Shyness is the cause of much unhappiness for a great many people. Shy people are anxious and self-conscious; that is, they are excessively concerned with their own appearance and actions. Worrisome thoughts are constantly occurring in their minds: what kind of impression am I making? Do they like me? Do I sound stupid? Am I wearing unattractive clothes?
It is obvious that such uncomfortable feelings must negatively affect people. A person’s conception of himself or herself is reflected in the way he or she behaves, and the way a person behaves affects other people’s reactions. In general, the way people think about themselves has a profound effect on all areas of their lives.
Shy people, having low self-esteem, are likely to be passive and easily influenced by others. They need reassurance that they are doing “the right thing.” Shy people are very sensitive to criticism; they feel it confirms their feelings of inferiority. They also find it difficult to be pleased by compliment with a statement like this one, “You’re just saying that to make me feel good. I know it’s not true.” It is clear that while self-awareness is a healthy quality, overdoing it is harmful.
Can shyness be completely eliminated, or at least reduced? Fortunately, people can overcome shyness with determined and patient efforts in building self-confidence. Since shyness goes hand in hand with a lack of self-esteems, it is important for people to accept their weakness as well as their strengths.
Each one of us is a unique, worthwhile individual, interested in our own personal ways. The better we understand ourselves, the easier it becomes to live up to our full potential. Let’s not allow shyness to block our chances for a rich and fulfilling life.
In the United States, it is not customary to telephone someone very early in the morning. If you telephone him early in the day, while he is shaving or having breakfast, the time of the call shows that the matter is very important and requires immediate attention. The same meaning is attached to telephone calls made after 11:00 p.m. If someone receives a call during sleeping hours, he assumes it’s a matter of life or death. The time chosen for the call communicates its importance. In social life, time plays a very important part. In the U.S.A. guests tend to feel they are not highly regarded if the invitation to a dinner party is extended only three or four days before the party date. But it is not true in all countries. In other areas of the world, it may be considered foolish to make an appointment too far in advance because plans which are made for a date more than a week away tend to be forgotten. The meaning of time differs in different parts of the world. Thus, misunderstandings arise between people from different cultures that treat time differently. Promptness is valued highly in American life, for example. If people are not prompt, they may be regarded as impolite or not fully responsible. In the U.S. no one would think of keeping a business associate waiting for an hour, it would be too impolite. A person who is 5 minutes late, will say a few words of explanation, though perhaps he will not complete the sentence.
There are three kinds of goals: short-term, medium-range and long-term goals.
Short-term goals are those that usually deal with current activities, which we can apply on a daily basis. Such goals can be achieved in a week or less, or two weeks, or possibly, months. It should be remembered that just as a building is no stronger than its foundation, long-term goals cannot amount to very much without the achievement of solid short-term goals. Upon completing our short-term goals, we should date the occasion and then add new short-term goals that will build on those that have been completed.
The intermediate goals build on the foundation of the short-term goals. They might deal with just one term of school or the entire school year, or they could even extend for several years. Any time you move a step at a time, you should never allow yourself to become discouraged or overwhelmed. As you complete each step, you will enforce the belief in your ability to grow and succeed. And as your list of completion dates grow, your motivation and desire will increase.
Long-term goals may be related to our dreams of the future. They might cover five years or more. Life is not a static thing. We should never allow a long-term goal to limit us or our course of action.
What makes a person a scientist? Does he have ways or tools of learning that are different from those of others? The answer is “no”. It is not the tools a scientist uses but how he uses these tools that make him a scientist. You will probably agree that knowing how to use a power is important to a carpenter. You will probably agree, too, that knowing how to investigate, how to discover information, is important to everyone. The scientist, however, goes one step further, he must be sure that he has a reasonable answer to his questions and that his answer can be confirmed by other persons. He also works to fit the answer he gets to many questions into a large set of ideas about how the world works.
The scientist’s knowledge must be exact. There is no room for half right or right just half the time. He must be as nearly right as the conditions permit. What works under one set of conditions at one time must work under the same conditions at other times. If the conditions are different, any changes the scientist observes in a demonstration must be explained by the changes in the conditions. This is one reason that investigations are important in science. Albert Einstein, who developed the theory of relativity, arrived at this theory through mathematics. The accuracy of this mathematics was later tested through investigations, Einstein’s ideas were shown to be correct. A scientist uses many tools for measurements. Then the measurements are used to make mathematical calculations that may test his investigations.
Many people who work in London prefer to live outside it, and to go in to their offices or schools every day by train, car or bus, even though this means they have to get up early in the morning and reach home late in the evening.
One advantage of living outside London is that houses are cheaper. Even a small flat in London without a garden costs quite a lot to rent. With the same money, one can get a little house in the country with a garden of one’s own.
Then, in the country one can really get away from the noise and hurry of busy working lives. Even though one has to get up earlier and spend more time in trains or buses, one can sleep better at night and during weekends and on summer evenings, one can enjoy the fresh, clean air of the country. If one likes gardens, one can spend one’s free time digging, planting, watering and doing the hundred and one other jobs which are needed in a garden. Then, when the flowers and vegetables come up, one has got the reward together with those who have shared the secret of Nature.
Some people, however, take no interest in country things: for them, happiness lies in the town, with its cinemas and theatres, beautiful shops and busy streets, dance-halls and restaurants. Such people would feel that their life was not worth living if they had to live it outside London. An occasional walk in one of the parks and a fortnight’s (two weeks) visit to the sea every summer is all the country they want: the rest they are quite prepared to leave to those who are glad to get away from London every night.
The United States covers a large part of the North American continent. Its neighbors are Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. Although the United States is a big country, it is not the largest in the world. In 2000, its population was over 222 million.
When this land first became a nation, after winning its independence from England, it had thirteen states. Each of the states was represented on the American flag by a star. All these states were in the eastern part of the continent. As the nation grew toward the west, new states were added and new stars appeared on the flag. For a long time, there were 48 stars. In 1959, however, two more stars were added to the flag, representing the new states of Alaska and Hawaii.
Indians were the first people of the land which is now the United States. There are still many thousands of Indians now living in all parts of the country. Sometimes it is said that the Indians are “the only real Americans”. Most Americans come from all over the world. Those who first come in greatest numbers to make their homes on the eastern coast of North America were mostly from England. It is for that reason that the language of the United States is English and that its culture and customs are more like those of England than those of any other country in the world.