In this third article of the series centered on the necessary requirement of loyalty particular attention will be paid to how one can cultivate and maintain the virtuous habit of loyalty. Loyalty like most virtues can be craved, formed and maintained by conscious thought and practice. How? The rest of this article will endeavor to answer. The second article on the vice of disloyalty observed the following points:To be loyal means to be faithful to a person, institution, nation or a cause for as long as it takes and is required. It is the act of giving oneself totally in terms of time, energy, obedience, resources, and best thoughts to a cause or person. Loyalty is the giving of total support to a person or a cause. It is the act of keeping a promise come what may. It means being committed to the core. Loyalty means loving, defending, and promoting what one believes in. To be loyal is to be true to a person or cause at all times and under all circumstances.The exact opposite of loyalty is disloyalty. It means to be unfaithful, uncommitted and unreliable with regard to a cause or person. At its worst it takes the form of betrayal wherein one connives with the enemies of a friend, family or a cause that one is supposed to defend and promote to harm that friend, family or cause. It hurts deeply when one is supposed to be a loyal friend, family or a fan of a cause but is found to be the exact opposite.!This act of betrayal or lack of commitment is one of the major causes of families, institutions and nations not doing as well as they ought to. Disloyalty impedes and stifles their progress. Liberia is lacking behind countries in Africa that she is supposed to be leading in terms of stability and socio-economic wellbeing all because of the lack of patriotism which is another form of disloyalty on the part of many of her citizens, especially those in positions of leadership. Many Liberians pay a lip service to the indispensable quality of patriotism but in practice are very disloyal to the overall interests of the nation.If Liberia is to recover from past mistakes and make rapid and lasting progress in advancing the welfare of its vast majority of citizens, Liberians, must learn and practice patriotism. On the individual and institutional level, disloyalty can be overcome by the realization that it is a part of life and that anyone or institution can be a victim of it. When it does occur one or an institution must not let it be a determiner of fate. Progress must be continued as if disloyalty never occurred. Disloyalty occurs in all sorts of ways and to all sorts of people and institutions and it hurts. But to overcome it and not let it impede the achievement of dreams and aspirations, is an important strategy for any successful living.How then may one form and keep the good habit of loyalty to the right causes and persons? Loyalty is both a virtue and a principle. A virtue must be consciously owed, practiced as often as possible and made one’s second nature. One must believe passionately that loyalty is essential for a successful living and for pleasing God and all those to whom one is accountable. All just causes require loyal promoters.Just as one can resolve to be sincere under all circumstances, as far as humanly possible, one can also to be loyal to God Almighty and those just and noble causes and persons who promote justice and believe and work for the common good of the neighbor and all of society. Of course, a resolution is only a resolution on paper or in the mind until it is demonstrated through living it out. The way one can convince oneself and others is by living the virtue of loyalty.The saying is true that charity (the old word for love) begins at home. Loyalty has to begin with God the Creator and Source of all that one is and has. Someone has rightly observed that if one is unfaithful (dishonest) to God in prayer, giving (tithes and dues) and in worship, then one is likely to be disloyal to one’s partner, children, job and others. One way to demonstrate that one is loyal to God is to be loyal to the persons and causes that one is closest to and interact with most frequently. When such a habit is formed then it is a lot easier to extend it to those far off. Loyalty to just causes and persons is a necessity for living a healthy and fulfilled life and all sober minded persons must endeavor to form it and live it daily.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
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While it might sound like fun to work around pets every day, veterinarians and people who volunteer at animal shelters face particular stressors that can place them at risk for depression, anxiety and even suicide, says a study. “People who work or volunteer with animals are often drawn to it because they see it as a personal calling. However, they are faced with animal suffering and death on a routine basis, which can lead to burnout, compassion fatigue and mental health issues,” said Angela K Fournier from Bemidji State University in the US. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainVeterinarians in particular are at high risk for death by suicide, according to a study from the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, which also found that from 1979 to 2015, veterinarians died by suicide between two to 3.5 times more often than the general US population. While veterinarians who are dealing with mental health issues may exhibit symptoms common to all populations, such as sadness that interferes with daily activities or changes in appetite. Also Read – Shallu Jindal honoured with Mahatma AwardAccording to the team of researchers, which conducted the study, increased medical errors, absenteeism, client complaints and spending too little or too much time at work are counted amongst different factors to watch for. The research team also believes that there needs to be a paradigm shift in veterinary training to better prepare veterinarians not only for the animal-related aspects of their jobs, but the human elements as well. In the course of the study, the researchers also looked at employees and volunteers in animal shelters or rescues and animal welfare and animal rights activists, who are at risk for compassion fatigue and psychological distress. And they found that over 2.4 million healthy cats and dogs are euthanised each year in the US, most often homeless animals in shelters, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Shelter workers are then caught in a dilemma because they are charged with caring for an animal and they may ultimately end that animal’s life. Research suggests that this causes significant guilt, which can lead to depression, anxiety and insomnia, as well as greater family-work conflict and low job satisfaction. “Animal welfare agents may also hear gruesome stories of animal abuse or witness the consequences firsthand when they are rehabilitating the animals, which can cause a lot of distress and lead to compassion fatigue,” Fournier said. The study was presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.
