Happiness is considered very important in life. Why is it difficult to define? What factors are important in achieving happiness?
Happiness is very difficult to define, because it means so many different things to different people. While some people link happiness to wealth and material success, others think it lies in emotions and loving personal relationships. Yet others think that spiritual paths, rather than either the material world or relationships with people, are the only way to true happiness.
Because people interpret happiness for themselves in so many different ways, it is difficult to give any definition that is true for everyone. However, if there are different kinds of happiness for different individuals then the first step in achieving it would be to have a degree of self-knowledge. A person needs to know who he or she is before being able to know what it is that makes him or her happy.
Of course, factors such as loving relationships, good health, the skills to earn a living and a peaceful environment all contribute to our happiness too. But this does not mean that people without these conditions cannot be happy.
Overall, I think an ability to keep clear perspectives in life is a more essential factor in achieving happiness. By that I mean an ability to have a clear sense of what is important in our lives (the welfare of our families, the quality of our relationships, making other people happy, etc.) and what is not (a problem at work, getting annoyed about trivial things, etc.)
Like self-awareness, this is also very difficult to achieve, but I think these are the two factors that may be the most important for achieving happiness.
Some people believe that education is the only critical factor to the development of a country. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Development of a country means making the country work their way up the ladder of economic performance, living standards, sustainability and equality. However, there are people of the opinion that the only factor responsible for the development of a country is education. In my opinion, education does plays a very important role in the advancement of a country, however it is not the only factor playing its role.
Education is very important for a country, the better the education system the better will be the future. For instance, a country having education for all would mean that it will have better skilled force, it might even be possible that out of them some would become entrepreneurs, others good politicians, may be great teachers. This enables in building up a strong foundation.
However, education is not the only factor playing role. It is important for people to be educated but it is more important that education is done in the right field. For instance, if in the present times, there is no teaching of computers in school or colleges, the country is less likely to benefit. Even more, factors such as poverty play a very important role. No matter a country has free education but if the children don’t have food it is less likely that they will study.
To sum up, educations surely plays a pivotal role in the development of country, but other factors such as better living standards, good health system also are essential.
Some people believe that when choosing a job, the only thing to be considered is the salary it is offering, while others are of the opinion that you should do what you love. Discuss both views.
It is the cofounder of Apple that has inspired the generations to come to do what they love to do. However, in reality, often the things that we love tend to give us little money to be able to survive in the world. While there are people who believe that nothing is better than doing what makes them feel right, there are people of the opinion that one should be more practical when choosing a job. In my opinion, it must be a balance between the two.
Doing something that you love surely gives oneself a sense of achievement. When someone does a job that they like, it is more likely that people will finish it till the end. It is only when someone does what they are not very interested in, that they tend to give up. Even more, although some jobs pay less, if it feels right, the joy that one gets by doing something that their heart feels right, gives much more joy than something that is done purely for money.
However, it cannot be denied that money is equally important for leading a life. There have been people who felt in love with acting and when they tried pursuing their career in it, failed miserably. Some of them ended up being in mental asylums, others committed suicide. Keeping in mind such examples one needs to make sure that they are at least able to feed themselves before they go on to do something more closer to themselves.
Overall, it is important to be financially independent to be able to live in this world but it is equally important to be able to do things that are true to one’s nature.
Research indicates that the characteristics we are born with have much more influence on our personality and development than any experiences we may have in our life. Which do you consider to be the major influence?
Today the way we consider human psychology and mental development is heavily influenced by the genetic sciences. We now understand the importance to inherited characteristics more than ever before. Yet we are still unable to decide whether an individual’s personality and development are more influenced by genetic factors (nature) or by the environment (nurture).
Research, relating to identical twins, has highlighted how significant inherited characteristics can be for an individual’s life. But whether these characteristics are able to develop within the personality of an individual surely depends on whether the circumstances allow such a development. It seems that the experiences we have in life are so unpredictable and so powerful, that they can boost or over-ride other influences, and there seems to be plenty of research finding s to confirm this.
My own view is that there is no one major influence in a person’s life. Instead, the traits we inherit from our parents and the situations and experiences that we encounter in life are constantly interacting. It is the interaction of the two that shapes a person’s personality and dictates ow that personality develops. If this were not true, then we would be able to predict the behavior and character of a person form the moment they were born.
In conclusion, I do not think that either nature or nurture is the major influence on a person, but that both have powerful effects. How these factors interact is still unknown today and they remain largely unpredictable in a person’s life.
