29 The World - Better or Worse

Six people answer the following question: Is the world becoming a better place to live?

Mixer Topic

Eucharia, Ireland
speakerIs the world a better place, well, I do think so because of influences such as the internet and globalization and growing interest in intercultural communication so people are more interested in each other where as before people were more introverted and inward looking especially in island countries.

Jeannie, United States
speakerI think the world is becoming a worse place. It seems like, you know, weapons are becoming more advanced and people aren't getting along any better so with every one having access to all these advanced weapons maybe things will come to a head and we probably won't be here much longer.

Jim, England
speakerIs the world becoming a better or worse place? That's a very, very difficult question, and I'm not really sure of the answer, but one thing I am sure of is that because of the increases in communications and technology far more people are aware of bad events that happen in the world, compared to say, a hundred years ago, so maybe it seems like a worse place, but maybe that's just because we are better informed.

Kate, New Zealand
speakerI think this world is becoming somewhat a better place in respect to technology advancements. And with the technology advancements, medications and diseases can be cured a lot faster and better. However we still have the wars going on, Iraq wars and many, maybe civil wars as well, which is not so good, but I think we can overcome then and the world will become a better place.

Rina, Canada
speakerI think the world is becoming a better place in some areas and a worse place in some areas. When it comes to technology, and advancements, definitely better. When it comes to humanity and being better people, I think in a lot of areas it's getting worse. I think a lot of people are more concerned about themselves than other peoples welfare.

Simon, Canada
speakerI think unfortunately the world is becoming a worse place to live in. I wish it were becoming better and that people would get on with each other and forget about differences but I think we're going in the opposite direction. I don't know what we can do to change it. It seems like people want a better world but too few people are willing to actually stand up and do something about what they believe in.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson!



We're more introverted and inward looking.

Someone who is 'introverted' is quiet, shy and usually has difficulty making friends. Notice the following:

  1. I was very introverted in high school.
  2. Asian kids seem more introverted than Western kids.

come to a head


Maybe things will come to a head.

We use the phrase 'come to a head' to talk about a serious problem that needs to be taken care of immediately. Notice the following:

  1. Global economic issues came to a head in 2008.
  2. Khalil's classroom behavior came to a head so the teacher removed him from class.



People aren't concerned about other people's welfare.

Here, 'welfare' means the health and happiness of other people. Notice the following:

  1. Politicians need to be more concerned about people's welfare and less with their own.
  2. Many NGO's are fighting hard for the welfare of immigrants.

the opposite direction


I think we're going in the opposite direction.

When we go in the 'opposite direction' it means that we are moving in a completely different way than we have in the past or should be now. Notice the following:

  1. The world should be more peaceful, but it looks like we are moving in the opposite direction.
  2. Some countries are refusing to reduce output of greenhouse gases and are actually moving in the opposite direction.

believe in


Giving money to the poor is something they believe in.

When we 'believe in' something, that means we support it and we think it is good. Notice the following:

  1. I believe in tolerance of religious and cultural differences.
  2. To succeed in life, you must first believe in yourself.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
introverted • to a head • welfare
opposite • believes in
  1. She really karma.
  2. He's very , so sometimes it's difficult to know what he's thinking.
  3. He talked a lot about all the changes he was going to make when he was in charge, but now he's moving in the direction.
  4. She is so concerned about the of others that she sometimes forgets to take care of herself.
  5. I think all of this will come when people figure out that he's lying.