is more concerned with universal judgment of one’s capabilities.

The statement “I am bored” exemplifies the temporary state of a self because this state lasts only for a few moments of time, while the statement “I am punctual” refers to a permanent state of self. Self-concept refers to the self-assessment, self-discovery and the esteem of the concerned existence and it may change with time because of a number of factors. A negative trend in self-assessment may lead to an identity crisis as the self finds its capacities to be diminishing with time.

Erik Erikson, a famous Freudian psychoanalyst, suggests that there are eight stages of development that may shape the identity of an individual (Sharkey, 1997). It is important to be noted here that he believes that it is the childhood years that are vital to an individual’s development as the stimulus, during those years, will eventually help him in the process of self-actualization. According to him, it is the very first year of birth that helps a child to build trust in the world and that is the first phase, where the self struggles to recognize its own existence. Erikson is of the belief that an individual seeks independence at the age of 3 years and that is where the teachers can determine the level to which an individual is independent to act. If a child does not experience independence in that particular time then it develops mixed feelings of shame and doubt. An individual that has experienced this kind of treatment in childhood is going to be dependent on others as he grows up (Sharkey, 1997).

The age between 3 to 6 years is an important one to deal with because in that stage the child develops an internal stimulus to take initiatives. The one, who is ignored by his guardians in this stage, is going to suffer from a mixed feeling of anger and sadness. If the child, at this stage, is not encouraged by parents then he is going to develop an aggressive behavior. An individual, who develops this kind of feelings, can later on become a sadist and may start discouraging others (Boeree, 2006). Just because he was not given a chance to rise up, he seizes to believe that others are to be given a chance in their lifetime. The feelings like “I can’t do it” may disturb the individual psychologically.

The fourth stage of development at the age of 5 to 12, according to Erikson, determines the level of self-confidence that is to be achieved by the child. In this age, a child is ready to take up challenges and has developed sense of time and space that he lives in. It is the time, when a child is eager to develop his capabilities by getting involved in productive activities. The interaction with other individuals helps him in developing moral values that are in harmony with the society. If a child is teased or discouraged at this time then he is likely to develop a sense of inferiority, which may prove detrimental in the later stages of development because he loses confidence. The next stage of development occurs from the age of 13 to 19 years. This is where the real crisis of identity starts to emerge as the individual seeks a purpose of his existence (Boeree, 2006).

Some individuals may find themselves in the trap because of getting confused about their role in life. This confusion eventually leads to an isolated behavior as the individual experiences a continuous struggle to recognize his real role. The sixth stage of development is an emotional one because it brings confusing questions for an individual. An individual might feel afraid of getting rejected by his friends and parents and might end up in isolation. In this stage, an individual may struggle to find love for him and end up in believing that he is not loved by anyone. The sixth stage of development is the one that happens to mature individuals. An individual, in this stage of development, is more concerned about health, married life, leisure, aged parents and his own children. A person in this stage of life follows a status quo to earn a specious life for his family (Sharkey, 1997).

The eighth stage is the one that happens to an individual, who is about to die. It is where an individual seeks accountability from himself. This is where the recognition of life is made possible. Some may look into their past and feel comfortable about the way they lived, while others might feel miserable about their lives and become sad. By explaining the 8 stages of development, Erikson believes that the perception about self is formed through a set of influential stimuli that are received by an individual through societal interaction. He takes an account of two kinds of feelings that an individual may experience throughout his lifetime; one might develop a sense of success, while the other one may highlight the failures. These feelings would easily make a person or break him because they help in forming negative and positive perception about self. They really help a person in the pathway to self-discovery.

Abraham Maslow, a famous psychologist, proposed theories about motivation. His work is concerned with the factors that may help a person to solve identity crisis. Maslow believes that self-actualization is the real discovery of one’s self. He links self-actualization with the fulfillment of psychological, self-esteem and safety needs. He is of the belief that self-actualization can only be attained if a person’s needs are fulfilled. Maslow is concerned with the individuality of a person because he believes that the external environment has a negligible impact over the self as the integrity, unity and consciousness are internal capacities (Sivers, 2008). It is the external environment that brings distress and restlessness to an individual because it won’t let an individual do what he is best at.

Maslow is of the belief that a person should not let the external stimulus overpower him because it is the inner-self that provides the clues about how exactly one should act. The external stimulus brings discontent with it because it is quite different than the choices that are made by an individual. Maslow deems it important for an individual to realize his self-worth before taking guidance from an influential external stimulus. Self can only emerge if an individual provides it the way to do so (Sivers, 2008). Self-actualization is all about discovering the principles of nature that are inculcated in your moral system.

Self-actualization starts when an individual recognizes the difference between what he wants to do and what he ought to do. If he chooses to be honest then he is taking up the responsibility, which, according to Maslow, is self-actualization. People that listen to others would end up doing nothing because no one is there to help you out in difficult situations because of their selfish capacity. An individual that listens to his inner voice is the one that discovers his self (Sivers, 2008).

According to Maslow, you do not need to be concerned about what others think of what you do. The way you act can become unpopular and you may be criticized for doing it your way but it is all about how you carry yourself in that situation. You do not have to worry about how insignificant your act may look but the real worth of your act can only be realized, when you do it yourself. It is important to recognize the good and the bad so that you can act accordingly (Sivers, 2008). Finding what you are and what you are not may help you disocver your true self. This way, you can also discover the things that may be essential to consider before grooming yourself.

Maslow argues that acceptance is the key to a successful self-discovery. You need to be the one, who accepts his surroundings the way they are because it helps in cherishing relationship with nature and people. Maslow believes that human beings can discover themselves by relying heavily on their inner impulses that may help them in choosing the realistic way. The inner-self must be autonomous to make decision. For Maslow, transcending is better than coping (Sivers, 2008).

Karen Horney, a renewable thinker, would support Maslow’s theory because she believed that the drive, to identify self, originates from one’s inner self. Self-identity, for Horney, is the struggle to identify the potential of one’s own self. She believes that self-discovery helps an individual to recognize the purpose of life. Horney divides self into two parts; real and ideal self. Real self pertains to the person who you actually are, whereas the ideal self is an imaginary existence that a person wants to imitate. She presents ideal self to be the role model for an individual because it is an imaginary reflection of what a person wants to become (Solomon, 2006). Horney, like Maslow, thinks that being honest is the first step in the process of self-actualization because it helps in realizing the true potential of self. Horney believes that change is inevitable and a person needs not to be resistant to change because it makes you the person that you want to be (Dewey, 2007).

Harry Stack Sullivan, a notable psychiatrist, would develop six stages of development that, according to him, would systematically shape the behavior of an individual. Sullivan believes that people discover themselves as a component of external environment because they form their perception through the feedback that they receive from people in their surroundings. Sullivan believes that people have a “good me” and “bad me” philosophy of self, which is formed through a positive and negative feedback respectively. An individual distinguishes himself from others by affiliating the notion of “I and you” with the society. Self-system is built in a way that an individual draws security measures to handle any situation that may pop up (Nursing theories, 2011).

The negative feedback from the society develops an egoistic self. Individuals tend to show aggressiveness because of being ridiculed by the society. According to Sullivan, an individual may create self-defense techniques to avoid conflict with other individuals. The security measures may be taken by his self-system in order to avoid anxiety and frustration. The “I and you” concept dominates the thought process of these individuals and may create situations, where the individual finds himself to be the only fighter in the battle against the “bad world” (Nursing theories, 2011). Sullivan’s concept of self is similar to that of Maslow because he thinks that individual forms a perception about himself by interacting with the members of the society.

Karl Jung, an imminent psychologist, believes that self is much more than what we think of it. According to Ewen (2003), “Carl Jung At first a supporter of psychoanalysis, then broke with Freud to establish his own theory. Believed that the unconscious is extremely important but disagreed with Freud in many respects: Human nature is both good and bad. There are important instincts in addition to sexuality and aggressiveness (including individuation, the forerunner of the humanistic concept of self-actualization)”, (p. 1). He believes that culture has something to do with who we are because it makes up the identity of individuals.

Jung was of the belief that self is something more than ego and it should be analyzed through a broader perspective. It is not what we think it is. Self is what it really should be. There is some power that makes the self what it is. According to Huskinson (2004), “It is generally thought that Jung primarily developed his concept of the Self primarily from his own concept of the ‘transcendent function’, and from Eastern Mysticism, which frequently refers to notions of totality”, (p. 56).

Religion, according to Jung, is the binding factor because it gives meaning to all that you experience. Jung believes that the ones that suffer from neurosis are those that do not believe in religion. Jung put an emphasis over the fact that it is the true self of an individual that is important to be explored. The self, according to Jung, has infinite opportunities to explore in this world and it should not be confined with the domains that physique is acquainted with (Creative personal growth, 2006).

In the concluding lines it can be said that most of the philosophers consider self to be a product of societal stimulus. Many think that we are what we think we should be. The notion, that self is a product of experience, would suppress the stance of Maslow and Horney, who believe that self-actualization is what constructs the dimensions of self, while Carl Jung puts an emphasis over the fact that it is the religion that makes the true self. Whatever could be said, the ambiguity about the question of identity continues to prevail.

References

Ewen, R B. (2003), An Introduction to Theories of Personality, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ

Jopling, D A. (2000), Self-Knowledge and the Self, Routledge, New York

Huskinson, L. (2004), Nietzsche and Jung: The Whole Self in the Union of Opposites, Brunner-Routledge, New York

Solomon, I. (2006), Karen Horney and Character Disorder, Springer, New York

Boeree, G. (2006), Erik Erikson, retrieved on Apr 12, 2012, from http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/erikson.html

Sharkey, W. (1997), Erik Erikson, retrieved on Apr 12, 2012, from http://www.muskingum.edu/~psych/psycweb/history/erikson.htm

Dewey, R. (2007), Karen Horney and Self Analysis, retrieved on Apr 12, 2012, from http://www.intropsych.com/ch13_therapies/karen_horney_and_self-analysis.html

Sivers, D. (2008), Maslow’s 8 ways to self-actualize, retrieved on Apr 12, 2012, from http://sivers.org/maslow

Creative personal growth, 2006, Carl Jung and his ideas on self, retrieved on Apr 12, 2012, from http://www.creative-personal-growth.com/carl-jung.html

Nursing theories, (2011), Sullivan’s interpersonal theory, retrieved on Apr 12, 2012, from http://nursingplanet.com/theory/Sullivan’s_interpersonal_theory_of_personality.html

20 Dec 2011

Essay Topic: Apple Inc

Introduction

Apple Inc is a leading American corporation that manufactures computer software and consumer electronics. The company is credited for designing products such as the Macintosh range of computers, the iPad, iPhone, and the iPod. Computer software made by this company range from the iLife, the safari web browser, the iOS, and the iTunes among others. The company is currently operating over 350 stores in various countries around the world alongside an online store that offers both software and hardware. In this year, Apple Inc was ranked as the largest company in the globe with regard to market capitalization (Seitz 5). It is equally a company with the largest market in the world with regard to both revenue and profit generation. The company was founded in 1976 and later incorporated the following year. Before the year 2007, this company was known as Apple Computer Inc. The shift to the current name reflects the ongoing innovation in its range of products and market diversification. By September last year, this company had nearly 50,000 employees on full term basis. Apparently the company has a very established reputation in the electronics industry. The shares of this company are traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange market.

History

Apple was founded by the late Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak in the year 1976.  The company was later incorporated the following year (Young and Simon 35). From 1976 to 1980, the company concentrated on the production and sale of the Apple I and Apple II computers. With the introduction of computer designers in the late 70s, the company adopted the Apple III computers. The later was geared at enhancing a competitive advantage over both Microsoft and IBM. With the incorporation of Xerox PARC in 1979, the company launched the development of Apple Lisa. This company later went public and generated the highest capital in history following the IPO. Between the year 1981 and 1985, the company faced a battle of choices between products with regard to the Macintosh and the Lisa. Later in 1983, the Apple Lisa was given priority over the Macintosh and thus became the first personal computer traded by the company (Reder 185- 209). Though the Lisa had the graphical user interface, its marketability was limited by its high pricing. The sale of the Macintosh was launched in 1984 but its marketability was equally limited by high pricing. The company later shift to the Laser writer which traded well at a customer friendly price.

Having survived several struggles, the company launched the Macintosh Portable in its range of products in the year 1989. Later in 1991, the company launched the powerbook and system 7. The later upgraded the operating system and subsequently increased revenue generation for the company. With the success offered by the introduction of the Macintosh, the company launched the Centris to compete with other consumer software on the market. The later did not amount into any profits for the company following consumer dissatisfaction. The company later plunged in to the design of alternative products from 1991(Reder 185- 209).

