The art of sentence construction and writing, as told by a contractor.

Writing affects my current and future professional goals in many different ways. It is present and imperative in my everyday life whether professional, or personal.

Writing has a major impact on my life, and mainly so it begins on a personal level. Writing to me is an art. It a beautiful expression of my self and my thoughts, on paper. To me, proper writing, includes the ability to think free-style, while applying the correct mechanics and logistics to your written thoughts. Just like music. or painting, proper writing sounds beautiful when the aforementioned factors are in sync.

Because I enjoy the process of thought, documenting my life experiences and dreams, and the process of learning; writing plays a significant roll in my life.

In addition, my current professional goals, include attending upper level school. Acquiring a high proficiency and dominance of the written and spoken language, will assist me at succeeding in anything that I wish to accomplish in life.

Furthermore, developing high competency in writing, may allow me to assist other people in the future thru the means of teaching, and will come in handy when it is my time to pursue my Master’s and Doctorate’s degree.

The writing style of a person, dictates much about their persona and level of education. It shows how much a person cares about properly writing a language, and about the way they convey themselves with others. To me, instilling the importance of writing to my children, is a priority. Proper grammar and punctuation, will assist in many life situations. College applications, resumes, scholarship considerations, auto-biographies, etc., are a few examples of circumstances in which the importance of proper writing, prevails.

Thanks to writing, our world is filled with valuable pieces of literature, that contain either historical, cultural, political, spiritual, and imaginative information. Authors from all over the world, have made this possible through the art of writing. Imagine what our world would be like without literature? What would love be without poetry, or imagination without fictional books? What would history be without proper event documentation, or science without data collection? Without writing, the world would lack knowledge and inspiration. Education would be null, and records of history would be non-existent. We owe much of our past, and our dreams to this art.

Writing is an art

Writing is an art, and as every art, it requires a passion and talent. Developing proper writing skills, takes time, consistency, and dedication. Most of the basic fundamentals, needed for writing, are learned in early school years. They are perfected and refined during college, and upper level education courses. Because writing is one of the most common and recognized subjects, it is not unusual to find good tutors, who are willing to assist you at little or no cost. Most colleges, offer free writing reviews, where feedback is provided, and technique advices are reinforced. In addition, there are many free online resources, that provide tips, and hints for proper sentence construction. Local libraries, are also a great resource to research proper grammar and writing structure, in many different languages. It is a general good practice, to always have one or two people, review your work, prior to turning it in. This process is called proof-reading. It will increase the accuracy and quality of your work.

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Virtue and Human Rights. Do your actions have moral worth?

The topic of Human Rights, is a very interesting and broad one. Despite many efforts in history to create and protect universal human rights, there are still a number of issues that arise with this topic. Billions of people today and through out history, have experienced first hand, the violation of their human rights. Whether this be through lack of basic needs such as food and water, through a direct threat to liberty and life, or thru an indirect manner. The truth is we are all at risk.

According to Nichomachean ethics, there are three basic principles that must be met in order for our actions to have moral worth:

  1. An action has moral worth if it is done by a person exhibiting virtue (arête).
  2. An action has moral worth if it based on one’s practical wisdom (phronesis).
  3. An action has moral worth if it is based on the person’s happiness (eudemonia).

 

A person’s ability to assist those in need and to protect their human rights; while maintaining a balance at dong so; is a virtue. Past experiences, opportunities to applying empirical observation in various circumstances, and sometimes, even employment, could very likely lead to a lifetime of practical wisdom acquisition.

According to ethics, in an effort to be considered a virtuous person, one must have a true motive for helping others. In addition, the protection of human rights and equality, as well as passion and knowledge for helping others, are characteristics that work towards one common goal: self eudemonia and the happiness of the general population, specially of those in need. In other words, these actions demonstrate that a persons’ actions have moral worth.

In addition to the humanitarian classification, the above acts can be categorized under what once used to be referred to as the Natural Rights Theory. This theory, holds that humans have absolute, natural rights (in the sense of universal rights that are inherent in the nature of ethics, and not contingent on human actions or beliefs). This eventually developed into what we today call human rights.

While there have been controversies, with regards to what human rights should be tended too first, there appears to be general consensus, that respect and protection for human life come first. Once safety has been established, then addressing concerns and offering assistance related to the basic necessities of life, comes into play. The question many ask however, is: Which human rights have priorities? While the answer to this lies within ourselves and the values instilled in us, many agree that some of these rights take precedence over others.

