Today’s expression is a quick one: to welcome someone with open arms. Open arms means, you’re getting ready to give someone a hug. When you spread your arms wide to give someone a hug, your arms are open.
So when you welcome someone, or something, with open arms, you are giving that person or thing a warm welcome. You treat that person or thing well.
Imagine a relative has gone to live in another country and he’s coming back to your city. He wants to stay with you while he’s there. You have a close relationship and you miss him. You’ll welcome him into your house with open arms. The welcome you give him is genuine.
We talked about the refugees from Ukraine that went to Poland after the war started earlier this year. And in that lesson, you learned that Poland has welcomed Ukrainian refugees with open arms . A lot of Polish citizens have volunteered to help, Polish schools have given places to Ukrainian children, and the Polish government has provided Ukrainians with social services and benefits like health care. This was a genuine welcome in a difficult situation. This isn’t true in every single case, sure, but I think we can say Poland has welcomed Ukrainians with open arms. The welcome was genuine.
When we say “welcome with open arms,” we often talk about giving a person a welcome. But you can welcome something abstract with open arms, too. In the pandemic, bars, restaurants, and music venues all lost a lot of business because of mask mandates and social distancing rules. When governments relaxed those rules, businesses welcomed the new policies with open arms. The businesses were very happy about those new rules. They welcomed the new rules with open arms: they were happy about those new rules.
Earlier in today’s lesson, we talked about ESG investing. There’s an ESG index of companies that score well on a variety of environmental, social, and governance measures. And Tesla was kicked out of the ESG index for a few reasons. Tesla was facing lawsuits for racial discrimination and it appeared to be less than fully transparent about safety tests for its vehicles. So that was a “fail” for social metrics, even if it’s doing a lot of good for the environment.
But at that same time, the ESG fund welcomed ExxonMobil with open arms. ExxonMobil had impeccable social and governance credentials. Just don’t worry too much about how its main product, oil, is the cause of carbon emissions!
And this difference illustrated a big problem with ESG scoring. How can Tesla, which is helping the world transition away from fossil fuels, be excluded from an ESG fund, while ExxonMobil is welcomed with open arms? ExxonMobil was genuinely welcomed into that index: there were articles praising its ESG efforts and initiatives, the welcome was genuine. Elon Musk, the boss of Tesla, called ESG a joke when he saw that.
Quote of the Week
I slipped this news in last week, I think, which is that I have recently moved to Mexico. I’m already here and really looking forward to getting to know Mexico and the culture more. As you’ve heard over the years, I really do love Chicago and I still consider it my home. But I’m on to new adventures here in Mexico City.
So for today I chose a quote from Albert Einstein. He said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” It was sad leaving Chicago, but I am keeping this quote in mind. To keep your balance, you must keep moving. That’s how I feel now, and I’ll share some of my experiences in Mexico with you in future lessons.
See you next time!
That’s all for today’s Plain English, number 510. Remember you can get the full lesson at PlainEnglish.com/510. See you on Thursday!