In order to create a better computing platform, the company partnered with both Motorola and IBM in the year 1994. During the same year, the company launched the power Macintosh.  Apple Inc returned to profitability in the period between 1988 to 2005 following market diversification (Wong 23). The company also managed to acquire several properties and companies during this time. Later in 2006, the company began manufacturing Intel based computers which subsequently increased its profitability. The introduction of the iPhone, the iPod, and the iPad in the period between 2007 and 2011 has subsequently increased the market share and profitability for the company. The company is currently headed by Tim Cook following the retirement and subsequent death of Steve Jobs.

Market

Apple is a company based on consumer goods and competes with various other consumer goods companies. However, to foster a competitive advantage over its rivals, the company runs a unique advertising strategy for its products (Ahrens 34). Having established a unique reputation in the range of its products, the company enjoys a very large customer base around the entire globe. Apple Inc has diversified its market and range of products to increase its profits and market share. Among its highest traded products is the iPod which enjoys global recognition.

Global Business Development Strategies

With the lead role in innovation and research in the technology industry, the company led the globe with the introduction of the iPod. This made Apple Inc a major market stakeholder in music players. The company later plunged into the phone industry in the year 2007 with the introduction of the iPhone (Brigham 58). The company has greatly revolutionalized both the music, phone and computer industry by signing major companies into its services and products (Merrion 2). Among its main strategies in global business is the diversification into innovative products that are considered difficult to launch and operate by its rivals. The differentiation in its products allows it to command a relatively high market price. The company has equally vested a lot of its resources in research and innovation.

Conclusion

Apple Inc is a leading multination corporation in the technology industry. Though the company faces stiff competition from IBM, HP, and Dell, its business strategies have always put it on top. The company is currently enjoying an added competitive advantage in the technology industry following the successful plunge in to both the music and phone industry.

Works Cited

Ahrens, Frank. “Apple Set to Open in Japan First Retail Store Outside United States.” America‘s Intelligence Wire 27 Nov. 2003: 34.

Brigham, Daves. Intermediate financial management. Mason, Ohio: Thompson South- Western. 2007. Print.

Merrion, Paul. “Inventor of Music Player Takes a Bite Out of Apple.” Crain’s Chicag  Business 28 Nov. 2005: 2.

Reder, Margo. Case Study of Apple, Inc. for Business Law Students: How Apple’sBusiness Model Controls Digital Content Through Legal and Technological Means.” Journal of Legal Studies Education 26 (2009): 85-209.

Seitz, Patrick. “Apple Sees Healthy “iPod Economy.” Investor’s Business Daily 5 Dec. 2005:  A5.

Wong, May. “Apple Sets Pace in Consumer Electronics.” America‘s Intelligence Wire 15  Dec. 2005: 23.

Young, Jeffrey and William Simon. iCon Steve Jobs: The Greatest Second Act in the Histor  of Business. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. 2005. Print.

Essay Topic: My Socially Constructed Self

The emerging direction of modern social theory is possibly nowhere more apparent than in the interest it lavishes upon the nature of the self, identity of the self and individual prejudice (Eliot, 2001).  In his most well-know work named The Structure of Social Action (Parsons, 2010); he described the ‘voluntaristic theory of action’.  According to this theory, any kind of social action entails decision-making by individuals that pays attention upon completion of the objective and is guarded by thoughts and situations (Parsons, 2010).  A player can either be an individual or a group.

Instrumental Actual Self: “How does an individual carryout himself/herself to influence other people for obtaining either positive or negative response”?  This is an influential actual self as the character traits of an individual normally serve as instruments which eventually would direct the response from other people.  An individual can be understood well through the actions and through the interaction with the society (Elizabeth, 2005).  “The physical characteristics of a person are purely hereditary, but the psychological characteristics of a person are partly hereditary and partly conditioned by the environment.  According to psychologists, personality is a dynamic concept that describes growth and development of a person’s psyche (Frederiksen, 1982) ((ICMR), 2003).”  Personal characteristics or personality in short will help to garner attention from others and also helps in self introspection with the help of the feedback obtained from others.

Expectant Actual Self:  The question derived from this component of self construction is, “What characteristics do one have that would enable him/her to have an expectation of positive experiences with others”?  The feedback provides numerous useful insights on personal or individual expectation particularly after an explicit conduct, act, or behavior.  It is basically an assessment tool that would enable an individual to constantly evaluate and monitor the social progress in life (Anderson, 2000).  For instance, an individual’s participation in activities like sports would enable the individual in evaluating various behavioral characteristics like shyness, outwardness, competitiveness, selflessness, and ability to work under pressure.  Through expectant actual self, individuals can get to know better about their attitudes, competencies, and preferences thus making well-versed and suitable decision about a number of issues in life (Baum, 2011).

Similarly, the environment that an individual is exposed to also plays a very significant role in shaping individual personality.  “Environmental factors include the culture of the society in which an individual is brought up, the norms set by the parents, teachers and other social groups with which the individual interacts, and other situations and experiences he undergoes in his life ((ICMR), 2003).”

Monitored Actual Self: This component of self triggers the characters that an individual portrays related to the individual goals that are aimed to be attained in life.  It has a co-relationship with the actual self monitoring (Baum, 2011).  Through this lens, individuals receive information regarding the steps that are to be taken for pursuing goals and ambition in life.

In The Social System (Parsons, 1991), Talcott Parson measures pattern variables as being extremely broad in the potential orientations an individual can encompass in a given circumstance.  These pattern variables form the core qualities of social interactions which eventually replicate a definite set of options for an individual’s point of reference and patterns of communications.  The following are the five basic pattern variables as defined by Parsons:

(1) Self vs. Collective Interest, (2) Universalism vs. Particularism, (3) Achievement vs. Ascription, (4) Specificity vs. Diffuseness, & (5) Affectivity vs. Affective Neutrality (Parsons, 1991).

Moreover, the pattern variables listed above, according to Parson, can be clustered on the basis of their significance to the individual’s assessment orientation or motivational course in a particular social system.  He suggested the universalism-particularism and achievement-ascription pattern variables are strongly associated to value orientation when compared to the other variables that he defined.  On the contrary, specificity-diffuseness and affectivity-affective neutrality are very strongly associated to individual’s motivational orientation.

The pattern variable self-collective is rooted within the value and motivational orientation patterns and can, consequently, be looked upon as an impartial or a holistic pattern variable.  The blend of the pattern variables and the assessment of potential interrelationships amid variables can present the foundation for a widespread assessment of any form of social interaction (Parsons, June 1956).

Social stratification gains relevance at this point.  Social Stratification, in view of structural-functionalism, can be defined as “The differential ranking of human individuals who compose a given social system and their treatment as superior and inferior relative to one another in certain socially significant respects (Parsons, 1991).”  A few sociological theorists state that society is a stable and orderly system which has interrelated elements which eventually serve a specific function.  According to Anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, culture helps the people of the society to satisfy their biological needs and integrative needs like religion and art.  As already mentioned above, societies in which people share a common language and core value system are more likely to live in accord and agreement (Cherry, 2010).

The functional essential of integration is of particular concern with reference to law as it involves the common adjustments, the interrelations, of the aforementioned subsystems as specific concerns to their offerings to the resourceful operation of the overall society (Tumin, 1953).  Integration seeks to preserve stability and to evade instability and, in the worst-case scenario, collapse.  Societal community and its functional essential of inner integration are perceived as the one that the legal system most candidly serves in a society (Parsons, 1991).  Morality is based on delineated consequences to a few definite choices whereby some may be categorized as immoral, evil, and unlawful.  According to the social conflict theory, compliance is attained when individuals connect to the society through the various elements (R.J. Alston, 1995).  However, it is very important to note that, any kind of social action involves decision-making by the members of the society which in turn pays attention upon achievement of an objective and is defended by opinions and circumstances (Parsons, 2010).

Experience: Experience is another predominant element that plays a larger role in determining the course of an individual’s life and also as a family.  For instance ambition of an individual is not something that is decided instantaneously but rather it is a long in-built issue that was conceived after watching psychologists at work.  An inherent component of the past experiences of individual is the result that would be obtained after psychologist counselors helped restore broken families, drug addicts and helped those whose fate hate had been sealed as hopeless and impossible to rehabilitate.  Through personal experience, individuals tend to build their own self-esteem along with good values and appreciate others thus enabling me the individual to fit in perfectly in the wider society (Quick, 2011).

Among the various other elements that play vital roles in shaping up and individual, Culture has an equally important role.  Culture, according to sociologists, forms the central ingredient of human behavior.  In all societies, people try to either control their environment, live in agreement with it or are acquiescent to whatever happens in their environment (Mullins, 2005).  Their culture and beliefs may strengthen their compliance in respect to their environment.  All these cultural elements can, certainly change with time, as people are exposed to a variety of ways of dealing with their environment (Bégin, 2006).  Culture steers the mind and influences the ways people observe issues, act politically, prioritize decisions, manage their lives and essentially on ways they think about a particular issue.  It is not appropriate to separate self-awareness and cultural awareness.  Individuals need to go beyond the meaning of culture itself in order to have a better awareness of how culture influences our personal lives.  Culture can be thought of as an evolutionary process that has been established, accepted, and internalized over a period of time, by a majority of members of the society.

References List

(ICMR) ICFAI Center for Management Research, 2003. Introduction ot Organizational Behaviour [Book]. ICFAI Center for Management Research (ICMR):  – Hyderabad.

Anderson Donn R. Character Education: Who is Responsible, – 2000. [Journal] // Journal of Instructional Psychology (Vol: 27, No: 3). . – pp. 139-142.

Baum J. Contrada & A. , 2011.  The handbook of stress science: biology, psychology, and health [Book]. – Springer Pub: NY . p. 24.

Bégin Diane Sarah Organizational Culture Counts, January 10, 2006. [Article] // Practice Knowledge Center. pp. 1-4.

Cherry Kendra Social Learning Theory – An Overview of Bandura’s Social Learning Theory- 2010. – [Online] // About.com.  December 16, 2010. – http://psychology.about.com/od/developmentalpsychology/a/sociallearning.htm.

Eliot Anthony Concepts of the Self, 2001. [Book]. Cambirdge: UK.

Elizabeth Donald C. Reitzes & Mutran J. Self-Concept as the Organization of Roles, Importance, Centrality and Balance- 2005. [Journal] // The Sociological Quarterly. pp. 647-667.

Frederiksen Lee W. Handbook of Organizational Behavioural Management, 1982. [Book]. Interscience – Wiley: New York .

Mullins Laurie J. Management & Organizational Behavior, 2005. [Book].  McGraw Hill: New Jersey.

Parsons Talcott Suggestions for a Sociological Approach to the Theory of Organizations- June 1956.I [Journal] // Administrative Science Quarterly (Vol: 1, No. 1). pp. 63-85.

Parsons Talcott The Social System , 1991. [Book].  Routledge: London.

Parsons Talcott The Structure of Social Action; A Study in Social Theory with Special Reference to a Group of Recent European Writers, 2010. [Book]. General Books LLC: Tennesse.

Quick Debra L. Nelson and James Campbell Organizational Behavior: Science, The Real World, and You (7th Ed) , 2011. [Book]. – Boston, South-Western College Pub: Massachusetts, United States.

R.J. Alston R. Harley, & K. Lenhof Hirschi’s Social Conflict Theory: A sociological Perspective, 1995. [Journal]. – [s.l.] : Journal of Rehabilitation – 4 : Vol. 67.

Tumin Melvin M. Some Principles of Stratification: A Critical Analysis- 1953. [Journal] // American Sociological ReviewVol. 18, No. 4.  pp. pp. 387-394.

11 Dec 2011

Essay Topic: Coverage for Obesity


Exploring Better Ways on How to Respond to Problems of Obesity in the Modern Society

Introduction

Obesity is the state of a person being overweight with excess body fat. This medical condition among many individuals has specifically caused several problems to many individuals especially living in the urban areas. Most often than not, these problems included lower life expectancy, diabetes, heart ailments and other medication conditions that alarmed the attention of medical experts who are trying to find out more about obesity, its causes, its effects and possible ways of treating it (Dollman, et al, 2005, 892). While some other types of obesity are caused by genetic and endocrine disorders, majority of the type of obesity that is rampantly growing in the society today is that of the common aspect of being caused by excessive energy-rich food intake and lack of physical activity.

