Since the time men learned to live in communities, in the remote past, wars have been fought at regular intervals in various parts of the world. In fact, the history of the human race is mainly a record of the battles and wars fought in the past between communities and nations.
Wars are caused mainly by human greed and ambition. In the early days of men's existence, many communities lived a very hard life, owing perhaps to the lack of geographical advantages or intellectual ability. As a result, the prosperity of other communities aroused their greed and envy, and wars between communities became inevitable. One side fought to conquer the prosperous communities in order to gain control of the means of prosperity, and the other side fought to defend its independence and way of life. With the passage of time, the communities developed into nations, and wars were fought on a bigger scale; but the basic causes of war remained the same. It was only occasionally that battles were fought with other aims such as the capture of a woman to satisfy the sexual of a conqueror or ruler.
However, success in wars stirred the ambition of many nations. Wars were then fought for domination and extension of power. Several small nations soon came under the dominion of a powerful country, which then developed into an Empire. The Roman Empire, for example, was created mainly by conquest. Even the personal ambitions of some individuals have been the cause of wars at times. The ambitions of Napoleon and Hitler for world conquest caused many battles, in which millions of people, young and old, gave their lives.
The devastation caused by wars, however, has always aroused the conscience of several nations, and attempts have been made by such nations to prevent wars in the future. Their leaders have met at various times, in the course of history, to discuss peace and to find a way of removing the causes of war. It is this urge that led to the creation of the United Nations, after the failure of the League of Nations, which today is doing its utmost to maintain peace between nations.
But the desire peace has instead led to further wars, for peace often demands the destruction of the ambitions of those who begin wars. The wars begun by Napoleon and Hitler could be ended only by fighting further wars to destroy these men, who have been responsible for the greatest sufferings in the history of the world. Human ambition, however, is indifferent to the lessons of history. In times of wars, men seek peace; but when there is peace, there are attempts to begin wars. Once a war is begun, however, those responsible for it are crushed in the end. Yet ambitious countries and individuals are still trying to extend their power. but they are being opposed by those who love peace. Thus, wars will continue to exist, while at the same time attempts will be made to attain peace in the world.
1. at regular intervals (n): đều đặn
2. greed (n): tính tham lam
3. prosperity (n): sự thịnh vượng
4 . conquer (v): chinh phục, xâm chiếm
5. defend (v): bảo vệ
6. lust (n): sự thèm khát, lòng tham
7. stir (v): kích thích, khích động, xúi giục
8. domination (n): sự thống trị
9. dominion (n): quyền thống trị, quyền chi phối
10. devastation (n): sự tàn phá, sự phá hủy
11. conscience (n): lương tâm
12 . failure (n): sự thất bại, cố gắng không thành công
13. League of Nations (n): Hội Quốc Liên
14. destruction (n): sự phá hủy, sự tiêu diệt
1S. crush (v): tiêu diệt địch, dẹp tan, làm tiêu tan
16. oppose (v): chống đối, phản đối
17. attain (v): đạt được, giành được
Courage, like all human qualities, is an abstract thing; but it is this quality in man that has enabled him to advance against all natural obstacles through the centuries. Endowed with intelligence and manual skills man's courage, even in the early days of his existence, enabled him to accept the challenges of nature. He not only lived in the midst of wild animals but also began to domesticate many of them for his own advantage. Soon, even the most ferocious and largest of animals learnt to respect his courage. They began to avoid him as far as they could.
Indeed, without courage man would never be able to advance from the primitive stage. He would never try to reach the skies or explore the depths of the oceans; but impelled by courage, he left his immediate confines to defy nature, and soon made the world more hospitable and secure for himself. It is this irrespressible energy of man, aided by his courage, that has contributed to the comfort and happiness that people everywhere enjoy today.
Courage is therefore indispensable to almost all human activities. Men need courage to face their enemies and the uncertainties of life. They need courage to operate machinery, to fly aeroplanes, to construct tall buildings. In fact, they need courage to meet all the dangers that constantly threaten them in all their pursuits. Even to accept the responsibilities of a family requires extreme courage.
Human courage and valour have been displayed most strikingly in all the battles that have been fought in the history of mankind. Men have fought against men with deadly weapons to protect themselves their countries, families and home. For the protection and comfort of their families, men have also faced other dangers. They have defied dangerous currents in rivers to bring food for their families by boats and rafts. They have also defied storm and battled the waves of the oceans to extract food from them.
