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FRIENDSHIP & LOVE

Some people think that life-long friendship exists only in books and films. Others believe that it exists in real life.
Friendship is considered one of the central human experiences and for many people it may be as important as love. There are different types of friendship. People have close friends, pen pals or just acquaintances. Life-long friendship is a rare kind of friendship and a lot of people even doubt that it exists in real life.
I believe that life-long friendship exists not only in books and films. For example, my grandfather has a friend whom he has known from his childhood. They are devoted to each other and they have much in common. My grandfather and his best friend understand and support one another. Besides, they have similar tastes, interests and life philosophies. Grandfather often says that when they were young, his friend used to help him in times of need or crisis. They have always trusted each other and they have never quarreled.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who have no close friends. Some reserved and shy people find making friends rather difficult. What is more, it is really not easy to find a person with whom you can share strong interpersonal ties. Those people who have not found best friends are sometimes sure that real friendship exists only in books and films. But they shouldn't despair because they may find close friends in the future.
In conclusion, I'd like to add that it is very difficult to live without friends. Your friend is your helper, adviser and supporter. He or she gives you a sense of being protected, emotional comfort and moral support. As the proverb says: "A true friend is the best possession".
There is a proverb that says "a friend in need is a friend indeed". However, many people believe that a friend's success may ruin friendship.
Different people have different notions of what kind of person a true friend should be. Most of them think that a friend is a person who understands you, shows kindness and sympathy, has similar tastes, interests and life philosophies. You can always trust your friend and share your hardships with him or her. Besides, a tnie friend is always ready to help you and to support you in times of need or crisis.
I strongly feel that a real friend is a person who doesn't only help you and give you advice. A real friend should never envy you if you are more successful. And if he does, then he is not your friend. To my mind, friendship between people with different financial standing is rare, but possible.
However, a lot of people still believe that friendship is a union of the equal. They tend to make friends with the representatives of their own social circle and financial position. Most people are convinced that friendship will be ruined as soon as your friend is promoted or succeeds in some other way.
To conclude, I'd like to say that a real friend is not only a person who helps you in need, but the one who doesn't turn away from you in case you are luckier, richer or more successful than he or she is. Friendship must not end when success comes. So we can paraphrase the proverb: "A friend who never envies you is a friend indeed".
Some people say that love reveals our hidden talents, while others believe that it makes us silly.
There is so much talk about love. It is a major theme in philosophy, literature, music, poetry and cinematography. A great number of scientists have been trying to understand how love can influence people's psychology.
In my opinion, love is a great source of inspiration. A person who has fallen in love may suddenly have an urge to write poems or compose music even if they have never done anything like this before. When we are in love, we are capable of accomplishing feats, making discoveries, inventing new things and making something unusual. Many painters, writers and composers created masterpieces of art, literature or music thanks to this wonderful feeling. Love fills us with energy and enthusiasm.
However, people who are in love sometimes behave rather foolishly. They are often absentminded and it is difficult for them to concentrate on their work and duties. All they can think about is the person that they love. Studies have indicated that brain scans of people who are in love resemble to those with a mental illness. Scientists say that love deactivates the brain regions associated with negative emotions, with social judgment and with judging other people's intentions and emotions. That is why people in love are often unable to make critical judgments. But I don't believe that love and madness are connected.
To conclude, even in this advanced age of science, when people conquer space, clone animals and transplant organs, they still don't fully understand the nature of love and the way it influences us. Anyway, I believe that love is the most wonderful feeling in the world.
Some people say that jealousy is quite natural and it often goes hand in hand with love and friendship. Others are convinced that jealousy wrecks people's relationships.
All people have experienced jealousy at some time of their lives. But is this feeling absolutely harmless and how can it influence people's relationships?
I strongly feel that jealousy is destructive. It usually arouses such negative emotions as sadness and anger as well as the feelings of anxiety and insecurity. Jealousy also involves suspicion about betrayal, distrust, uncertainty, fear of separation and low self-esteem. It makes us feel unhappy and left out. When we are jealous, common sense and rationality matter very little and our emotions get out of control. To my mind, having a jealous partner is exhausting. You will constantly have to answer his or her questions about what you were doing and where you were. What is more, jealousy can lead to aggressive reactions and violence. Sometimes jealousy leads to scandals, embarrassing scenes or separation and divorce.