With modern technology most often than not giving the best path of living to modern individuals, there is a less requirement for one to move. Take for example the existence of television. An average person living in the urban areas has been observed to have been spending at least six to eight hours each day (Schmidt, et al, 2007, 487). This could either be a continuous practice or a staggered one; nevertheless, eight hours of sitting in a couch is still eight hours. That precious accumulation of time that has not been used in any particular physical activity has already slowed-down the body’s utilization of energy. Another report notes that many among those who follow such practice even embrace another practice that is also considered unhealthy and that is eating junk foods while watching television for hours. Up to at least 45% of the current rates pertaining to individuals suffering from obesity has been noted to follow the said lifestyle (Dollman, et al, 2005, 896); assuming like as if television and junk food are tandems that cannot be separated.

Other causes of obesity, as supported through academic surveys include that of the occurrence of too much leisure among human individuals living in the urban areas. The fact that transportation has provided a lot easier process of travelling to most people; it has also become a matter of concern for those who are obese and are currently facing the need to adjust their lifestyle, but cannot do so because of the fact that there are “better options” to living in a modern place like the city. All the activities mentioned herein are noted to have a specific impact on people developing cases of being obese. This is the reason why in the discussion that follows, exploring possibilities on how to manage obesity through the new found procedures of medication in par with that of the implicative relation of the matter on the need to follow the basic ways of living shall be better defined herein.

Different Ways of Dealing with Obesity

There are two primary ways of dealing with obesity. One is that of the modern process while the other entails for a more traditional approach. The first approach is dependent on the new innovative ways of finding out how obesity occurs and pairing it up with the most considerable procedures of dealing with the matter through in-house exercise and medication. Most often than not, the cases that are submitted for this course of development and improvement entails for the close monitoring of a mentor who is expected to serve as a motivational manager to the patient or client being served. Some approaches even include therapeutic approaches that are sure to give attention to the specific health needs and status of the patients. Most often than not, these therapies last for weeks to a month or so with an indicative recording process that entails for the progress report of the patient in a then-to-now comparison process. Medication usually is included in the therapies especially concerning special medical conditions of the patients being dealt with.

The other procedure that is currently given attention to is the traditional way of dealing with obesity. Usually termed as “going to the basics”, clients or patients are asked to undergo a self-check procedure which would entail on their willingness to change their lifestyle. The changes that they are to make need not be based upon the new ways of beating up themselves to lose weight. Instead, it shall involve a relative condition on adjusting their regular ways of living. This could involve their daily activities such as going to work, school or simply involving an adjustment on their regular recreational activities as well as an adjustment on their most comprehensive points interests, specifically involving their food choices. Patients who are to be involved in this course of development are to be assessed with regards their psychological conditions as well. As for example, if a person who is obese is specifically experiencing depression, then dealing with the depression is an important part of the treatment and lifestyle adjustment that the client should be addressed with. The basic beauty of the traditional approach to treating obesity is the fact that it does not need to enforce pressure on the client being helped. Instead, it simply motivates one to follow the basic pattern of living without the need to incur specific programs that are dedicated towards a fully recorded progress report (Schmidt, et al, 2007, 489). In this regard, it is very important that the individual has his own attention focused on the matter hence living him with a good essence of solving the actual problems he is dealing with. This approach shall provide the client a self-imposed achievement that does not only deal with actual problem of obesity but also that of the course from which the occurrence of depression is resolved (Dollman, et al, 2005, 892).

Conclusion

Most often than not, experts on health and psychological issues confer to the need of differing both the medical and the traditional way of dealing with obesity. Notably, it could be observed that somehow, those who believe in the medical approach of developing the progressive state of the obese patients entail for the intensive need of enforcing or at least empowering the patients to become involved in the process hence being convinced that they need to undergo the therapy if they want develop into a healthier state of living. Notably though, it could be analyzed that not all pressure-stressed operations on dealing with obesity end up successful. On the other end, the traditional approach entails for the utilization of the actual being of the patient being treated and has a relative indication on how well they are able to adjust their lifestyle without being forced. This way, they are expected to intend to follow a process that would specifically fit their condition and their desires of getting better.

True, the traditional ways specifically empowers the patients in defining their own course of development. It shall also provide them a more considerable understanding on how they are supposed to take matters seriously especially on the part of personally realizing their need to readjust their lifestyle. Understandably, the traditional way of dealing with obesity considers that every person is unique, and that every case of obesity is also unique. Given this, it is expected that every person who is suffering from obesity deserves to be treated according to his own case. The traditional approach to adjusting one’s lifestyle towards the healthful course then entails the creation of a more refined therapy that would deal with both the medical and the psychological issues that are being dealt with by obese individuals. Considering the comparative level of the process of applying the traditional approach in comparison with the medical procedures of health development, it is shown in this discussion that dealing with obesity is assumed to have a great dependence on the actual situation of the patient or client being helped.

References:

Dollman J, Norton K, Norton L (December 2005). “Evidence for secular trends in children’s physical activity behaviour”. Br J Sports Med 39 (12): 892–7.

Schmidt DS, Salahudeen AK (2007). “Obesity-survival paradox-still a controversy?”. Semin Dial 20 (6): 486–92.

World Health Organization. Obesity and Overweight. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/. (December 5, 2011).

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Essay Topic: Severe Exacerbation of Asthma

A known case of asthma on medication, B.T.’s signs and symptoms show a severe exacerbation of asthma, a life-threatening medical emergency which is best managed at the emergency department (Global Initiative for Asthma [GINA], 2010, p. 71).  During an exacerbation, the “patient experiences increasing shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness” (Pruitt & Lawson, 2011, p. 50).  These manifestations may happen alone or in combination and may build up over minutes to hours depending on the nature and severity of the attack.  Despite treatment, B.T. exhibited difficulty of breathing .  The best action of the wife at this time would have been to call for help like 911 that could dispatch an ambulance and have him brought to the nearest emergency room while initiating treatment.  However, the nearest facility could have been the clinic which provided immediate care.

Assessment.

Along with providing prompt treatment, a short history and physical examination relevant to the exacerbation are done.  B.T.’s relevant history is his unresponsiveness to the given treatment at home, with the use of accessory muscle for breathing and with inability to lie down secondary to dyspnea.  It appears that the cause of his present exacerbation is anxiety.  It has been suggested that the connection between anxiety and asthma may be part of a wider relationship between “psychological distress and chronic disease” (Cooper et al., 2007, p. 1).  B.T. is also highly allergic to dust and pollen.  Allergens and irritants activate exacerbations, resulting to an inflammatory cascade that obstructs the airway (House & Ramirez, 2008, p. 122).

In the physical examination (P. E.), exacerbation and severity are assessed through the patient’s ability to speak, respiratory rate, pulse rate, use of accessory muscles, and other signs (see Table 1).  Any complicating aspects such as pneumonia and pneumothorax are recognized.  GINA (2010a) strongly recommends functional assessments such as PEF (peak expiratory flow) and FEV1 (forced expiratory volume) and measurements of arterial oxygen as P.E. alone may not fully show the severity of exacerbation.  As shown in Table 1, B.T.’s manifestations (unable to lie down, use of accessory muscles, respiratory rate of 42/min, pulse of 124/min, PaCO2 48mm Hg, and SaO2 88%) all fall under the severe category.  Succeeding measurements are intermittently done until there is a clear response to treatment.  Oxygen saturation is closely monitored.  Chest X-ray is not routinely done in adults but performed if complicating factors are suspected and for those needing hospitalization.  Arterial blood gases (ABGs) are not regularly measured except for patients with PEF of 30 to 50% predicted, unresponsive to initial treatment, or when deterioration is a concern.

As outlined in GINA (2010a, pp. 73-74), the following treatments are usually provided concurrently to attain the fastest resolution of the exacerbation:

1.  Oxygen is given by nasal cannulae or by mask to attain arterial O2 saturation of 90%.  Oxygen treatment is measured through pulse oximetry.

2.  Rapid acting inhaled B2 –agonists are given at regular intervals through meter dose inhaler (MDI) and a spacer device.

3.  Better bronchodilation may be achieved with a combination of nebulized B2-agonist with ipratropium bromide, an anticholinergic, and should be given before considering methylxathines.

4.  Except for the mildest exacerbations, systemic glucocorticosteroids are used because they hasten resolution, especially if the rapid acting inhaled B2-agonist did not achieve lasting improvement, the exacerbation continues to build up even when the patient is already on oral glucocorticosteroids, and past exacerbations required oral glucocorticosteroids.

Table 1. Severity of Asthma Exacerbations.  From GINA (2010b, p. 21).

Parameter Mild Moderate Severe Respiratory arrest imminent
Breathless Walking

Can lie down

Talking

Prefer sitting

At rest

Hunched forward

Talks in Sentences Phrases Words
Alertness May be agitated Usually agitated Usually agitated Drowsy of confused
Respiratory rate Increased Increased Often >30/min
Accessory muscles and suprasternal retractions Usually not Usually Usually Paradoxical thoraco-abdominal movement
Wheeze Moderate, often only and expiratory Loud Usually loud Absence of wheeze
Pulse/min. < 100 100-120 >120 Bradycardia
Pulsus paradoxus Absent

< 10 mm Hg

May be present

10-25 mm Hg

Often present

> 25 mm Hg

Absence suggests respiratory muscle fatigue
PEF after initial bronchodilator

% predicted or

% personal best

Over 80 % Approx. 60-80% < 60% predicted or personal best
PaO2 (on air)

and/or

paCO2

Normal Test not usually necessary

< 45 mm Hg

> 60 mm Hg

< 45 mm Hg

< 60 mm Hg

Possible cyanosis

> 45 m Hg

SaO2 (on air) > 95% 91-95% < 90%
Note: The presence of several parameters, but not necessarily all, indicates the general classification of the exacerbation.

5.  The combination of high-dose inhaled glucocorticosteroids and salbutamol in one study provided better bronchodilation than salbutamol alone in acute asthma and better benefit than supplementing systemic glucocorticosteroids across all factors (GINA, 2010a, p. 74).

6.  Intravenous magnesium sulphate (2g infusion over 20 minutes) is not routinely recommended but may be given to patients unresponsive to initial treatment.  It has also been shown to decrease hospitalization rates.

The treatments not recommended for acute asthma exacerbations include sedatives which are strictly avoided due to respiratory depressant effect, mucolytics which may aggravate coughing, chest physiotherapy which may heighten patient distress, excessive hydration, antibiotics except for concomitant bacterial infection like pneumonia, and epinephrine which is indicated for anaphylaxis and angioedema but not for asthma attacks (GINA, 2010b, pp. 19-20).

Check treatment response.

Assess patient’s signs and symptoms, PEF, and oxygen saturation.  Consider measuring ABGs if with hypoventilation, severe distress, exhaustion, and PEF 30-50% predicted.  Give supplemental oxygen as indicated and medications as prescribed.  Preferred patient outcomes are better ventilation and oxygenation and reduced respiratory distress.  There is good response to therapy if there is a continued 60 minute response, distress is absent on P.E., PEF greater than 70%, and O2 saturation is more than 90% (GINA, 2010a, p. 72).

Assess if for discharge at emergency department or for hospitalization.

Patients usually need hospitalization if with a FEV1 or PEF less than 25% predicted or personal best before treatment, or FEV1 or PEF less than 40% after treatment.  Patients with lung function of 40-60% predicted after treatment may be discharged as long as sufficient follow-up is accessible in the community and compliance is guaranteed (GINA, 2010a, p. 74).

For discharged patients at emergency room.

GINA (2010a, pp. 74-75) recommends a 7-day course of oral glucocorticosteroids, along with bronchodilator therapy.  B. T. was prescribed with both, although the oral glucocorticosteroids was only for five days.  Based on symptomatic and objective improvement, the bronchodilator is used as needed until the patient returns to the pre-exacerbation use of rapid acting B2-agonist.  Ipratropium bromide is discontinued.  Inhaled glucocorticosteroids are started or continued.  Inhaler and peak flow meter use for home treatment monitoring is assessed.  B.T. did not demonstrate the proper use of MDI with spacer.  First, the mouthpiece cap is removed from the spacer and the MDI.  The MDI is then placed into the end of the spacer without the cap.  Make sure that the MDI is fully pushed. The space and the MDI are shaken together two or three times.  Then holding the MDI upright with the index finger on top and thumb on the bottom, the mouthpiece is placed in the mouth, closing the lips tightly around the mouthpiece.  The patient exhales normally and then presses down firmly on the canister releasing one dose of medication.  The patient inhales slowly and deeply. If the patient inhales too fast, the coaching device on the spacer sounds.  The spacer is removed from the mouth while holding breath for 5 to 10 seconds, then exhale normally.  After use, detach the MI from the spacer and put on the capon the MDI and spacer (GINA, n.d.).  B.T. should also be advised on the possible side effects of his medications.