Some people prefer to spend their lives doing the same things and avoiding change. Other, however, think that change is always a good thing. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
Over the last half century the pace of change in the life of human beings has increased beyond our wildest expectations. This has been driven by technological and scientific breakthroughs that are changing whole way we view the world on an almost daily basis. This means that change is not always a personal option, but an inescapable fact of life, and we need to constantly adapt to keep pace with it.
Those people who believe they have achieved some security by doing the same, familiar things are living in denial. Even when people believe they are resisting change themselves, they cannot stop the world around them from changing. Sooner or later they will find that the familiar jobs no longer exist, or that the ‘safe’ patterns of behavior are no longer appropriate.
However, reaching the conclusion that change is inevitable is not the same as assuming that ‘change is always for the better’. Unfortunately, it is not always the case that new things are promoted they have good impacts for the majority of people. A lot of innovations are made with the aim of making money for a few. This is because it is the rich and powerful people in our society who are able to impose changes (such as in working conditions or property developments) that are in their own interests.
In conclusion, I would say that change can be stimulating and energizing for individuals when they pursue it themselves, but that all change, including that which is imposed on people, does not necessarily have good outcomes.
It is generally believed that some people are born with certain talents, for instance for sport or music, and others are not. However, it is sometimes claimed that any child can be taught to become a good sports person or musician.
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
The relative importance of natural talent and training is a frequent topic of discussion when people try to explain different levels of ability in, for example, sport, art or music.
Obviously, education systems are based on the belief that all children can effectively be taught to acquire different skills, including those associated with sport, art or music. So from our own school experience, we can find plenty of evidence to support the view that a child can acquire these skills with continued teaching and guided practice.
However, some people believe that innate talent is what differentiates a person who has been trained to play a sport or an instrument, from those who become good players. In other words, there is more to the skill than a learned technique, and this extra talent cannot be taught, no matter how good the teacher or how frequently a child practices.
I personally think that some people do have talents that are probably inherited via their genes. Such talents can give individuals a facility for certain skills that allow them to excel, while more hare-working students never manage to reach a comparable level. But, as with all questions of nature versus nurture, they are not mutually exclusive. Good musicians or artists and exceptional sports stars have probably succeeded because of both good training and natural talent. Without the natural talent, continuous training would be neither attractive nor productive, and without the training, the child would not learn how to exploit and develop their talent.
In conclusion, I agree that any child can be taught particular skills, but to be rally good in areas such as music, art or sport, then some natural talent is required.
Increasing the price of petrol is the best way to solve growing traffic and pollution problems.
To what extent do you agree or disagree? What other measures do you think might be effective?
There is no doubt that traffic and pollution from vehicles have become huge problems, both in cities and on motorways everywhere. Solving these problems is likely to need more than a simple rise in the price of petrol.
While it is undeniable that private car use is one of the main causes of the increase in traffic and pollution, higher fuel costs are unlikely to limit the number of drivers for long. As this policy would also affect the cost of public transport, it would be very unpopular with everyone who needs to travel on the roads. But there are various other measures that could be implemented that would have a huge effect on these problems.
I think to tackle the problem of pollution, cleaner fuels need to be developed. The technology is already available to produce electric cars that would be both quieter and cleaner to use. Persuading manufacturers and travelers to adopt this new technology would be a more effective strategy for improving air quality, especially in cities.
However, traffic congestion will not be solved by changing the type of private vehicle people can use. To do this, we need to improve the choice of public transport services available to travelers. For example, if sufficient sky trains and underground train systems were built and effectively maintained in our major cities, then traffic on the roads would be dramatically reduced. Long-distance train and coach services should be made attractive and affordable alternatives to driving your own car for long journeys.
In conclusion, I think that long-term traffic and pollution reductions would depend on educating the public to use public transport more, and on governments using public money to construct and run efficient systems.
Some people say that the best way to improve public health is by increasing the number of sports facilities. Others, however, say that this would have little effect on public health and that other measures are required.
Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
A problem of modern societies is the declining level of health in the general population, with conflicting views on how to tackle this worrying trend. One possible solution is to provide more sports facilities to encourage a more active lifestyle.
Advocates of this believe that today’s sedentary lifestyle and stressful working conditions mean that physical activity is no longer part of either our work or our leisure time. If there were easy-to-reach local sports that could be offered would cater for all ages, levels of fitness and interests: those with painful memories of PE at school might be happier in the swimming pool than on the football pitch.
However, there may be better ways of tackling this problem. Interest in sport is not universal, and additional facilities might simply attract the already fit, not those who most need them. Physical activity could be encouraged relatively cheaply, for example by installing exercise equipment in parks, as my local council has done. This has the added benefit that parents and children often use them together just for fun, which develops a positive attitude to exercise at an early age.