Special Olympics has announced that WWE will once again support the Special Olympics mission to change the world through sports by sponsoring the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.Taking place in Seattle, WA July 1- July 6, more than 3,500 Special Olympics athletes from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, 1,000 coaches, 10,000 family members, 10,000 volunteers and an estimated 50,000 spectators will take part in this premier national sports competition, showcasing the power and joy of sports at the highest levels.WWE will promote the upcoming USA Games through its global media assets including the WWE Network, TV, digital and social media, as well as during upcoming WWE live events held throughout the U.S. To support the road to the USA Games, WWE will be highlighting Special Olympics through the eyes of three athletes: Katie Millar, a Powerlifter from Illinois; C.J. Piantieri, a Powerlifter from Florida; and Joshua Oakley, a Track and Field athlete from Connecticut. Additionally, WWE Superstars will be supporting all Special Olympics athletes at the USA Games by conducting daily autograph signings, medal presentations and attending the Opening Ceremonies.“We’re thrilled to partner with WWE and appreciate their commitment to Special Olympics and to furthering the ideals of inclusion,” said Beth Knox, President and CEO of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. “We know how much our athletes admire WWE Superstars and I know meeting them will be one of the many highlights of their week in Seattle.”“WWE is honored to continue our longstanding partnership with Special Olympics and help spread the message of acceptance and inclusion through our global platforms,” said WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon. “The heart, passion and dedication of Special Olympic athletes is truly inspirational and we look forward to supporting them at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.”WWE’s partnership with Special Olympics started with the 1995 World Games in New Haven, Connecticut, and it has continued through the more recent Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015, the 2014 USA Games in New Jersey, and an ongoing corporate partnership with Special Olympics Connecticut.Click here to see the announcement that was made on Monday Night Raw.