Patients have a better home treatment response if discharged with peak flow meter and action plan.  The precipitating factors of exacerbation and the action plan are reviewed.  The patient or family is counseled to get in touch with the primary health care professional or asthma specialist within 24 hours after discharge, then to follow-up after a few days to ascertain that treatment is continued until baseline control parameters are achieved.  B.T. was advised to contact a pulmonary specialist; however, he was not provided with sufficient education on the precipitating factors of his attack, as well as a peak flow meter and an action plan.

Other Components of Asthma Therapy

The goal of asthma therapy is to attain and sustain control of the clinical manifestations for protracted periods (GINA, 2010b, p. 8).  When asthma is controlled, most attacks are prevented, troublesome symptoms are avoided, and the patient can be physically active.  Thus, the management of B.T.’s exacerbation is just one of five interrelated components of asthma therapy.  The rest of the components are to: (1) develop patient/health care provider (HCP) collaboration, (2) recognize and decrease exposure to risk factors, and (3) evaluate, treat, and monitor asthma (GINA, 2010a, p. 53).

Develop patient/HCP collaboration.

Successful management of asthma entails the development of collaboration between the afflicted and the health care team.  The goal of this collaboration is guided self-management, giving patient the capacity to control one’s condition with assistance from health care professionals.  The partnership is reinforced as the patient and HCP discuss and concur on treatment goals, create a personalized self-management plan, and occasionally assess the patient’s treatment and degree of asthma control.  Education is an essential part of all interactions.  Asthma education is a continuing process that is crucial to “achieving control, improving outcomes, and minimizing medication use” (S. Corbridge & T. Corbridge, 2010, p. 32).  As such, incorporated into every patient visit is a needs assessment of the patient’s major knowledge deficiency, followed by targeted education.  Personalized action plans, created in partnership with the patient, have been shown to improve patient-provider communication and outcomes (Kaya et al., 2009).  Individualized action plans help patients modify treatment in response to changes in the degree of asthma control, as signified by symptoms and/or PEF, according to written preset plan.

Identify and lessen exposure to exacerbating or risk factors.

Steps avoiding the risk factors should be taken for better asthma control and reduced medication needs.  Completely avoiding some of these factors are nearly impossible because patients react to multiple factors commonly present in the environment.  Medications that sustain asthma control are thus important because when the asthma is controlled, the patient is less susceptible to these risk factors (GINA, 2010b, p. 11).  Those with moderate to severe asthma are advised to receive a yearly influenza vaccination.

There are many strategies that the patient and family can employ to avoid some triggering factors.  For B.T. who is highly allergic to dust and pollen, some measures include staying indoors when there is a very high count of pollen.   Carpets can be changed with hard floorings.  On B.T.’s anxiety, once detected, the degree of anxiety should be identified.  He should be encouraged to discuss his feelings and his present condition.  Advise effective coping approach such as meditation and physical activity to alleviate tension.  Desired results are B.T.’s awareness of his anxiety, successful use of support systems, and use of positive techniques (Pruitt & Lawson, 2011, pp. 51-52).

Assess, manage, and monitor asthma.

The goal of asthma therapy can be achieved in most patients through an uninterrupted sequence that involves (GINA, 2010b, p. 12):

(1) Evaluating asthma control where each patient is assessed to establish present treatment regimen, compliance to the present regimen, and degree of asthma control.

(2) Treating to attain control.  As per level of control, treatment is directed by stepping up or down in a sequence of five steps.  Therapy is stepped up for uncontrolled asthma and continued until control is attained.  If there is control for at least 3 months, treatment is stepped down.  As necessary, reliever medication is provided at every step for speedy symptom relief.  Controller medications are given at steps 2 through 5 as preventive measures against symptoms and attacks.  Patients with unacceptable degree of control at step 4 are assessed as having “difficult- to-treat-asthma.”  Specialized care may be needed such as with an asthma specialist.

(3) Monitoring to sustain control.  Constant monitoring is essential to sustain control and ascertain the lowest step and treatment dose to lessen cost and adverse effects.  Treatment is occasionally modified in response to loss of control (GINA, 2010b, p. 16).

Asthma is a serious disease that can place severe restrictions on daily life if uncontrolled and can be fatal. It is a considerable burden not just in health care expenditure but also of lost productivity and diminished participation in family life (GINA, 2010a, p. ii).  However, it is a disease that can be controlled and managed with the partnership of the patient and health care providers.  Awareness of the latest guidelines in asthma therapy such as the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) is imperative to achieve the goals of treatment and return B.T. to his optimum level of functioning.

Universal Intellectual Standards of Quality Thinking

In this case study, I have applied clarity, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, consistency, and fairness.  Clarity portrays the strength in the writer’s position as to how the subject being discussed is thoroughly understood and is conveyed effectively to the reader.  The main gauge is to ascertain how well others are able to understand the position being forwarded. By removing aspects that could mislead like ambiguity or double meanings, one forwards an idea without any distraction.   Accuracy was observed at all times as the medical field uses exact standards.  The next thing is to ascertain that the data being used are precise.  Precision reflects how well one has gone to specific details on a certain subject.  It shows the extent one has painstakingly taken to enhance depth on what is discussed.  If changes are needed, the appropriate corrections are adopted.  This is possible by being consistent on the data and indicators so that the reader can identify with situations or issues presented.  To get this across, fairness was observed so that the work is devoid of any biases.  Lastly, relevance is very important to keep the work in focus.  Nursing is composed of many different facets, it would be good to take extra care in making sure that everything is connected to the topic and that the necessary components have been discussed.

American Nurses Association (ANA) Standards of Professional Performance

In the clinical decision-making process, I have applied quality of care, education, collaboration, research, and resource utilization.  Quality of care is essential in the nursing profession.  It ensures that the patient receives safe, effective, and excellent nursing care, as well as respect and compassion.  I applied education to obtain and maintain current nursing practice especially applicable to asthma patients.  Treatment guidelines are constantly updated as new studies find the more effective approach.   Likewise, I applied research as it is an essential element in health care; it helps in developing treatments that offer the best level of care.  With research, significant advances are made in health and treatments and new changes are implemented.  It can also explain the newest findings on the pathophysiology of disease which aids in the patient’s understanding and acceptance of his or her condition.  I applied collaboration which is an important component in asthma therapy.  Collaboration helps in achieving the goal of therapy by providing the patient an ability to deal with his condition with assistance from health care providers and other support systems like the family.  Lastly, I applied resource utilization to improve safety and effectiveness of therapy while minimizing cost.  Resource utilization also educates the patient and his family on the cost, benefits, and risks of treatment options making them informed consumers.  They are also guided in recognizing and securing available and suitable services to address health needs.

References

Cooper, C. L., Parry, G. D., Saul, C., Morice, A. H., Hutchcroft, B. J., Moore, J., & Esmonde, L.(2007).  BMC Family Practice, 8(62), 1-7.

Corbridge, S., & Corbridge, T. C.  (2010).  Asthma in adolescents and adults: Guideline-baseddiagnosis and management.  American Journal of Nursing, 110(5), 28-38.

Global Initiative for Asthma.  (2010a).  Global strategy for asthma management and prevention,updated 2010.  Retrieved November 18, 2011 from http://www.ginasthma.org/pdf/GINA_Report_2010.pdf

Global Initiative for Asthma.  (2010b).  Pocket guide for asthma management and prevention(for adults and children older than 5 years).  Retrieved November 18, 2011 from http://www.ginasthma.org/pdf/GINA_Pocket_2010a.pdf

Global Initiative for Asthma.  (n.d.).  How to use the able spacer.  Retrieved November 18, 2011from http://www.ginasthma.org/other-resources-able-spacer.html

House, D. T., & Ramirez, E. G.  (2008).  Emergency management of asthma exacerbations.

Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal, 30(2), 122-138.

Kaya, Z., Erkan, F., Ozkan, M., Ozkan, S., Kocaman, N., Ertekin, B. A., & Direk, N.  (2009).

Self-management plans for asthma control and predictors of patient compliance.  J .Asthma, 46(3), 270-275.

Pruitt, B., & Lawson, R.  (2011).  Assessing and managing asthma: A global initiative for asthma update.  Nursing2011, 41(5), 46-52.

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09 Nov 2011

Essay Topic: Donatello The Art Bringer: Biography

Artistic freedom embodied the flare and personality of Donatello. Born in Florence, Italy in 1386 and living until December of 1466, Donatello mastered the interpretive expression of an artist as a sculptor in the mediums of bronze and marble (“Donatello (1386-1466)”). This is no easy task and he is revered today as one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance.  Donato di Niccoli Bardi, referred to as Donatello by those who knew him, was born the son of a wool carder.  Wool carding is part of the process preparing wool to be spun into thread. Born into a working class family, Donatello lived a meager life, as one can gather from the historical data that exists about him. He remained unmarried until his death.

Donatello was very busy as an artist.  He apprenticed under Ghiberti and learned to goldsmith.  The techniques that he learned as a goldsmith enabled him to become an even finer sculptor and artist.  All of Italy sought after Donatello for his creations which seems to almost be alive to the viewer.  He used a special form of shallow relief to create special curves and lines in his carvings.  The beauty and emotion can be seen in his sculptures that still stand today.

Living as an artist during the Renaissance, Donatello had many friends in the church and inside the profession of art. Fillippo, an architect and artist, was a dear friend who early on influenced Donatello to focus on figures other than that of Christ. Fillippo commented on a wooden crucifix that Donatello had fashioned, saying that Christ looked like a peasant. Donatello did not fancy the remark, but at the same time, trusted his fellow artist’s honesty.  Filippo was a fine sculptor and artist in his own right while maintaining his occupation in architecture.  This exchange about the crucifix that Donatello had with his friend Filippo created a turning point where he focused his work on biblical people, just not on Christ himself.

Donatello had a way of making his works appear to be alive. Often, they would only take shape and reveal their finest characteristics once placed on display. His captivating talent earned him favor with very famous and influential families in Italy. Mentor to Michelangelo, nobility like the Medici and Martelli families were only a few of those who relished in collecting his works (Donatello, Almanac). Those who resided in the city of Padua urged Donatello to take residence there. They were particularly moved and impressed with his detail and accuracy as he gracefully created the center stature that resides in the Saint Antonio Piazza inside of Padua. The statue that Donatello created that was equestrian in nature and embodied the dignity and bravery of Erasmo da Narni, general of the Venetian army, also endearingly known as Gattamelata.

Teaching was also something that Donatello shared as a legacy having learned his craft through experience as an apprentice in his youth. He passed on his understanding and love for classic works like the Roman portrait in sculpture and the heroic nude. One of his students, Nanni d’Antonio di Banco came from a rich family yet, remained humble in his apprenticeship under Donatello (” Donatello – Biography and Gallery of Art.”). Banco crafted a marvelous sculpture in marble of  Saint Phillip in Florence — a sculpture that would make any teacher proud.  The influence of Donatello spread far beyond his home in Florence to Rome, Padua, and Pisa. Today his influence immortalizes his art and has an impact worldwide.

The Renaissance, literally meaning ‘rebirth’, was a time where the true embracing of the Roman and Greek classics came alive.  Donatello embodied this essence throughout his career and beyond through his art that remains today.  The Medici family honored Donatello and made sure that his means were established as he lived out his final years.  As Donatello got older, he became too weak to continue creating masterpieces of sculpture. His commissions and dedication throughout his life did not go without appreciation.  Some artists meet a grim fate in life when they are no longer able to perform. Donatello was loved even after that.  Donatello had created a sculpture for the Medici’s son Piero at his wedding. Piero himself made sure that Donatello would receive a pension in his old age.  This pension allowed Donatello to live out his days in pleasantry.  Piero even saw to it that Donatello was buried in the Medici family grave site (“Donatello.”).

Donatello The Art Bringer:  Gattamelata

The years of apprenticeship under Ghiberti proved to be time well spent for Donatello.  He soon became sought after to create many commissioned works.  In the city of Padua, on the peninsula of Italy, resides a bronze statue created by this master of the Renaissance. Bronze was one of the mediums that Donatello preferred to work with for many of his sculptures.  Scholars have speculated that Donatello’s design for his Gattamelata was influenced by the Parthenon in Greece (Bergstein). It is rumored that he was shown pictures of riders and horses from the reliefs and art dating back to the antiquated times of Greece. Perhaps, this did influence the powerful design of the rider and the flowing beauty of the mount he sits upon.
In 1453, after the death of the subject of the Gattamelata, Donatello was commissioned to create this first equestrian bronze of the Renaissance.  A sculpture of this size can be created by a method called ‘lost wax’.  This process a mold is created of a sculpture (usually made of wood). Then molten bronze is poured into the mold and cooled to form the final product. Donatello was extremely proficient carving in wood. With wood he created the template for his masterpieces.  When his works were made in marble, they of course were carved by hand from start to finish. To carve from stone is quite a tedious process and definitely not a process for someone who has not mastered their craft. Donatello was certainly a master as he created the center piece for the Piazza Del Santo in Padua.