According to many resources, the protection of human rights, should follow this order:

  • Carrying out evacuations and relocations when necessary in an effort to protect life
  • Protecting populations against the negative impacts of natural hazards
  • Protecting populations against violence, including gender-based violence
  • Providing security in camps when these are necessary
  • Protecting people against anti-personnel landmines and other explosive devices

A second category of rights are those related to basic necessities of life, including:

  • Access to goods and services and humanitarian assistance
  • Provision of adequate food, and sanitation, shelter, clothing and essential health services.

Protection of other economic, social and cultural rights, including

  • Education
  • Property and possessions
  • Housing
  • Livelihood and work

Finally, other civil and political rights need to be protected:

  • Documentation
  • Freedom of movement and right to return
  • Family life and missing or dead relatives
  • Expression, assembly and association, and religion
  • Electoral rights.

Furthermore, strong communication with peer volunteers, task distribution, proper planning and implementation of a safety plan, will allow volunteers to assist multiple groups at multiple times. Furthermore, this will aide in the establishment of common grounds, where respect for life not only means saving people from drowning, bringing them to safety, providing basic necessities, but also a respect that must come individually from each person. The protection of Human Rights, does not simply come down to a government, it is the common responsibility of all of us, to respect life, each other, and our world. As Eleanor Roosevelt once stated: “Where after all, do Universal Human Rights begin? In small places close to home.”

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The Government and Hurricane Katrina – Ethical Dilemmas

Hurricane Katrina took place on August 23rd, 2015, and lasted until August 31st, 2005. A total of 1,836 people, died from this natural disaster and over 600,000 families were displaced. Many say, these deaths could have been prevented should the government had taken effective and preventative measures. As a result, ethical dilemmas from people and organizations all over the world, have come about. Some people argue that the government was negligent, others argue that it was an act of God that could have not possibly been prevented. Regardless of who is right, the truth is that Katrina took many lives. Below, is my take on this perspective from a political and ethical standpoint.

 

While hurricane Katrina affected thousands of people, homes, families, structures, etc., the aftermath allowed for other countries to learn from empirical observation. Hurricane Katrina, served as a wake-up call for many governments, and for families themselves.

 

There are no two situations that are identical to each other, even if there were to be a “replica” of an event that already took place. Furthermore, unforeseen circumstances will always take place and people will react differently to them. Variations from one disaster to another, are always present. While the government of Louisiana and its habitants learned valuable lessons, learning is a work in progress which does not cease.

 

I strongly doubt that ethical dilemmas could be completely eliminated, regardless of how well prepared a state is for emergencies. Furthermore, while some of these dilemmas could be minimized by prompt and effective warning; there will always be issues that arise as a result of cultural diversity and planning. There is no one single ethical approach, that is able to alleviate the ethical dilemma of thousands of people at once. While some approaches may be better than others (Human Rights), understanding that people have different needs and beliefs, is key to pre and post planning.

 

Better post-hurricane emergency planning, could potentially alleviate some of the ethical differences and dilemmas that arise during an emergency situation. There are certain factors that must be considered when planning for disaster management.

 

  1. Become familiar with the different cultural groups in the community (cultural composition).
  2. Identify the needs of each culture.
  3. Identify the values and beliefs of each culture.
  4. Identify the primary spoken language of each culture.
  5. Identify available resources (translators, phone lines, sign-language interpreters)
  6. Identify the cultural brokers in the community (someone who is respected and listened to in the community)
  7. Identify leaders and gatekeepers of each cultural group.
  8. Pre-establishing alliances with media (news paper, T.V. Stations, radio, etc.,)
  9. Prepare to deliver verbal and non-verbal emergency information, in each culture’s primary language.
  10. Identify the strengths and capacities of available volunteers (language, race, religion, etc.)

 

In my opinion the core of ethical dilemmas, comes as a result and combination of multiple factors. One factor that appeared to strongly impact the outcome and readiness of Hurricane Katrina however, appeared to be communication. Additionally, the lack of resources and proper training of staff and volunteers severely impacted the outcome.

 

Effective disaster planning and multicultural training, should be factors to consider year-round in an effort to better prepare for future catastrophes. More so, understanding that there is not one single universal approach that will work for all situations, is key to managing ethical dilemmas within.

 

While many people concentrate their efforts into pointing fingers, and criticizing the efforts of governmental agencies, many others are suffering the effects of the aftermath of events such as the one mentioned above. It is imperative to come together as a community, and reach out to those who are most in need. Furthermore, these negative approaches, have the potential of slowing down disaster recovery processes, and of taking the attention of away, of those who need it the most.

 

A small monetary contribution, or volunteer work, can go very far, and provide relief to some of these victims and/or their loved ones. If more effort were put into helping rather than critiquing, our world, would be a much better and happier place. Believe it or not, a small grain of rice, can truly make the difference for many.