Essay of the Week: Traditional or modern wisdom?
Each week we share an IELTS writing question with our mailing list. The following week, we share a sample answer. The idea is to demonstrate good essay-writing technique while giving an opportunity to practice your IELTS writing.
Some people believe it is important to pay attention to traditional wisdom while others believe people should embrace new ideas. Compare both sides and give your own opinion.
There has been a clash of cultures between those who respect long-established advice and iconoclasts, people who want to see new ideas come to the forefront of society. In this essay, I will, first, explore the advantage that traditional advice is well tested. Second, I will examine how embracing new ideas can promote positive changes in society.
Traditional beliefs become traditional because they have been tested many times. While people might pass on bad advice from time to time, if they don’t work for other people, it won’t be passed on again. As a result, because most advice that is around is based on a wealth of common experience, it can be trusted. For example, when parents hear advice from their parents, they will only hear the advice that worked in the past and be able to do a better job as a result of it.
However, challenging traditional beliefs is essential for making progress as a society. Throughout history, such as in the civil rights movement or the French revolution, making positive changes as a society has required a rejection of traditional beliefs. If we want to successfully deal with challenges, like global warming and inequality, we will need to rethink traditional ideas about how we live. For instance, to solve the climate crisis, we need to reconsider traditional beliefs about international travel and car ownership.
To conclude, although traditional ideas are well tested, new ideas are important to push society forward. Therefore, I believe that it is better to focus on new ideas than old ones.