Topic 84 Hopeless Situations 1 November 2019

1. What are you hopeless at doing yourself? (e.g. sport, art, maths etc). Why do you think you are hopeless at this thing? Is it worth trying to find another way to become good at it?

2. Here is an English idiom: "The game is not worth the candle". It means the effort is not worth the reward. What is an example in your life when you decided that the game was not worth the candle. (e.g. a job you didn't like, a skill you couldn't master, a competition you couldn't win, a love interest who wasn't interested etc)

3. We have all failed at something in the past. Eventually it is often healthy. Failure forces you to improve. But at the time failing can make you feel hopeless. How do you manage this sort of situation yourself? Examples?

4. Sometimes a sports team (e.g. football) has never won a match for many seasons. They feel hopeless (demoralized). You are appointed to be their coach. How will you turn them into winners?

5. In Australia, for every unskilled job vacancy, there are 5 unemployed unskilled people. 4/5 unskilled unemployed people have a hopeless situation (but the government forces them to keep looking). Many have physical or mental disabilities. What is the best solution for unskilled unemployment? (  )

6. "Sunk cost" means the amount of time, money and energy you have put into trying to do something. Sunk cost often stops people giving up, even when they know their attempt to achieve something is hopeless. When do you think it is better to give up and "cut your losses"? Think of some real life examples.

7. "Unrequited love" is a rather old fashioned expression, but its pain is common. It means that someone loves another person, but their love is not returned. Can you think of an example of unrequited love? When do you think you should stop trying to love someone who is not interested?

8. 95%+ of English speakers who begin to learn another language give up. They never learn anything useful. "I'm a hopeless language learner", they say. Why do they fail? What advice would you give them?

9. Most people want to stay in the country where they were born. However, sometimes the situation at home seems so hopeless that people will risk everything and emigrate to another country. Examples? What would drive you to leave your home country and live somewhere else?

10. There are about 71 million refugees in the world. Many of these people are forced to spend their lives in camps with few rights and no future. They feel hopeless. How would you solve this situation?


Extra Reading

Luke Henriques-Gomes (16 October 2019) "Anglicare finds five jobseekers applying for every entry-level position - Charity says people being trapped in poverty while trying to ‘compete for jobs that simply do not exist’". The Guardian @

84 Hopeless Situations ©Thor May 2019