The sculpture is life size. This is one feature that makes Donatello’s Gattamelata his own. Whether inspiration for this work was obtained from the Parthenon or not, it was not larger than life as many sculptures and carvings from antiquity were.  Donatello certainly had a way of bringing his work to life.  A term was coined for his gift called shallow relief (Middle Ages). In Italian it is called ‘schiacciato’. Donatello invented this style of capturing spatial depth with his creations. He did not need to make a work of art larger than life to mesmerize onlookers with the grace, beauty and emotion of anything he made.

Erasmo da Narni was the ruler of Padua until his death in 1443. The Gattamelata is a tribute to him as a great ruler and warrior. The breath taking bronze piece sits on top of a stone pedestal that has smaller reliefs on each side. The interpretation of the angels, gates and coat of arms is a signification of the afterlife. There is also a lot of symbolism in Donatello’s work. The horse almost appears to be parading from a victorious battle or celebration. A round globe sits at the front hoof of the horse symbolizing the impact of Erasmo da Narni not only in Padua, but in the entire world.

The name of Donatello’s creation Gattamelata means literally ‘speckled cat’ (Bergstein).  The sculpture took nearly six years to complete.  Donatello had a studio in the city of Padua while he was not only working on this commission, but several others as well.  It was there that Donatello stayed hard at work making many of the artistic splendors of Padua. The studio that Donatello utilized to create the famous Gattamelata can still be seen today.  The family, friends, and townspeople of Padua were so moved by Donatello’s work on the tribute to Erasmo di Narni that they compelled Donatello to consider making Padua his new home.  Donatello stayed in the area of Padua for nearly a decade. However, as he grew older he longed to return to his true home. Donatello had many faithful admirers including the Medici family. Donatello, with the help and patronage of the Medici’s, returned to Tuscany and lived out his days. The Gattamelata is a true testament to the Renaissance. It has been inspiration to countless artists since Donatello and certainly continues to inspire artists now.

Donatello The Art Bringer:  David

The impressive bronze of David created by Donatello is unique and unmatched.  His realistic style and captivating curves bring you to biblical times in such a way that is seems as though you were there witnessing the triumph of David over Goliath. Bronze adds depth to an art work that sometimes marble and other mediums cannot capture equally.  The medium that Donatello chose for this depiction of the biblical hero symbolizes the strength and timelessness in the meaning of the story. A biblical nude done with such grace that many artisans aimed to accomplish similar notoriety as Donatello. Many other sculptures of David have been compared to Donatello’s David.
This creation was done earlier in Donatello’s career than the Gattamelata. Two decades earlier in fact and it seems to also breath the youth in the life of its creator.  This can be noted when portraits of Donatello are compared to the face of David in the bronze statue. David seems to stand almost ‘matter of fact-like’ atop the decapitated head of his victim. He is portrayed with his hand on one hip and his valorous sword in the other.  How more captivating is that he wears a hat that is almost in the fashion of musketeer.  In contrast to the famous marble David sculpture by Michelangelo which was created for public display in a religious setting, Donatello’s David is smaller, more intimate and was displayed in the private gardens of the Medici family (‘’Donatello – Smarthistory’’).
Some perhaps even prefer the style of Donatello’s David due to the warmth of the medium and the quaint way Donatello revealed youth and vulnerable strength in the sculpture.  Donatello was the first artist and sculpture to create a free-standing nude during the Renaissance.  This brought notoriety to Donatello for that fact alone.  Donatello created his David for the city of Florence. Like David, Florence also defeated their foe (ruler of Milan). So again, Donatello illustrates symbolism through his creation. Ironically, the biblical David was said to have worn an actual bronze helmet when he went up against Goliath. How fitting that Donatello created yet another symbolic parallel to the biblical account.
Donatello was undoubtedly channeling his Renaissance reverie to the classics of Rome and Greece. The details of David’s body and human size proportions are evidence to this fact.  Not only did the Renaissance ‘give birth’ to the art of Donatello or rather Donatello did assist in ‘giving birth’ to the Renaissance in his expression of art and humanism. Humanism rose against the staunch traditions of past scholars and brought human emotion and the ‘humanities’ back to main stream learning. Donatello was from Florence, one of the main centers and hubs of Renaissance art and humanistic trains of thought.
The style in which Donatello sculpted his David is known as ‘contrapposto’ (Donatello’s David). The term is Italian and refers to how a figure in art stands with weight bearing on one foot more than the other. Contrapposto creates a further sense of realism with Donatello’s talent in shallow relief.  The hat makes the sculpture stand out even more, as it perpetuates the acceptance of sodomy from that time. Florence was known for its acceptance of such practices all over Europe (Donatello’s David).  Donatello created an unparalleled masterpiece in his David. No one knows exactly when the art piece was crafted for the Medici family, though it was sometime between the 1430’s and the 1460’s.  The smile in the face of the sculpture not only tells of victory and human emotion, but also seems to smile knowing that it stands above all others in its depiction of David from the times of the Renaissance and even today.

09 Oct 2011

Essay Topic: Personal Statement

Back in 2006, sitting at a desk, here I was processing a disaster claim in wake of the damages caused by Hurricane Katrina. Nibbling a self-made dehydrated banana, I was in a high point following several months and reviewing healthier food options – organic methods of increasing mood and energy. The search for the best method was initially out of a desire for personal well being but overtime, it started to turn into an obsession. It was like trying to reach the climax of an exciting novel and dedicatedly moving from one chapter to the next with excitement and increased fervor. It was in the midst of this moment, that I began to realize and think that this obsession could be turned from a preoccupation to an occupation. This was the moment I realized that with a mix of nutrition, mental counseling and knowledge sharing, the way of a dietetic is the precise blend for my career interests.

It was this time that I started seriously pursuing programs for aspiring dietetics. However, my own obsession did not let me rest or wait to gain experience in this area until some university accepted me. I started taking initiatives and got involved in ways that helped me increase my exposure to whatever could potentially help me in the field. For example, in the time spent waiting for the acceptance, I volunteered with rural health initiatives completing tasks such as authoring a grant that was funded for $2,500, assisting health fairs; and networking with community resources to facilitate collaboration on various wellness plans.  My eagerness and devotion paid dividends as this later led to interim employment with a community-based program providing self –management classes to diabetics and their caretakers for diabetes. During this while, in my view I gained some critical and valued opinions from interviewing several dieticians in the field. Moreover, my obsession and a philanthropic desire also spurred me on to become a health advocate for a few of the elderly in community who were struggling with health literacy. I acted as a bridge to eliminate the gap between them and their special physicians. There are some experiences from my school life that I believe will assist me in developing an understanding with the course. I got to the position of a diet clerk in a hospital. This job provided me with an opportunity to witness the ground realities and put into practice whatever I had learnt before in theory. This job was a blessing in a way that I made me work on the grey areas; in addition it helped me a lot in becoming a much more tolerant person than I used to be.

I firmly believe that it is action oriented goals which take people forward in life. I wish to have an opportunity at the end of internship of completing preliminary research on the use of trauma counseling in people with eating disorders and present the findings at the national or state meeting. I aim to make my findings helpful for carrying out counseling techniques for eating disorders and other chronic diseases.

Once I complete my studies, I aspire on continuing clinical practice in a rural or community based hospital and serve the striving humanity in my full capacity. I would love to attain an advance degree in mental health counseling provided with an opportunity. I believe that this would add to my abilities of conducting nutritional counseling. In the long run I aim to see myself as a Research Director specializing in medical nutrition therapy in behavioral health clinics.

My strengths and weaknesses are one and the same. Being direct and concise are essential values in this field. But at times this makes people perceive me of being unfriendly and impatient; I have tried to curb it down to the minimal extent though. I am an optimist, hence I always believe deep inside me that things will work out well, no matter how grave the circumstances are, provided that one employs his full resources on the job at hand. And through these characteristics, I find myself able to connect with a majority of individuals around me; I continue to provide moral support to my family members, colleagues and friends, and they too are present in every hour of need by my side.

27 Aug 2011

Essay Topic: Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

‘Death of a Salesman’ is the complete life history of Willy Loman, who was a salesman by profession living in Brooklyn. The presentation style of the author ‘Arthur Miller’ is so rich that the whole play gives an impression of playing live before our eyes. The whole story revolves around Willy Loman and his family, which includes his wife ‘Linda’ and his two sons ‘Biff Loman and Happy Loman’. The general perception about this play is that it is a tragic piece of literature; however, the comprehensive analysis of this play imparts a different approach because the theory of Willy Loman about gaining success for happily living was quite fussy and rusty in its nature. His stumbling nature made him resistant to adopt the flexible philosophy of life for coping with the modern social world and his dogmatism eventually leaded him to take a suicide like coward step, in spite of his caring wife. The moral of the story is that egoism and stubbornness never leads to success.
The author has concluded that Willy’s character cannot be quoted as a tragic hero because tragedy requires some incidents or natural flaws incurred to the tragic heroes. Bradford also appreciates the attempt to become a tragic hero but also criticizes the senile attitude of Willy. Though Arthur Miller has endorsed the same notions and philosophies in this play but it will be still difficult to decide as the author has shown concerns about that at the end of this review analysis. Arthur Miller seems to describe the vagueness of typical American society. At the same time, the main character ‘Willy’ gives different outlook as in the other plays. Willy stands for the American dreamy world and also reflects the real issues that the Americans are facing due to illusionistic ideas. In other words, the protagonist of this play was living in a dreamy world and was obsessed with obnoxious anti-Marxist ideas. The major rationale behind his failure of life was his unrealistic philosophy of life that contributed mainly for compelling him for suicide. Willy was highly obsessed with the concepts of conservatism and arrogance. His egoism and erroneousness has leaded him to make multiple suicidal attempts and finally, he succeeded in killing himself. His whole life, as sketched by Arthur Miller, described his inflexible nature towards the changing societal values and also shows his typical nature as is usually of an American middleman. Hence, he should have more pragmatic approach to gain access to his dreams and to compete with modern societal challenges (Bradford, About.com).
‘Death of a Salesman’ is composed of three main sections that are Act I, Act II and Requiem. The play starts with Act I, which includes also the opening scene of the play presenting the true picture of a middle-class American, named Willy Loman, who was a resident of Brooklyn in the New York City and was a sixty three year old traveling salesman. After a non-productive routine official tour, his wife ‘Linda’ shows her deep concerns on his tiresome facial expressions, which denotes her supportive nature for her husband. At this point, the author, Arthur Miller, seems to be well-acquainted with strong matrimonial emotions. Willy’s today was completely different from his hopes and dreams that were not atypical from the middle-class American dream. Willy’s two sons, Biff and Happy, were also back to his home at that day. Willy criticized Biff on coming back to home after such a long period of 15 years with no cash in hand. On the other side, these two brothers found their father as an absent-minded person in his old age. They also ridiculed their father in a sense that he could not cope with societal changes (Bradford, About.com).
Willy has displayed arrogant and obstinate nature throughout his whole life. The lack of parenting skills has also produced flaws in his personality that has been presented by author at various scenes of the play. While, taking Willy back to his past, the author described his unethical parental coaching to his son on his act of stealing a football because he did not react to him in an expected manner. The author has also described the romantic nature of Willy, when the love-affair of Willy was described during a scene of the play. These all thoughts of Willy were disturbed, when his neighbor, Bernard, complained about the educational illness of Biff on which Willy got short-tempered and started searching for Biff with intensive aggravation and this scene was also the closure of flashback (Bradford, About.com).
In another scene, the author has described the ideal of Willy who was Willy’s own rich brother, named Ben. Ben used to extract diamond in the jungles of Africa and Willy also remembered his proposal to join him in this venture, but Willy did not accept his proposal. Here, Miller has again indicated his egoistic nature. Retaining the same depressive emotions, Willy started to daunt Happy for his obsessed thinking. In the mean time, his next-door neighbor Charlie came into his home who was an owner of a sales-firm. During playing cards, Charlie offered him to join his firm, but he again declined here and even insulted him. His nature of conservatism and arrogance leaded him to his failure and eventually to suicide. Here, Willy has idolized his father also to an extent, assuming that he was a rich and successful man (Bradford, About.com).
Biff was quite confused to see his father’s awkward attitude and also queried her mother about his state of mind for its duration. Here, Linda, Willy’s wife, proved herself as a loyal wife and accused them to be the sole cause of his current insanity. Here, she also tried to convince them for being responsible by telling them about his suicidal attempts. She also appreciated her husband’s effort to make them able for keep pace with social needs. After listening his mother’s lecture, Biff promised his mother for gratifying his father in the future. During an argumentative conversation between Biff and Happy, they began to investigate the underlying reason behind the failure of Biff in the business world and in the meanwhile, Willy joined this discussion. On his entrance, Happy tried to please his father by presenting the plan of Biff that he was going to his ex-employer for requesting loan and Biff also reluctantly confirmed this statement, even Biff was not ready to go for it. This plan presentation made Willy smile, which shows here his greedy nature. However, at the end of this scene, there was again a conflict between two brothers (Bradford, About.com).
Willy seems to be well-equipped with the elements of arrogance and egoism. In the same evening, Biff was also carrying a bad news for Willy because he could finalize his deal with his ex-boss. Then, Happy tried to convince Biff to make a bluff with Willy so as to please him, but Biff was again reluctant in doing so. When Willy arrived, Biff started to tell the whole story, but Happy was again and again interrupting him so as to distract him from the truth. Willy left the dining table. On their return to home, Linda castigated their behavior with their father. Then, the climax of the play came when Willy drove his car into death. The last section described the funeral ceremony of Willy (Home Work Online).
Bradford believes also that Willy was the self motif behind his failure because he could not walk with contemporary society. The author also indicates that his suicide attempt was only meant for insurance company which has become common in the middle-class Americans. The author has also concluded that Willy’s character cannot be quoted as a tragic hero because tragedy requires some incidents or natural flaws incurred to the tragic heroes. Bradford also appreciates the attempt to become a tragic hero but also criticizes the senile attitude of Willy. Through Arthur Miller has endorsed the same notions and philosophies in this play but it will be still difficult to decide as the author has shown concerns about that at the end of this review analysis. Arthur Miller seems to describe the vagueness of typical American society. At the same time, the main character ‘Willy’ gives different outlook as in the other plays. Willy stands for the American dreamy world and also reflects the real issues that the Americans are facing due to illusionistic ideas (Bradford, About.com).
Arthur Miller has used various themes in this work; however, the major thematic expression is the American Dream. As the protagonist of this play belongs to a middle-class, this play reflects the overwhelming ideology of the American society. Similarly, abandonment is another thematic expression of this play which is quite vivid in the Willy’s character. Willy Loman has been observed as the character with frequent and subsequent denials and deviations from the truths. He has been in a state of continuous abandonment throughout the whole play. Loman has been in a state of confusion because he never tried to understand what he really wanted to be. Arthur Miller has used various motifs in this play among which mythic figure is an important aspect. Thus, Arthur Miller has been found a person with a strong vision of the Western world (Sparknotes, Analysis of Willy Loman).
Conclusively, it would not be righteous to label this play as a tragic play because Willy was highly obsessed with the concepts of conservatism and arrogance. His whole life, as sketched by Arthur Miller, described his inflexible nature towards the changing societal values and also shows his typical nature as is usually of an American middleman. His dreams were quite opposite to his actions. But the work of the author is undeniably realistic because Arthur Miller has selected the American Dream as the topic of this play in order to present the flaws and dilemmas prevalent in the middle-class society of the America. From the perspective of socio-economic theory, as illustrated by Mandel, Marxism is a flexible philosophy for accommodating contemporary changes in the social and economic system of the modern world. The protagonist of this play was living in a dreamy world and was obsessed with obnoxious anti-Marxist ideas. The major rationale behind his failure of life was his unrealistic philosophy of life.

