1. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? We should state our honest opinions even though other people may disagree with them.
Nowadays, mostprojects at school or in workplaces are completed by group work. When we workas members in a team, it is common that everyone in this team needs to presenthis or her opinions. Some people believe that it is better not to state ourhonest opinions sometimes so that out team members will not consider us asaggressive. However, to my understanding, always stating our honest opinionscould benefit our teamwork in different ways.
For students,making our ideas known to classmates or group members is one of the mostimportant steps when doing an assignment. It is true that the majority of ourteam members might hold different opinions from us. However, there is noguarantee that the majority is always correct about everything. It happens that the minority’s opinions aremore advisable than what most people believe. Moreover, if everyone has theopportunity to state their honest opinion, the team could create an atmospherethat all team members could feel free to express their ideas, which willsimulate the students’ critical thinking ability. When one student expresseshis or her opinion that is different from others’, all group members willdiscuss about it together, thus to analyze whether it is correct or not,providing evidence to support their standpoints. This process of discussionwill definitely lead to critical thinking. Therefore, I believe that studentsshould state their honest opinions even when their classmates disagree withthem.
In workplaces, many people refuse tostate their opinion honestly in order not to offend their colleagues andsupervisors. As far as I am concerned, if we express our opinions inappropriate and polite ways, others will not feel uncomfortable even if theydisagree with us. On the contrary, our co-workers and supervisors will tend toconsider us as honest person, and thus will be more willing to cooperate withus.
Admittedly, in certain cultures, itis impolite to always express opinions in a straightforward and honest way.Based on what I have learned about Japanese culture, the local people will keepsilent and avoid stating honest opinion if they believe that others hold theopposite opinion. If someone speaks up in this situation, he or she will beperceived as a person who “does not read the atmosphere”, which means that thespeaker fails to taking others’ feelings into consideration.
Althoughpeople from different cultures have different conventions in terms of how toexpress ideas different from others, I still prefer to make our voices beheard. This is because that our society is advancing when everyone feels freeto discuss and interact with each other. Only in this way our discussions anddaily work could elicit innovative ideas, which might be different from whatthe majority believes.
2. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: To be happy, it is more important to maintain a small group of friends over a long period of time than it is to make new friends.
No onewould deny that friendship is an indispensable part in our life. Friends bringlaughter to our life and comfort us when we feel unhappy. Some people arguethat old friends who have spent more time with us are more reliable, and thuswe should maintain a small group of friends over a long period, compared tomaking new friends. However, to my understanding, to be happy, making newfriends is more important for the following reasons.
Admittedly,we should cherish old friends who have known us for a long time. We sharesimilar interests and much experience with them, and we feel happy hanging outand talking with our old friends. However, it would be boring if we alwaysstick to one group of people and refuse to make new friends because the sharedtopics between our old friends and us are limited after all. In contrast,making new friends could benefit us in different ways and thus make us feel happier.
First,making new friends could broaden our horizons. The new experience and knowledgethey bring to us could make us feel happier. Take my own experience as anexample. I am a big fun of travelling to other countries and I love to makefriends with the local people. Last year, I went to the United States and metlots of new friends who are native speakers of English. As a foreign languagelearner of English, I used to practice my spoken English by myself. After Ibecame friends with those native English speakers, we usually chat with eachother through social media. Gradually, my spoken English is improved to a largeextent, and I felt very happy about the progress I made.
Further,making new friends enables us to reflect on ourselves from more variedperspectives, thus we could become better person in the future, which coulddefinitely makes us feel happy. Our new friends, who are less familiar with usthan our old friends, will not pre-assume the type of person we are. Throughinteractions with them, we could continuously learn more about ourpersonalities because they will provide us with feedback about their feelingstowards us. Gradually, we could understand comprehensively about our weaknessesand strength, which could help us reflect on ourselves and become better person.
Basedon the above discussion, making new friends is more rewarding than to maintaining old friends.
3. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: people should be open to new ideas and change his or her mind to be successful.
Nowadays,people are facing fierce competition in schools and at work, which makes itmore difficult for people to succeed compared with the past. Some people arguethat in order to achieve success, people should be open-minded and accept newideas whereas others prefer to stick to the existing plan and refuse to make achange. Based on what I have learned about this topic, it is better to accept new ideas and take some risks to become successful.
Tobegin with, accepting new ideas enables people to seize the opportunity. Withthe development of modern technology and the advancing of new industries,people now have increasing new opportunities when choosing their future career.Inspired by new ideas and innovations, many people become successful after they started a career that is unprecedented in history. Jack Ma’s story serves as aperfect example in this case. Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba, was an English major student in college and became an English teacher after graduation. Soonhe learned from a friend that a new type of business referred to as“e-commerce” sprung up in Western countries, and he believes that thisonline-based business will be promising in the world market. Therefore, hestarted his own business and founded the company, namely Alibaba. With hisstrong leadership and the ability to foresee the trends in the field ofe-commerce, he now becomes one of the most successful businessmen in this century.His example clearly shows how rewarding it is to accept new ideas and make achange.
Moreover,our visions will be limited if we are too stubborn to change our mind. This isnot only true in business but also in the field of scientific research. As a studentmajored in linguistics, I have learned the importance of conductinginterdisciplinary research. However, some professors prefer to stick to theirown field of research and refuse to make a change cooperating with professorsin other subjects. As a result, it becomes extremely difficult for this groupof professors to propose new hypotheses or theories, let alone to make a breakthrough in the field of linguistics.
To sumup, being willing to accept new ideas is an essential factor than contributesto our success. And I believe that in different fields, it is always necessary for us to take some risks and be creative.