Written by: Ielts Xuân Phi, 15/05/2023
Supported by: Ex-BC Examiner, 16/05/2023
Question: Some think that people are responsible for their happiness. Others feel that happiness depends on other factors in their life. Discuss both views and give your own opinion.
(IELTS Academic – 13/05/2023)
While it is commonly believed the level of contentment is dependent upon a number of external contributors, others assert that individuals have complete control of their own happiness. This essay will discuss both perspectives and explain the reasons why I support the latter view.
On the one hand, there are extrinsic factors that contribute to happiness. The main justification is that fundamental materialistic conditions play a role, encompassing factors such as access to shelter, transportation, and nourishment, which ensure individuals’ basic existence and physical satisfaction. If these needs are not met, joy will be far from an individual’s mind. Furthermore, the quality of social connection also impacts an individual’s perception of happiness. The stronger people’s bonds are with their friends and family for instance, the less likely they will feel negative emotions such as sadness or loneliness since they are safe in the knowledge that there are other people who care about them.
On the contrary, opponents consider individuals to be fully responsible for their own fulfillment regardless of their circumstances. This can be achieved through the practice of mindfulness, which involves acknowledging present sensations without judgment. By embracing this approach, the urge for constant improvement, expectations and regrets can be alleviated, leading to an immediate and enduring state of tranquility. In fact, millions of people worldwide are actively engaging in mindfulness practices taught by esteemed Zen masters like Thich Nhat Hanh. Many of these practitioners have become passionate advocates, dedicated to assisting others, particularly those facing mental or physical suffering, in cultivating mindfulness and inner peace. Their transformative journeys serve as living proof that individuals bear full responsibility for their own happiness.
In conclusion, both perspectives in this argument possess their own merits. However, I am firmly convinced that individuals can cultivate their own happiness by embracing mindfulness. As negative external influences abound in contemporary life, if everyone were to rely on factors outside their control aligning to experience cheerfulness, it would be a rare occurrence. Furthermore, as the benefits of mindfulness become increasingly recognized, a growing number of people will be empowered to master their minds and experience profound peace and liberation.
(Word count: 354)
|Sự hài lòng/
Sự hoàn thành
|Các yếu tố bên ngoài
|Fundamental materialistic conditions
|Điều kiện vật chất cơ bản
|Access to shelter
|Có nơi ở
|The quality of social connection
|Chất lượng kết nối xã hội
|Safe in the knowledge (that)
|The practice of mindfulness
|Thực tập chánh niệm
|Acknowledging present sensations without judgment
|Thừa nhận những cảm giác hiện tại mà không phán xét
|The urge for constant improvement
|Thôi thúc sự trau dồi liên tục
|Enduring state of tranquility
|Trạng thái bình yên lâu dài
|Esteemed Zen masters
|Các thiền sư đáng kính
|Các học viên, người thực hiện
|Facing mental or physical suffering
|Đối mặt với đau khổ về tinh thần hoặc thể chất