As well as physical activity, high tax penalties could be imposed on high-fat food products, tobacco and alcohol, as excessive consumption of any of these contributes to poor health. Even improving public transport would help: it takes longer to walk to the bus stop than to the car.
In my opinion, focusing on sports facilities is too narrow an approach and would not have the desired results. People should be encouraged not only to be more physically active but also adopt a healthier lifestyle in general.
It is important for children to learn the difference between right and wrong at an early age. Punishment is necessary to help them learn this distinction. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this opinion? What sort of punishment should parents and teachers be allowed to use to teach good behaviour to children?
One important stage in a child’s growth is certainly the development of a conscience, which is linked to the ability to tell right from wrong. This skill comes with time and good parenting, and my firm conviction is that punishment does not have much of a role to play in this. Therefore I have to disagree almost entirely with the given statement.
To some extent the question depends on the age of the child. To punish a very young child is both wrong and foolish, as an infant will not understand what is happening or why he or she is being punished. Once the age of reason is reached however, a child can be rewarded for good behaviour and discouraged from bad. This kind but firm approach will achieve more than harsh punishments, which might entail many negative consequences unintended by the parents.
To help a child learn the difference between right and wrong, teachers and parents should firstly provide good role modelling in their own behavior. After that, if sanctions are needed, the punishment should not be of a physical nature, as that merely sends the message that it is acceptable for larger people to hit smaller ones- an outcome which may well result in the child starting to bully others. Nor should the punishment be in any way cruel.
Rather, teachers and parents can use a variety of methods to discipline their young charges, such as detention, withdrawal of privileges, and time-out. Making the punishment fit the crime is a useful notion, which would see children being made to pick up rubbish they have dropped, clean up graffiti they have drawn, or apologize to someone they have hurt. In these ways responsibility is developed in the child, which leads to much better future behaviour than does punishment.
Countries are becoming more and more similar because people are able to buy the same products anywhere in the world. Do you think this is a positive or negative development?
It is said that countries are becoming similar to each other because of the global spread of the same products, which are now available for purchase almost anywhere. I strongly believe that this modern development is largely detrimental to culture and traditions worldwide.
A country’s history, language and ethos are all inextricably bound up in its manufactured artefacts. If the relentless advance of international brands into every corner of the world continues, these bland packages might one day completely oust the traditional objects of a nation, which would be a loss of richness and diversity in the world, as well as the sad disappearance of the manifestations of a place’s character. What would a Japanese tea ceremony be without its specially crafted teapot, or a Fijian kava ritual without its bowl made from a certain type of tree bark?
Let us not forget either that traditional products, whether these be medicines, cosmetics, toys , clothes, utensils or food, provide employment for local people. The spread of multinational products can often bring in its wake a loss of jobs, as people turn to buying the new brand, perhaps, thinking it more glamorous than the one they are used to. This eventually puts old-school craftspeople out of work.
Finally, tourism numbers may also be affected, as travelers become disillusioned with finding every place just the same as the one they visited previously. To see the same products in shops the world over is boring, and does not impel visitors to open their wallets in the same way that trinkets or souvenirs unique to the particular area do.
Some may argue that all people are entitled to have access to the same products, but I say that local objects suit local conditions best, and that faceless uniformity worldwide is an unwelcome and dreary prospect.
Leaders and directors in an organization are normally older people. Some people think younger leader would be better. Do you agree or disagree?
It is true that higher positions are prevalently held by aged members in many organizations these days. While some people believe younger people would demonstrate better leadership, it is in my opinion that senior managers possess more advantages over the young in leading a company.
To begin with, it is usually difficult for the young to compete with the old in terms of experience. Those who have gained adequate experience can more effectively manage to lead the individuals of an organization than those who do not. The reason for this is that business matters often require the people in charge to have not only the knowledge of coping with problematic situations but also strong nerves to calmly find a feasible solution. As a result, years of experience in a relevant position tend to make the elderly better candidates than those who are relatively young and new to the tasks.
Another advantage belonging to aged people is that they are likely to receive more support from the people in an organization. As the time spent working with the staff of the senior is often longer, they can understand their colleagues better, achieving more popularity. It is interpersonal communication skills and approval of other people that can tremendously affect the success of a leader. Younger members, on the other hand, will need more time to make contributions over time to prove themselves worthy.
In conclusion, I believe that critical positions of authority should be given to senior staff members for the certain reasons mentioned rather than the young.