However, some people believe that jealousy is a sign oflove. They are convinced that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy. Researchers say that mild jealousy heightens passion towards partners and keeps a relationship alive. It can encourage people to appreciate each other. Small doses of jealousy can be healthy in a marriage. But I think that when jealousy becomes irrational, it can be rather dangerous.
To sum up, jealousy can destroy people's judgment and their love for each other. So it is important to try to overcome this feeling. You should trust and respect the person you love and share all your apprehensions with him or her.

MONEY

A number of people believe that pocket money teaches teenagers to be responsible. Others say that teenagers are too young to deal with money and that their parents should just buy them what they need.
Many parents wonder whether to give pocket money to their children and how much to give. Most Moms and Dads think that pocket money helps the child learn to handle money sensibly. However, pocket money may become a battleground if not handled correctly from the very start.
Personally, I think that by giving pocket money parents help children learn to manage money while they are young. It also helps them make choices and feel that they are important members of the family. Even a small amount can give a child the feeling of responsibility and independence. Parents can suggest the child keeping a little book in their money box to record ins and outs. This will help with their mathematics and will encourage them to save money.
But in some families children are given what they ask for and do not get pocket money. Some parents think that pocket money can cause a number of problems. For example, if children have a lot less than their friends they may feel depressed and may be tempted to steal. On the other hand, when they have much more it can cause envy and resentment amongst their friends. Besides, I believe that parents should never give pocket money to their children as compensation for not spending enough time with them and as a reward for helping around the house.
To conclude, I think it is up to parents to decide whether to give children pocket money or not. Anyway, parents should explain their sons and daughters that lots of money cannot buy love and happiness.
Some people think they can be happy only being rich, while others don't care too much about money.
It is rather difficult to imagine our lives without money. People consider money to be part and parcel of their everyday lives. They buy and sell different things, receive a fee, a pension or a subsidy, exchange currency and what not. People's attitude to money can be quite different: for some of them money is the most important thing in the world, while other people don't care much about money.
In my opinion, the life of rich people is not only luxurious. It is also dangerous. There are quite a lot of people who want to deceive the rich. Millionaires have to spend much money on security, but sometimes even such measures don't help. Rich people are often robbed, kidnapped and killed. Besides, they have to work much and that is why they spend very little time with their families and they often feel stressed.
But in spite of all dangers and difficulties, many people are sure that money and happiness are synonyms. They believe that money can make them powerful and independent. They dream of expensive cars and luxurious mansions. Some people think that we live in the world where almost everything can be bought and sold. They even make friends and marry for money. To my mind, money becomes a kind of addiction for such people.
To sum up, money is very useful as a medium of exchange, a unit of account and a store of value. But it becomes "the root of all evil" when it makes people take bribes, betray their partners or commit crimes. I think that "money is a good servant but a bad master."
A lot of people say that it is very important for everybody to own property. However, others are not so sure that property can make our lives better.
Everyone has some possessions. People own cars, buildings, land, money, bonds, stocks and so on. We are used to consuming, selling, renting, mortgaging, transferring or exchanging our property. But sometimes people attach too much importance to their possessions.
Personally, I believe that property is not the most important thing in our lives. It may arouse other people's envy and it is difficult to say whether people surrounding you are your real friends or they just like your possessions and want to make use of them. I strongly feel that having friends, parents, relatives, spouses and children who love and understand you is better than possessing money, houses or securities.
However, there are people whose desire to own things predominates over all other feelings. They often become "slaves of property". They usually try to make a commercial use of everything and the main aim of their lives is accumulation of their capital. They sometimes buy beautiful pictures and sculptures not because they admire works of art or drive inspiration from them, but because it is a way of investing money. But to my mind, a person who values only property is miserable because inanimate objects like cars, pictures or precious stones can't make you happy.