Works Cited

Bradford, W. “Death of a Salesman- Review”. About.com. 06 Aug. 2011

Home Work Online. 06 Aug. 2011 < http://www.homework-online.com/doas/index.asp>

Mandel, E. An Introduction to Marxist Economic Theory. Australia: Resistance Books, Chippendale NSW 2008. 2002.

Miller, Arthur. Death of a Salesman. Viking Press: New York. 1949.

21 Aug 2011

Essay Topic: Black Women in Wars

African women living in war-torn African states such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia, among other states have surely felt the impacts of conflict to their lifestyle. For instance, the brutal war in Liberia transpired in three successive phases, which lasted fifteen years from 1989 to 2003. The war in Sierra Leone began in 1991 when Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone guerrillas, who were being trained in Liberia, made invasions in their own state.
The war brought on board many actors and lasted ten years, until January 2002. Additionally, the civil strife in Ivory Coast started in 2002 when insurgents in the northern region attempted to overthrow President Laurent Gbagbo; though after international involvement, an accord was agreed upon in 2003. It can be noted that all the wars led to the deaths of many women; some were displaced, while some lost their breadwinner husbands. Presently, all but Ivory Coast are largely at peace. Peacekeepers are on the job or closely in control. The United Nations and global aid bodies are helping recovery. Some light arms have been recovered by the governments; some expatriates have gone back to the countries. Ivory Coast is recovering from the latest political instability that was sparked by the refusal of former president Gbagbo to concede defeat after he was defeated in the country’s elections held late 2010.
Although most African states are largely at peace, which sound unclearly hopeful, in actuality they are so disintegrated, so troubled and, more so in the instances of Sierra Leone, and Liberia, the situation is so distraught and indigent that they may not be capable of securely practicing or enjoying the fruits of peace. In the recent past, Sierra Leone arguably substituted Afghanistan as the tail-end ranked state on the United Nations’ index of human development; the reports gauges literacy levels, healthcare and poverty (Voice of America 1.
As is the case in Afghanistan, the state is a society of widows. Notably, of all those who endured the West African conflicts, it was hapless populations who underwent most suffering. Specifically targeted in terrorist acts as a war strategy, they were rendered homeless, exiled, abducted, tortured, assaulted, injured, maimed and executed. And of all the ordinary populations who suffered, no population segment suffered as excessively as women. Presently, millions of females in such three West African states are still under pressure recovering; for them, the conflicts aren’t actually over at all.
The level of sexual violence and rape in Ivory Coast, when the armed conflict transpired has not been properly evaluated. Majority of the women have suffered gang-rapes or have been kidnapped and forced to be sexual slaves by fighters. In addition, rape has usually come along with torture, including sexual torture one the victim. Unfortunately, all armed sides have executed and continue to implement sexual violence with amazing aplomb, meted on women under the age of 12 to 63. A more topical and thoroughgoing revelation by Human Rights Watch indicates the rape of minors as young as three was prevalent in the countries (Africa Action 1).
At the time the civil strife transpired, women and young girls were captured in their dwelling places or at roadblocks erected by the militaries, or were located in their hiding places in the scrubs. Some of them were raped in front of their families or in public. Some were coerced to witness the execution of spouses or parents. Eventually they were whisked away to military barracks or camps, to prepare the soldiers’ meals during the daytime, only to be gang-raped under the cover of darkness.
Majority of the women suffered rape so ceaselessly and so viciously with sticks, gun barrels, knives, burning coals, some die in the process. Several others sustained injuries and trauma that still remain, many years after the conflicts. Majority still find it difficult to settle or stand, or walk. A number have long lost their capacity to see or their recollections; many more got infected with venereal diseases and HIV.
On the other hand, in Liberia, when the conflict came to an end in 2002, over a million Liberian nationals had been rendered homeless in their own country. Nearly a million others had reportedly fled the country. In a state of three million persons, the statistics translate to 30 percent of the citizens gone. Moreover, more than 270,000 people were killed. And here also, the simple targets were females (Voice of America 1). A World Health Organization report in 2005 suggested that a whopping 90 percent of the women in Liberia had experienced sexual and physical violence; 75 percent of whom suffered rape.
In Kolahun, Lofa County, where the conflicts were high, and women survivors her scars to prove the torment they underwent: a string of parallel straight ridges beginning just under the ear and running down, to the neck. For instance, guerrilla militias in the Charles Taylor forces of the former president of Liberia, who died while being tried by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity charges, held women tightly and gradually, inch by inch, tore the flesh of the victims’ neck in blood.
But that isn’t all. Taylor’s militias went breaking fingers of women. For instance, one woman survivor living in the region had her back slammed so vehemently with firearm butts that one foot and a hand are presently paralyzed. In the small rural community of Dougoumai, a woman referred to only as “the sick lady” exists. Her sister opines she was seized by mercenaries waging war against the Taylor regime and was recurrently gang-raped by ten men (Voice of America 1). The militias rammed their rifle butts into her rear– evidently an ordinary technique, which resulted to the paralysis of her legs.
Moreover, they crashed her hands, hence rendering her hands useless. In the recent past, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United Nations Fund for Population Activities visited the surviving women living in Lofa County, the core of Taylor’s offensive. Over 98 percent said they were rendered homeless during the final phase of the armed conflict; more than 90 percent lost their jobs; more than 72 percent lost at least a kin.
In Sierra Leone, where horrifying the ordinary man was the primary war strategy, the war against women and kids were, as Human Rights Watch has indicated, even more atrocious. All warring factions in the conflict perpetrated countless killings. Official reports record appalling criminal activity: fathers coerced to rape their daughters; brothers coerced to rape their siblings; child soldiers were forced to gang-rape old women, before cutting off their hands; pregnant women were disemboweled alive and the breathing fetus removed from the uterus to satisfy militias’ gambling on its sex status.
These criminal activities, which go against primal norms, aim to damage not only the victims but the entire culture. In the recent past, every manner of terror has been perpetrated on women and girls in Liberia, Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone for being inferior in gender.
In an interview a guerilla fighter in the Democratic Republic of Congo, smiled saying he had “made love” to several women. When asked if all the females were willing, he chuckles, admitting that majority fight him, but he subdues them by calling for reinforcement from his colleagues. Additionally, when such an act is labeled by the interviewer “rape,” the militia insists that sexual violence happens in times of war and that peace is not normally accompanied with rape.
It is notable; nonetheless, that the peace accords signed in the West African region did not entirely trickle down on women, in terms of ending any forms of aggression against the female gender. Studies indicate that well over 50 percent of the women residing in two Liberian provinces, incorporating the capital, Monrovia, had experienced at least one brutal sexual harassment during a one-and-a-half-year period in 2006 to2007, years following the end of the war (Voice of America 1).
Black Women in Wars, Especially in Poor African Countries. Alice Auma Lakwena-The woman who inspired thousands into Battle with mere sticks and stones.
January 1986 was a perfect era for numerous Ugandans; it was the period when the present President, Yoweri Museveni, came to authority. Majority of the middle and western areas of the nation delighted, but in the region of the ACHOLIS, there was a feeling of obscurity; it seemed all they had battled for had been lost. The ACHOLI had lost their authority in Uganda, their control and feeling of identity. They had acquired that authority by being several of the finest soldiers in the military of Uganda, becoming individuals of control and autonomy (Allen 370). Into this manly custom of soldiers and warriors, enter an important woman who was short of all the recommendations. She was deprived, un-learned, plainly lacked and still it was this female who would become the mother of the greatest battle in Uganda.
Alice Auma Lakwena stayed in the little city of Obit, a city where she survived through selling flour and fish. She was married twice but divorced in both instances as she could not give birth. Lakwena stands for messenger in the Acholi idiom and Alice definitely became that. Led by her spirit, she started a movement that would conscript up to fifteen thousand males and guided them into war in opposition to the new administration army in Uganda without modern weapons but plainly sticks and stones. She gave them a stern spiritual system, involving the rejection of witchcraft, stay virtuous, no smoking, drinking, or disagreeing, to surrender all sin in their being and bestow themselves to the duty of cleansing the Acholi individual and the country of Uganda (Allen 372).
Lakwena employed a mixture of legend, voodoo and traditional customs with her exclusive sort of Christianity thrown in. She became a motivator of Acholi individuals; this priestess hero entered her people’s chronology at their period of want and desolation and the period was just correct for her mission to take effect and cultivate. The initial attack in opposition of the National Resistance Army took action close to Lira in Northern Uganda. Equipped with bags of stones, sticks, singing songs, spraying water all around, their bodies smeared with oil to stop the bullets they marched into battle. Amazingly to the majority, they imposed major losses on the National Resistance Army that initial day even while the rocks did not detonate into grenades, and the bullets were not halted by the oil, the warrior priestess soldiers triumphed.
What is astonishing is that she never hit in furtive. She would candidly publicize the looming attack of her troops. Her militia, armed with sticks and stones, with the wails of battle, motivated by the warrior princess, progressed against a military with fatal weapons. The association supplemented arms later on and several of NRA soldiers were murdered in battle and even superior officers were executed and killed. Alice Lakwena did not fall short of soldiers and augmented new regions in and close to the Acholi region of Northern Uganda. It was remarkable to many how this female with no education could motivate numerous individuals (Allen 399). She took her forces to Eastern Uganda where again, her movement triumphed and even a superior officer from NRA was captured.
Alice passed away in a refugee site in Northern Kenya in 2007, following a long term disease and is still mentioned in Uganda by those she motivated, those she battled and those that were in the way of her army. Despite being childless in her natural life, she gave birth to the greatest battle in Uganda. Alice was the mother to what would be the battle of battles in the Pearl of Africa. Something she possibly never perceived in her mind when she carried on with her undertaking. Alice Lakwena will persist as someone exceptional in the pages of Uganda’s past.

