Write an essay of 160-200 words based on the following drawing. In your essay, you should
1) describe the drawing briefly,
2) explain its intended meaning, and then
3) give your comments.
You should write neatly on ANSWER SHEET 2. (20 points)
It’s No Use Crying over the Spilt Milk
作者： 大家学习网英语学术总监 钱坤强教授
An English proverb has it that “it’s no use crying over the spilt milk”. This picture precisely captures one of such situations—a bottle of milk has been accidentally dropped onto the ground. The reactions of the two individuals in the pictures are totally different. One exclaims “Oh, God, it’s all finished!” whereas the other one is more positive and calm, claiming that “there is still some left.”
There are rich implications underlying this scene. For the same event, two different individuals make two totally different observations and comments, reflecting two totally different states of mind—one negative and pessimistic, the other positive and optimistic.
For the pessimistic mind, they tend to exaggerate the seriousness of an accident. Instead of taking active and concrete steps to address the problem, they would despair, complain and give up. Finally, they deteriorate into inertia. When they ultimately fail, they would blame the failure on others or external circumstances rather than reflecting on their own foibles of humanity. Those are the people who only look at the dark sides of the matters and few of them would truly succeed.
By contrast, people with a positive and optimistic state of mind would endeavor to turn the negative into the positive, through perseverance, stamina, and indefatigable efforts. Instead of lamenting over mistakes, they will learn their lessons and stand up to challenges with the faith that “Impossible is nothing.” With strong willpower, they would persist to the end, convinced that as long as they keep trying, their hard efforts would ultimately pay off. Those are the people who can often succeed where others fail. Obviously, they are the people whom we should try to emulate.
Interpretation Determines Existence
作者： 大家学习网英语学术总监 钱坤强教授
The moment captured by this picture is very dramatic—with a bottle of milk dropped onto the ground and half of the milk spilt, two individuals at the scene produce totally different reactions. One exclaims “Oh, God, it’s all finished!” whereas the other one remains calm and positive—that "there is still some left."
This seemingly simple spectacle carries profound philosophical connotations about how we perceive our world. Ours is a complicated world whose bright sides and dark sides coexist. But the demarcation line between the two is not always well-defined. Instead, in many cases, their border line is very subtle. Even with respect to the same situation, as presented by the picture, different people with different states of mind may come up with totally different interpretations. This picture convincingly illustrates a subtle case about how we should perceive our world.
It is often said that "the attitude determines everything." In many cases, the success or failure of our undertakings depends not so much on the physical conditions as on our mental attitude toward our life, our perception of the world, or the so-called worldview. Our confidence in our world as being positive and optimistic will inspire us to make utmost efforts to pursue success whereas our belief in our world as being negative and pessimistic would cast us into despair, resignation and inertia.
The present-day world is full of challenges. In the face of those challenges, some people take a positive and active stance whereas others choose to give up and back away. Success or failure means a world of difference, but first and foremost it depends on what kind of state of mind we develop. The existentialism philosopher Jean Paul Sartre asserts that "existence precedes essence." In the light of his statement, I would claim that interpretation determines existence.