To conclude, I think that possessing property is not a sin, but one should remember the proverb: "Money can't buy happiness".
Some people say that making money with the Internet is reality, while others think it is a myth.
The Internet is not only a source of information and entertainment for many people. It can also help them make money from home. At the same time the Internet business may be hard to break into.
To my mind, the Internet gives people a great number of opportunities to make money. Some of them earn money building websites for different companies, organizations or businessmen. Many people use websites to sell different goods or services. Thanks to the Internet, e-learning industry which is estimated to be worth billions of dollars has developed. People also earn money by sending spam, creating computer viruses, putting advertisements on a web page and so on.
However, those who believe that the Internet can help them make millions in a few days may be disappointed. Even hard work does not always result in success. People usually have to invest some money to develop their online business. What is more, there is usually great competition on the Internet when thousands of other people are trying to sell similar goods or services. So if you want to succeed, you should be original in order to stand out from the crowd.
To sum up, the Internet may motivate people to earn money. I ·Strongly feel that if you are not afraid of difficulties, if you are hard-working, energetic and persistent, the Internet business will help you become richer.
Some people say that high social status is very important for everybody. Others are convinced that it is better to have a high income.
In modern societies, a person's social status depends on many factors including their income, education, occupation, inherited wealth and position, ownerships, personal skills, abilities and efforts. Some people achieve high social status through education, occupation, and marital status. But statuses can also be inherited through family.
To my mind, it is difficult to say which is more important: high social status or a high income. Sometimes an individual's social positions have both positive and negative influence on their social status. For example, a teacher has a positive societal image which increases his status but may earn little money, which simultaneously decreases it. In contrast, a drug dealer, may have low social position though have a high income. There are a lot of professions that are not prestigious, but well-paid and vice versa. Personally, I would prefer having high social status to being rich.
Some people say that they would rather have low social status but earn much money. They are convinced that money can make them powerful and independent. Such people also say that we live in the world where almost everything can be bought and sold, even high social status. But I think that a person must be respected only for his or her individual merits and achievements.
To sum up, both a person's income and social status depend on him or her and may be changed in the course of his or her life. So if you want to be wealthy, respected and successful, you must work hard to achieve this goal.

LEISURE TIME ACTIVITIES

Some people say that it is very important for everybody to have a hobby. Others do nothing but watch TV or listen to music in their free time.
Our lives would be hard without rest and recreation. People have quite different ideas of how to spend their free time. For some of them the only way to relax is watching TV or drinking beer. But other people use their spare time getting maximum benefit from it.
I strongly feel that hobbies make our lives much more interesting. There are different kinds of hobbies such as reading, cooking, knitting, collecting, playing a musical instrument, painting, photography, dancing, travelling, sports and many others. So you can always find an exciting activity which you will certainly like. Personally, I am fond of camping. To my mind, it is a great opportunity to get away from town life. What is more, camping is a cheap way to rest, to improve your health, to train yourself physically and to enjoy nature.
Nevertheless, quite a lot of people have no hobby. Most of them say that they are too busy or too tired to do anything in their free time. But I am sure that such people are lazy and passive and their lives are dull and uneventful.
In general, having a hobby is very important for everybody because it is a kind of self-expression and the way to understand other people and the whole world. A hobby makes you stronger physically and mentally, helps you escape from reality, improve your knowledge, broaden your mind, develop your skills and gain a better understanding of how the world works.
Many teenagers enjoy playing computer games. Some people, however, believe that teenagers should spend their free time doing more physical activities.
Computer games are extremely popular nowadays. A lot of teenagers play computer games in order to escape dull reality and to fight with horrible monsters or to save the world from hostile aliens.
Personally, I am fond of playing computer games. They give me an opportunity to plunge into exciting adventures: to overcome obstacles, to fly an aircraft or to pilot a spacecraft, to solve different puzzles, to look after a virtual pet, to build cities, to play sport games and even to control the lives of people. Computer games are constantly becoming more life-like and complex. New styles and genres appear. That's why I can't resist the temptation to buy new computer games every month.