Leymah Roberta Gbowee is a Black African peace activist accountable for arranging a peace movement that brought a conclusion to the Second Liberian Civil battle in 2003. This resulted to the voting of Ellen Johnson Sir leaf in Liberia, the initial African country with a black woman president. She was born in Central Liberia. While she was the age of seventeen, she progressed to Monrovia, when the Second Liberian Civil battle sprouted. She qualified as a stress analysts throughout the civil battle in Liberia and was employed as a counselor with the ex-child soldiers of Charles Taylor’s army (Nagbe 7). Bordered by the sights of battle, she recognized that if any alterations were to be implemented in community it had to be by the black women. She is a mother of six, and in 2002, Leymah was a communal worker who planned the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace.
The harmony association began with the regional women praying and chanting in a fish market. She planned the Christian and Muslim women of Monrovia, Liberia to implore for peace and to hold peaceful demonstrations. Together, they conducted out a sex thump in which Liberian women rejected to have relations with their partners throughout the battle. Due to the rejection, Charles Taylor accepted to meet Gbowee and guaranteed to take part in peace talks in Ghana. The females joined forces at the venue of the peace talks and rejected to depart until a consensus was arrived. Gbowee then spearheaded a designation of Liberian women to Ghana to progress to implement pressure on the battling groups through the peace procedure. They conducted a soundless demonstration outside the Presidential Palace, Accra, conveying on a consensus through the mired peace talks (Nagbe 7).
Leymah Gbowee and Comfort Freeman, leaders of two differing Lutheran churches, arranged the Women in Peace building Network (WIPNET), and subjected a declaration of purpose to the president. The statement read that the women were silent previously, but following the murder, rape, dehumanization and infection with illnesses, and viewing their children and relations harmed, battle educated the women in saying no to war and yes to harmony. Gbowee insisted that the demonstrations would not concede until peace triumphed. The lobby group brought a conclusion to the Second Liberian national war in 2003 and resulted to the voting of Ellen Johnson Sir leaf in Liberia, the initial African country with a black woman leader.

Clothed in white t-shirts to signify harmony, and figuring in the thousands, Leymah Gbowee spearheaded the women in what became a political movement in opposition of hostility and their administration. She has become triumphant in beseeching other African administrations for harmony. Leymah Gbowee is the main personality in the 2008 documentary film entitled Pray the Devil Back to Hell (Nagbe 7). The movie has been employed as a promotion instrument in post warring regions for instance, Sudan as well as Zimbabwe, assembling Black women in Africa to implore for tranquility and safety. Leymah Gbowee is the senior manager of the Women Peace and Security Network Africa, founded in Accra, Ghana and is responsible for establishing associations across West African sub-areas in maintenance of women’s capability to thwart, turn away and finish wars. She is a founding participant and previous director of the Women in Peace building Program/ West African Network for Peace building (WIPNET/WANEP). She also acted as the elected commissioner for the Liberia Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Mbuya Nehanda – Led In Resisting Colonization by the British. The invasion by the British resulted to the obliteration of the political, monetary as well as profitable and religious array of the individuals of Southern Africa. The obligation of the hut tax, compelled labor, repression of religious endeavors and land estrangement crystallized African opposition. The military movement to drive away the British, referred to as the Chimurengas or the battle of liberation was begun by the Ndebele in May 1896 and their traditional foes, the SHONA, combined them in October of the similar year. The exceptional aspect of the Chimurenga was the pioneering duties conducted by three MHONDORO: Mukwati in Matabeleland, Kagudi in western Mashonaland and Nehanda, the only woman, in central and Northern Mashonaland (Cairnie 165-170). They hit directly at the center of Shona traditions and hence detained the minds of the individuals by efficiently persuading them that Mwari accused the whites for all their anguish and ruled that the whites should be taken from the land.
Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana was regarded to as the woman embodiment of the revelation spirit Nyamhika Nehanda. Regarded to as Mbuya Nehanda, she is generally called the grandmother of current day Zimbabwe. She encouraged the SHONA individuals to drive away the British from the land, motivating them to strengthen the battle and rallying them on. Using covert messages to converse with each other, Nehanda efficiently harmonized her hard work. Kagudi was arrested but Nehanda escaped the British a while longer until she was ultimately arrested in December. They both were accused of killing an African policeman and the Native Commissioner Pollard, and sentenced to bereavement by hanging.
Nehanda’s passing phrases were that her bones would rise again, envisaged the second Chimurenga, which terminated in the autonomy of current day Zimbabwe. Facing the advanced expertise of the British, the insurgence astonishingly lasted until the end of 1897 in spite of British actions of revulsion and cruelty. Though the British casualties were statistically less, they symbolized one tenth of their inhabitants (Cairnie 165-170). The main aspects of Nehanda’s cults were ancestor reverence and spirit custody, which persevere among the individuals of current day Zimbabwe. Through the Second Chimurenga, Ian Smith, then Prime Minister of Rhodesia, in an above ground leaflet drop, summoned the names of royal MHONDORO in a distressed attempt to attenuate widespread back up for Zimbabwe African national Liberation Army. The spirit of Nyamhika Nehanda got a new medium in an old woman, who was whipped to shelter by ZANLA guerillas. The unconquerable Mbuya Nehanda, innovatory prophet and ruler of the initial Chimurenga, has currently been buried in Zimbabwe’s Heroes’ Acre.

Aya Virginie Toure is a peace activist in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). She became recognized for arranging fellow women in non hostile demonstration in opposition of President Laurent Gbagbo who declined to seize being the president of Ivory Coast in the presidential election to Alassane Ouattara. Toure worked to assemble women as the deputy Director for Ouattara’s Ivorian presidential voting. In the rally of the Republicans (RDR), the leading political party in Ivory Coast, Toure is the appointed President of the Rally of Republican Women. She spoke in opposition of Gbagbo and his interior ring of individuals who were purportedly sending taxpayers’ contribution out of the nation as their individual income (Bender et al 271-358).
Aya Virginie Toure arranged many peace demonstrations all through Ivory Coast throughout the 2010 to 2011 Ivorian calamity. In a fervent interview on BBC news, Virginie contrasted the progressing second Ivorian civil war to the 2011 Libyan national battle and requested for back up from the intercontinental society. She asked for armed forces interference to take away Laurent Gbagbo from authority in the similar manner Charles Taylor was forced to step down in the second Liberian national war.
In December 2010, Aya spearheaded hundreds of women in a diplomatic demonstration through the progressing crisis in Abidjan, the financial capital of Ivory Coast. They thumped pots to caution the advent of the militias. March 2011, she headed fifteen thousand women who collected in the town of Abidjan, in Ivory Coast, to demonstrate in opposition of the serving leader Laurent Gbagbo, who persistently declined to step down following his lose in November’s leadership voting. Several of the women were dressed in all dark clothing while others were totally naked, both of which are dreaded taboos in Ivory Coast (Bender et al 271-358). In Africa and Ivory Coast, it is like an abomination. The women were cursing the leadership of Gbagbo.
Other black women carried leaves signifying peace, and shouted that they did not recognize the unlawful leadership of Gbagbo. As the demonstrators who were singing and dancing, moved into the uninviting environs of Abobo, tanks approached the demonstrators. The women rejoiced, supposing the new advents had come in back up of their rally. But the men in the approaching troops begun shooting and killed seven of them. During the worldwide women’s’ day, Toure mobilized forty five thousand women in a nonviolent demonstration all round the nation. The women were once again met with young men equipped with machetes and repeated firing into the air at Koumassi.
In response to the demonstrations, Leymah Gbowee gave a proclamation of back up for the nonviolent demonstrations of the Christian as well as Muslim women in the Ivory Coast and contrasted them to those of her country. At the ECOWAS meeting in Nigeria a one thousand women demonstration was arranged by peace activists in West Africa in back up of the female of Ivory Coast. They dressed in white t-shirts and symbolized nations all over West Africa involving Ivory Coast (Bender et al 271-358).
They subjected press liberation and presented declaration to the ECOWAS heads of nations. March 23, Goodluck Jonathan, leader of Nigeria recommended the United Nations to surpass a declaration to take influential activities, stating volatility facades a peril to safety in West Africa. At the end of March, the United Nations Security Council resolution was acquired commonly, demanding that Laurent Gbagbo resign as leader and permit worldwide realized leader Alassane Ouattara to take over. The declaration obligated approvals on Gbagbo and his close acquaintances. The declaration was funded by France and Nigeria.

Lalla Fadhma n’Soumer in Kabyle was a significant person of the KABYALE resistant movement through the initial years of the French colonial conquest of Algiers. The effect of her participation was such that she has been viewed as the personification of the war. Lalla is a term used to regard to women esteemed as saints. N’Soumer was born in the Kabyle town. Established sources note that she demonstrated an influential and obstinate personality from her untimely young life (Salhi 79-101). For example, she emphasized on following teachings in the Koran in her parent’s institution, very uncommon conduct for a female child in that tradition. At the age of only sixteen, her relations organized for her wedding, as was tradition. Though, she declined so as to go back to her spiritual schooling.
Consequently, being regarded as a woman obsessed by the spirit, she pursued a life of severity, focused to the endeavor and research of religion, and progressed her schooling. Her reputation became widespread so much that Muslims from all Kabylie came to her for counsel and give her presents. To every person, the young girl appeared not only devoid and astute, but in addition youthful and pretty: she took much concern of her body as well as clothes, and routinely dressed in expensive ornaments. The French started their inhabitation off Algeria in 1830, beginning with a landing in Algiers. As inhabitation altered into colonization, Kabylia insisted the only area free of the French administration. Demands on the area heightened, and the longing of her people to fight away and safeguard their region also heightened.
A turning period in Lalla Fadma’s being was the settlement in Kabylie of a strange man who portrayed himself as Mohamed ben Abdallah. He was almost certainly an ex-lieutenant in the military of Emir, conquered for the last period by the French. He denied to give up at the war, and settled at Kabylie. From there, he started a war in opposition of the French military and their friends, frequently using guerilla techniques. Baghla was a persistent combatant, and expressive in Arabic. He was also very spiritual and various legends tell about his techniques (Salhi 79-101). He frequently went to summer to speak with the High ranking associates of the spiritual society and Lalla Fadhma was soon engrossed by his great character. At the same period, the unrelenting participant was drawn by a woman so decisively prepared to take part, by any way probable, to the battle in opposition of the French.
With her stimulating speeches, she persuaded numerous men to battle as volunteers prepared to pass away as martyrs, and she included, in association with other women, took part in combat by availing cooking, treatment and console to the warring armies. Fadhma was individually available at numerous battles in which Baghla was include, specifically the war of Tachekkirt triumphed by Baghla troops, where the French General was captured but was able to run away. Tired of progressive war activities from the Kabylie movement, General randon, selected Marshal of France, resolute to hold out in the late spring, what was referred to by the French the appeasement. For the attack she collected a troop of close to forty five thousand individuals grouped in numerous columns to hit.
Overwhelm was unpredictable for the community individuals, being out figured and out armed by their foes, and their homes as well as families crashed one following the other in just several months. The initial tribe to be conquered was that at YIRATEN; on their province the French begun to construct a fort. A sturdy protective line was able to halt, with major defeats and only momentarily, the attackers at other provinces recognition to a spontaneous hit derived from channels concealed in the territory (Salhi 79-101). Established sources say that Lalla Fadhma participated in the war and commanded that the armed forces must be attached to each other with chains so no one was enticed to run away.
In several days, though, employing armaments, the French army was able to penetrate the defenses and all the main tribes surrendered. Lalla Fadhma n’Soumer was captured as a captive mutually with close to two hundred additional women and young ones, who were taken with her to an imprisonment site at the Zaouia under the rule of a regional authority devoted to French. On 26 December 1854, Baghla was murdered; several resources assert it was as a result of the sedition of several of his associates.
The confrontation persisted with no compelling principal and a commandant competent to direct it competently. For this motive, through the first months of 1855, on an asylum constructed top of Azru Nethor climax, not away from the community where Fadhma was nurtured, there was a big assembly between participants and significant numbers of the clans in Kabylie. They accepted to award Lalla Fadhma, helped by her brothers, the authority of fighting. After numerous years following her passing away, Lalla Fadhma’s reputation persists alive and current all through Algeria, and in exact in her area, Kabylia. Particularly, numerous players and bands painted pictures and wrote songs about her, one of the greatest well-known songs devoted to her is by Tagrawla, an Algerian group.
An Algerian feminist linked was renamed Daughters of Lalla Fatma N Soummer in her tribute. Lalla Fadhma, and her illustration of a persistent and courageous lady, is still fascinating at the current time; specifically when in 1995 her vestiges were moved to the conqueror’s cemetery of El Alia, Algiers, the definite day and instance of the ritual was not proclaimed in progress, but only exposed to the media what had taken place after it occurred. The Algiers power were viewed by the media as discomfited to do this move just after passing a bill about Family Code which was enormously cruel with women; in this manner, the powers would not have to safeguard probable disagreeable demonstrations by the women’s relations which unearth in Lalla Fadhma an imperative stature exemplifying an intensely sovereign and contemporary woman (Salhi 79-101).