Courage, however, does not assert itself always. The instinct of self- preservation usually impels men to seek safety in fight or concealment whenever there is a threat to personal security. It is in moments of desperation that courage asserts itself and enables one to meet all threats; and it is in such moments that men also discover their own physical strength, and other advantages of resistance. For instance, a man who is attacked by an animal will fiercely in an effort to avert tragedy to himself, and in the process discover his own strength and the advantages of using certain weapons to overpower his adversary.
Feelings of loyalty and devotion too have often aroused the courage of amen. A person who is devoted to his family fights tooth and nail to protect his family from destruction or extinction, whatever the consequences to himself. Similarly, a loyal servant may give his life for the protection of his master.
Thus, courage is the most important quality in man. He needs it for his own advancement and to meet all the challenges of his existence.
1. obstacle (n): sự cản trở, trở ngại, chướng ngại vật
8. indispensable (adj): tuyệt đối không thể thiếu được
9. strikingly (adv): nổi bật, đáng chú ý
10. assert oneself (v): khẳng định, quả quyết
11. self-preservation (n): sự thúc bách tự nhiên để sinh tồn
12. desperation (n): sự tuyệt vọng
13. fiercely (adv): dữ dội, mãnh liệt
14. overpower (v): áp đảo, chế ngự, khuất phục
15. adversary (n): kẻ địch, kẻ thù, đối phương
16. devotion (n): sự tận tụy, sự thành tâm, sự hiến dâng
Do you think that literary education is preferable to scientific education today?
A literary education has always been regarded as indispensable to the development of character and a broad outlook on life. Whether such an education is preferable to a scientific education is, however, a moot question.
Before the advent of the Scientific Age most scholars pursued a literary education which conferred many benefits on them. It not only gave them an insight into the affairs of the world but also equipped them with a vocabulary that enabled them to express their views and feelings with cogency and facility. Besides, it developed their mental ability and intellectual powers, and many of the achieved distinction in public life as forcible speakers and writers or even as lawyers and political thinkers. Having discovered the benefits of such an education, ambitious men in all countries proceeded to the universities or other institutions of learning to acquire the advantages of a literary education, and this tendency is discernible even today, though a scientific education is being considered more advantageous to the needs of the present day.
The inventions of the modern age have indeed revolutionised society. Numerous goods are being produced, with rapidity unknown before in various parts of the earth with the aid of science and scientists of all countries are continuing to exert their brains to extend the realms of science. Every invention has helped to increase the leisure and convenience of men everywhere, and the demand for goods is increasing everyday. As a consequence, more and more machines are being invented to increase the production of goods within the shortest time possible.
Every mechanical invention, however, has to be operated by skilled men. The larger the machine the more complicated its operation, and any mechanical faults in it can be detected only by men with a scientific education, who are but few in number compared with those with a literary education. It is this scarcity of men with a scientific education that has led to the assumption that a scientific education today is preferable to a literary education. The large factories require men to operate machinery, dealers in motor-vehicles require men for all types of work in the industry, and there are a diversity of other industries which are looking for men with a scientific education. The demand for men with a scientific education is, therefore, great, and this serves as an incentive to young men to acquire industrial and technical skills, for the possession of such skills will not only enable them to secure remunerative occupations but also enable them to manage their own factories or workshops in the future to increase their earnings.
All this, however, does not imply that the man with a literary education is losing his importance rapidly. In truth, he is an indispensable person even today in various departments of human activity. He provides the managerial skill in an industry, contributes his literary abilities to the promotion of literacy in the country, provides ministerial and judicial services in the state, and performs a host of other functions.
Thus, it is not possible to say with finality that a certain type of education is preferable to another. It is for the individual to make the best of the type of education that he has received.
1. indispensable (adj): rất cần, không thể thiếu
2. moot (adj): có thể bàn 1uận
3. equip (v): trang bị
4. cogency (n): sự vững chắc, sức thuyết phục
5. distinction (n) sự ưu tú, sự xuất chúng, sự lỗi lạc
6. forcible (adj): sinh động, có sức thuyết phục
7. discernible (adj): có thể nhận thức được, có thể thấy rõ
8. exert (v): đưa vào sử dụng, áp dụng
9. realm (n): lĩnh vực
10. complicated (adj): phức tạp, rắc rối
11. scarcity (n): sự khan hiếm, sự khó tìm
12. diversity (n): sự đa dạng
13. incentive (n): sự khuyến khích; sự khích lệ, động viên