But according to experts, computer games can be rather dangerous and they can harm teenagers' health. They say that computer games make young people unsociable and passive. They are absorbed in games without speaking to each other for a long time. A lot of teenagers can play for hours without eating, sleeping or learning. They sit in front of the computer screen exercising their fingers instead of doing physical activities. That's why the levels of obesity among teenagers are rising. Besides, computer games cause addiction.
To conclud_e, computer games have both advantages and disadvantages. Violent computer games make teenagers aggressive. But educational games help teenagers develop many skills. Anyway, it is necessary not to forget about sports as it helps teenagers to be healthy and to stay in good shape.
Some people prefer eating out. However, many people still like cooking meals at home.
Different people have different tastes. Some of them prefer eating out, while others enjoy tasty food at home. In the past people went to cafes and restaurants only on special occasions. But they are eating out more frequently now.
Personally, I enjoy eating out. Firstly, the choice of restaurants is great nowadays. You can try different foreign cuisines and you can always find something to your taste. There are Italian, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Mexican, Turkish and many other restaurants in every city. Besides, you can go to bars, cafes or pubs. Secondly, many people work too much and have no time to cook meals at home. Thirdly, they go to bars, cafes or restaurants to meet with their friends or to celebrate a holiday. Finally, at a restaurant you will be able to relax and enjoy tasty food, good service and the atmosphere of festivity.
However, a lot of people prefer eating at home. Some of them say that it is too expensive to go to a restaurant. Others just enjoy cooking meals. What is more, some people are sure that home meals are tastier and more nutritious than food which is served at a restaurant or a cafe.
To sum up, eating at home is cheaper and more traditional. But if you want to relax and to feel a holiday atmosphere, you will certainly eat out.
Ecotourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the tourism industry today. Some people think that it teaches tourists to take care of nature and wildlife. Others say that ecotourism has a number of disadvantages.
Environmental pollution has disastrous effects on nature and wildlife. That is why nowadays many people try to damage the environment as little as possible. Ecotourism means travelling to natural destinations with rare flora and fauna. Its main goal is to conserve the environment and to improve the well-being of local people.
In my opinion, ecotourism gives us an opportunity to broaden our mind, to discover new ways of life, to meet interesting people and to improve our knowledge of history and geography. It provides funds for conservation and jobs to local people because tourists use local transportation, inns and markets. Besides, ecotourism helps people understand the environment around them, makes them respect different cultures and be careful with nature.
However, ecotourism has some negative aspects. The increasing number of tourists can damage the local environment. Some tourists pollute drinking water, pick up rare flowers and disturb wild animals. They often purchase souvenirs made from the skin of endangered animals or leaves of rare plants and scare away animals.
In conclusion, I think that ecotourism is for environment-conscious people who love nature, understand the negative influence of conventional tourism on the environment and want to minimize it. I strongly feel that it is an unforgettable experience which is rewarding at the same time.
Some people are ready to risk their lives in order to establish a record, while others say that it is rather silly.
Every year hundreds of people do rather dangerous and silly things in order to set up a record and to become famous. They swallow bugs, climb skyscrapers, cross the ocean on a windsurfing board and what not. Are these people heroes or fools?
To my mind, all these activities are just a waste of time, efforts and money. If people want to escape everyday monotony and to get their portion of adrenaline, I think they would better do something useful. What is more, record breakers are often inexperienced and sometimes they get into trouble when they climb Everest, sail across the Atlantic or do something of this kind. Thus, adventurers risk both their lives and the lives of the people who try to save them. Helicopter and ship crews are often wounded or killed when they try to reach people who lost their way in the forest, were stuck in the mountain or crashed into the sea. Such rescue missions are not only difficult and time-consuming. They also cost much money.
But in spite of numerous warnings, people continue doing silly and dangerous things. Most of them think that they are extremely brave, strong and hardy. They want other people to admire them and to follow their example. But I'd rather call these adventures foolhardy. To my mind, if they want to get the adrenalin going, they should try such professions as rescuers, pilots or firemen.