Conclusion

Generally, the violence meted against the female gender continues. Murderous brutal attacks, not astoundingly, cannot be eradicated in a hurry. In West Africa, as is the case in other regions of Africa such as the DRC and Somalia, rapists thrive and use the act as war strategy; it has become a practice carried flawlessly into the contemporary Africa that is largely at peace. Nevertheless, where usual policing and justice mechanisms have been rendered obsolete by war, former combatants and ordinary men alike normally prey upon females with impunity. Even so, it may not be easy to know precisely how common the challenge is, because girls and women who have been raped are usually too humiliated by the despicable acts to report them.
Most rape cases are committed by a friend or member of the relations and are habitually “influenced” by a token cash payment. Although, rape is currently illegalin many African nations, irate parents in Africa increasingly report cases of child defilement to authorities. For instance in Kailahun District, Sierra Leone, womenmobilize efforts to fight brutal attacks and sexual violence meted against them. Domestic violence, wife-battering, marital rape, torture, emotional abuse, economic marginalization, and such like acts are also widespread and have soared across the African continent, and technically continuing the customary hostility of war.

Annotated Bibliography

Africa Action. Africa: Women in Post-War Reconstruction, (Web, 30/04/2011). Retrieved from http://apic.igc.org/docs99/aft9909.htm
The paper explores the African women living in war-torn African states such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among other states have surely felt the impacts of conflict to their lifestyle.
Allen, Tim.Understanding Alice: Uganda’s Holy Spirit movement in context. Africa, 61.3 (1991): 370-399.
This paper indicates that majority of the middle and western areas of Uganda delighted, but in the region of the ACHOLIS, there was a feeling of obscurity; it seemed all they had battled for had been lost. She has made enormous contribution toward the liberation of women from the pangs of war in the country.
Bender et al. Proto-Micronesian Reconstructions. Oceanic Linguistics, 42.2 (2003): 271-358.
As noted in the work Bender and the rest suggest Aya Virginie Toure is a peace activist in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). She became recognized for arranging fellow women in non hostile demonstration in opposition of President Laurent Gbagbo who declined to seize being the president of Ivory Coast in the presidential election to Alassane Ouattara.
Cairnie, Julie. Women and the Literature of Settlement and Plunder: Toward an Understanding of the Zimbabwean Land Crisis. English Studies in Canada, 33.1/2 (2007): 165-188.
According to Cairnie (165-188) the invasion by the British resulted to the obliteration of the political, monetary as well as profitable and religious array of the individuals of Southern Africa. The obligation of the hut tax, compelled labor, repression of religious endeavors and land estrangement crystallized African opposition.
Nagbe, Horace P. Promoting Gender Equality in Postconflict Liberia: Challenges and Prospects. Peace & Conflict Monitor, (May2010): 7.
Leymah Roberta Gbowee is a Black African peace activist accountable for arranging a peace movement that brought a conclusion to the Second Liberian Civil battle in 2003. This resulted to the voting of Ellen Johnson Sir leaf in Liberia, the initial African country with a black woman president.
Salhi, Zahia Smail. Between the languages of silence and the woman’s word: gender and language in the work of Assia Djebar. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 190. 1 (2008): 79-101.
According to Salhi, Lalla Fadhma n’Soumer in Kabyle was a significant person of the KABYALE resistant movement through the initial years of the French colonial conquest of Algiers. The effect of her participation was such that she has been viewed as the personification of the war. Lalla is a term used to regard to women esteemed as saints.

Works Cited

Africa Action. Africa: Women in Post-War Reconstruction, (Web, 30/04/2011). Retrieved from http://apic.igc.org/docs99/aft9909.htm
Allen, Tim. Understanding Alice: Uganda’s holy spirit movement in context. Africa, 61.3(1991): 370-399.
Bender et al. Proto-Micronesian Reconstructions. Oceanic Linguistics, 42.2 (2003): 271-358.
Cairnie, Julie. Women and the Literature of Settlement and Plunder: Toward an Understanding of the Zimbabwean Land Crisis. English Studies in Canada, 33.1/2 (2007): 165-188.
Nagbe, Horace P. Promoting Gender Equality in Postconflict Liberia: Challenges and Prospects. Peace & Conflict Monitor, (May2010): 7.
Salhi, Zahia Smail. Between the languages of silence and the woman’s word: gender and language in the work of Assia Djebar. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 190. 1 (2008): 79-101.
Voice of America. US Groups Help Africa’s War-Affected Women (Web, March 24 2011). Retrieved from http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/US-Women-Help-Africas-War-Affected-Women-118594794.html

Essay Topic: Meaning of Murder

It is a common idea shared by everyone that murder is a heinous crime of taking another person’s life. “Murder is not crime of criminals, but that of law abiding citizens” (Schmalleger, 2001). However, simply killing someone does not make it murder under law, rather the act should fall true in law’s criteria in order to be claimed as murder.
Murder, in its legal sense, means the act of killing someone unlawfully. Hence, there are circumstances where the act of killing will not be tantamount to murder in the court of law. Such cases exist where homicides have not been punished. Such examples can be found in assisted suicide, wars and self-defense cases.
With the advent of development and improved standards of living, people are becoming more civilized and have come to believe that executions and other forms of assassination must not be permissible under any circumstance and must get penalized. This idea has altered the meaning of the word (in legal sense) as people tend to label any act of killing as murder without understanding its legal nature.
People across the world have started recognizing and appreciating the highest standards of human rights. In many countries death penalty has been abolished, Australia is one such example. Citizens of such countries consider execution as a murder on the state’s part. That is why the United States and other countries where death penalty is still intact are under constant pressure from various human rights activists to make reforms in their laws and abolish this punishment. Such a case was witnessed when a 25-year-old Australian national Nguyen Tuong Van was sentenced to death by a Singaporean court for the crime of drug trafficking. Many Australians felt for their fellow citizen and demanded the release of Nguyen (Hogan, Cooke, & Butcher, 2005). However, after all appeals were denied he was executed. This particular case moved Australians and they claimed this to be an incident of state murder. Protest against the Singaporean government was showcased at a mammoth scale. People demanded release of Nguyen; the least they wanted was his life to be spared. In this particular case Australians made a mistake by confusing execution and death penalty with murder (Hogan, Cooke, & Butcher, 2005). Execution is entirely different from murder, in the former a convicted criminal is sentenced to death, while the latter stands as the act of ending an innocent person’s life unlawfully (Hogan, Cooke, & Butcher, 2005).
Similarly, Euthanasia, which is legal under certain circumstances, is considered a murder on part of physician by most people who consider that pain should be endured by the patient no matter how harsh the suffering is. However, assisted suicide can be legally practiced where the patient has given his consent and is certain that he will not survive and keeping him conscious and alive will only result in further suffering and pain. Thus, there are certain circumstances where assisted suicide is legal, but many journalists and people who share the same point of view that killing under any circumstances is wrong, use the word murder for euthanasia, which can jeopardize the career of a devoted physician who merely acted on the patient’s advice.
There has been a similar case where euthanasia was practiced by a physician after the endorsement of the patient’s wife, who requested the death of her husband after learning that keeping him alive will only bring more suffering (Sabbatino, 2011). Biased media reports surfaced and the court decided this practice was murder and illegal. Sabbatino criticizes the practice of euthanasia as murder and claims that it should not be practiced under any circumstance. This argument might seem to be acceptable emotionally, but legally and rationally, it does not stand possess any substantial weight (Sabbatino, 2011).
Euthanasia is a legally accepted practice where a physician provides complete detail to the suffering patient or to his family, when the patient is not in a condition to make a decision for him. After considering all the variables, after which that option is chosen, that which seems less painful and relieving for the patient.
In these cases people should be cautious before charging the physician with murder, as the physician is not the decision maker; in fact he just merely acts on the direction of patient or his heirs. Judging and labeling medical practitioners as murderers where they can legally practice assisted suicide is unethical and such judgments can definitely ruin their career. In a recent survey where medical students were interviewed as to whether they would ever consider such a practice, some suggested that 16 percent of the practitioners would consider it, 55 percent would not consider practicing euthanasia under any circumstance whereas 29 percent were not sure and planned to make the decision depending on the nature of the case (Kane, 2010). This survey goes to show that our society really considers death as a terrible incident and most of the people would not get their hands dirty under any situation. Nonetheless, labeling euthanasia is not at all acceptable (Kane, 2010).
Similarly, the supposed execution of a convicted killer, Michael Morales who in 1981 raped and killed 17-year-old Terri Winchell in a gruesome manner was claimed to be unfair and inhumane as this would result in pain to the murderer. The society has grown so sensitive to any kind of violence and suffering that people now even consider the execution of the convicted murderer as unfair (Ryan, 2006). America has been under constant pressure from many human rights activists and organizations to ban death penalty in all of its states. People have become so concerned about human rights that they are unwilling to tolerate lawful execution of a killer. Even the physicians who were assigned the task to give lethal injections to execute Michael Morales backed out at the last minute, fearing that they would be labeled as murderers and this would ruin their careers as medical practitioner. In today’s society many people consider painful death unjust even for a convicted killer. The way medical practitioners are trained and educated, most of them now believe that death penalty should be abolished completely and doctors who take part in such a task would automatically risk their careers (Ryan, 2006). Even if a doctor acts as a tool to implement justice, he could be called an assassin while he is actually executing a person who feels no remorse.
In another story covering the execution of Albert Greenwood Brown, a convicted killer charged for abducting, raping and murdering 15 year old girl, Brown’s lawyer on death row claimed death penalty to be unconstitutional and unfair and that his client was unable to choose the method of his execution. In case of failure he was supposed to be executed through a three drug cocktail, which the lawyer considered cruel even for a killer and rapist. People might tag this act as a murder on the part of state, for not allowing a convicted killer the manner in which he has to die.
In some circumstances people also tend to label an individual acting in self-defense as a murderer where the person just tries to save himself from injury and in the process inflicts a blow on the attacker which results in latter’s death. These situations have been witnessed in cases where a child has been bullied at young age by another kid; when the child acts in defense and accidently kills the bully. He was labeled as murderer by the family of the deceased child; while in the rational and more importantly, the legal sense, accidental killing in self-defense is not murder at all.
This casts a negative impact on the child who has already gone through an emotional trauma by being bullied and in addition, people have branded him as murderer too. This judgmental behavior and label are deemed to affect an innocent individual’s psyche (Kalkstein, 2011).
Summarily, it can be stated that our society has become oversensitive for no reason at all, while totally overlooking the atrocity of the crime previously committed by the criminals. Even killing of convicted killers is being opposed; USA and other countries are being pressured by human rights organizations to abolish capital punishment. They consider such executions as murders by state, as exemplified in Nguyen’s case.
Murder should be separated from other acts of killing which are legalized by law and practical under certain circumstances. Thus, we should be careful while using this word so that we do not fallaciously accuse someone of being a criminal.

References:

Schmalleger, F. (2001). Criminal law today: An introduction with capstone cases. Prentice Hall.
Hogan, J., Cooke, D., & Butcher, S. (2005, December 02). Australia wide protests. The Age
Sabbatino, R. J. (2011, July 03). Suicide is not a crime, but euthanasia is. Pocono Record
Kane, L. (2010, November 11). Exclusive ethics survey results: Doctors struggle with tougher-than-ever dilemmas: other ethical issues. Retrieved from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/731485_7
Ryan, Joan. (2006, February 23). It’s about the killing, not the pain. San Francisco Chronicle,
Kalkstein, Meghan. (2011, July 01). Father says son, accused of murder, and acted in self-defense. Retrieved from http://www.katu.com/news/local/124839584.html

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