By Stephen Janis and J.K. Schmid, Special to the AFROStorm clouds descended on Baltimore, Tuesday around 2 p.m. A black haze reached down to obscure the topmost floors of the World Trade Center. Lightning flashed and thunder louder than the trucks lumbering down Pratt Street. But the rain hadn’t come yet.A political career that spanned nearly four decades came to an ignominious end July 17 when former State Sen. Nathaniel “Nat” Oaks was sentenced to three and half years in federal prison for accepting bribes and obstructing justice. Upon his release, Oaks must also submit to three years of state supervision. It’s a grim forecast that will shadow Oaks, 71, almost into his 80s.Sentenced to 3 ½ years in prison for bribery, former Sen. Nat Oaks went to Luna Del Sea Steak & Bistro for a meal with supporters. (Photo by J.K. Schmid)Oaks was also ordered to pay a $30,000 fine and to perform 80 hours of community service.Oaks has 60 days to report to Federal Correctional Institution-a prison of his own choosing. Before the worst comes, Oaks took shelter at Luna Del Sea Steak & Bistro, 300 Pratt St. on July 17.Tucked in the back, past the bar and the restaurant’s booths, in Luna’s banquet hall, Oaks broke bread with around 40 friends and supporters after his defeat in court.“Good people make mistakes,” said Anthony McCarthy, former media representative for Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and former AFRO editor, told the AFRO. “Nathaniel Oaks still has a lot to contribute to the community. Those people who truly know him have already forgiven him and are ready to join him for the next chapter in his life.”The sentence comes after Oaks pleaded guilty to a series of federal charges, the result of an investigation that included wiretaps, business owners working as FBI informants and efforts by Oaks to tip off a target of the probe which resulted in additional charges.Charges from federal prosecutors depicted Oaks as a politician who was willing to sell influence in exchange for cash, and who attempted to stymie the investigation after he agreed to cooperate.In a series of meetings with a lobbyist, Oaks negotiated cash payments of $10,300 to assist a business working with the FBI to obtain a contract with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Oaks eventually wrote a letter on the company’s behalf and later introduced a bill that would have authorized a $250,000 bond to fund the project which netted him an additional $5,000 payment.After Oaks was indicted, he agreed to cooperate with the FBI and wear a wire. But, investigators caught the West Baltimore politician tipping off the intended target, which resulted in a superseding indictment and additional charges of obstructing justice. Oaks also reversed on his agreement to cooperate with the investigation.During sentencing WBAL-TV reported that Judge Richard Bennett said Oaks’ efforts to obstruct an ongoing investigation factored into his decision to impose a lengthier sentence.“To obstruct an FBI investigation is as serious as the underlying case,” Bennett said before handing down the sentence.The statutory minimum in these kinds of cases is 8-10 years. The defense asked for 18 months.“[Bennett] was still stuck on the one thing,” Larry Young, former Maryland State Senator and host of WOLB’s The Larry Young Morning Show, told the AFRO. “This judge wanted to send a signal to Nat Oaks: He should not have told the federal FBI he was going to cooperate and reverse himself. And he hung to that.”Rather than resign, Larry Young was expelled from the Maryland State Senate over ethics allegations in 1998. He was acquitted at trial.“To anyone in that courtroom, it was very clear that he was looking at that 18 months, but he put on the additional years because of that,” Young said.Young was one of 40 character witnesses to write a letter to Judge Bennett on behalf of Oaks.The sentence marks the end of a career that was forged in the Edmondson Village community of West Baltimore. Even early in his career Oaks was no stranger to controversy.First elected to the state legislator as a delegate to the 41st district in 1983, Oaks lost his seat in 1989 after he was accused of double billing the state for personal expenses.But, Oaks won the seat back in 1994, and served as a delegate until 2017 when Governor Larry Hogan appointed him to replace retiring State Sen. Lisa Gladden.Still, even facing charges, Oaks managed to weigh in on the most recent election.After a group of 41st district constituents won a court order to have him removed from the 2018 primary ballot, Atty. Gen. Brian Frosh successfully persuaded the Maryland Court of Appeals to keep him on it.The move prompted criticism that keeping Oaks on the ballot was an attempt to split Black votes in a contentious Senate race between former Del. Jill Carter and newcomer JD Merrill, who has ties to the former Gov. Martin O’Malley through marriage to his daughter Grace who also works for the Attorney General’s office.Carter ultimately prevailed, but Oaks still garnered roughly 1,000 votes in a race decided by roughly 2,000 votes.Young, the first Black chair of a standing committee, Environmental Matters, worked with Oaks in the Senate.“I tend to be a consensus builder, and moderate, Nat’s gung-ho, ‘let’s get it done now,’ and so, it was like, if you don’t want Nat Oaks on your ass, you’ve gotta talk to LY,” Young said. “The caucus is gonna miss him, because not everyone in that caucus has the ability to stand and tell the other folks this is wrong, this is unfair, and you’re gonna respect us. And that was him, Joan Carter Conway were two of the few that had kind of discipline and character about them, and that’s going to be missed, in that caucus.”Oaks came to the front of the restaurant to greet the AFRO but declined interview or comment.“The AFRO never writes anything good about me, so no thank you,” Oaks said.The rain came shortly thereafter.