Posted by: snaed | July 27, 2009

Life Styles

lifestyles

People have different attitudes toward living. Some seek self-oriented happiness, without any consideration for others. To them, “happiness” means wielding political or economic power over others. But most of these people turn out to be disappointed in their pursuit of happiness: since man’s desire is endless, nothing can fully satisfy their needs.

Other people believe that the first step to attaining happiness is to restrict personal desire. Priests, monks, and nuns are the most common representatives of this group. By refraining from worldly passion, they think they are happy because they live their lives in accordance with religious commands. But, can anyone without personal autonomy be genuinely happy?

A third group consists of very ordinary people. They have no great wealth or political authority. While they may have religious beliefs, they do not turn their back on the world. But they treasure their families; they value the little things of everyday life. They are happy if they have three meals a day, a car, a home, a vacation, enough money to educate their children…

Which group of people is the happiest? Who knows? If you think you are happy, then you are. Happiness is the result of how you think about the world and your place in it.

COMPREHENSION

1.  According to the essay, how many groups of life styles are there?

2. What does the expression “to turn one’s back on the world” mean?

3. What is the definition of happiness?

EXPRESS YOURSELF

1. What types of social activities do you engage in?

2. What would you think about becoming a priest, monk, or nun?

3. How do you spend your free time? Do you prefer spending it alone or with friends?

4. Do you think the quality of your life is improving or getting worse?

5. Have you ever done any volunteer work?

6. Are you usually on time for appointments?

7. How do you relieve your stress?

8. Are you forgetful? If so, how do you cope with it?

9. Do you think you are happy? Why or why not?

OPINION SAMPLES

1.  The quality of my life is worsening. I agree that material wealth grows as the economy expands. But I don’t think money is everything in terms of a quality life. What are the really decisive factors? I think quality depends upon environmental concern, stress, crime rates, education, etc. Economic wealth comes after these. We all know our environment is getting dirtier and crimes are on the rise. Everybody suffers from stress, caused by a variety of sources, which shortens the life expectancy of our generation. Even material comfort might be a source of stress. The quality of life can’t be measured by material wealth.

2. Traditional sex roles used to be clear-cut in our society. Men did not try to understand women’s work, and vice versa. For example, men did not pitch in to help with domestic chores, and women were not allowed to interfere in male jobs. This division was probably an obstacle to mutual understanding. But now society is changing rapidly. Many women are making money outside the home, while more men seem ready to help with cooking, cleaning the house, washing dishes, taking care of the children, and so forth. This not only helps men and women understand each other better, but also helps ease the problems between spouses.

USEFUL EXPRESSIONS

1.  The world is full of people making a good living but poor lives.

2.  Death is not a period, but a comma, in the story of life.

3.  Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will create the fact.

4.  It has been said that life is a game—but how can we play it if we don’t know where the goalposts are?

5.  Some people treat life like a slot machine—putting in as little as possible while hoping for the jackpot.

6.  A long life is a gift of God; a full and fruitful life is your own doing.

7.  After all, life is really simple; we ourselves create the circumstances that complicate it.

8.  The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.

9.  People who are afraid of death are usually afraid of life.

10. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Issue 1

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