English Reading Practice

Moral Story Number 10:
Support a Government Designed
and Run for All the People

1. Watch the video at the top of the page.

2. Read the story "Support a Government Designed and Run for All the People" just below it.

3. Do the exercises at the bottom of the page.

Here is the Support a Government Designed and Run for All the People video. You can watch it in your own language at The Way to Happiness Foundation. (Simply click the word "language" at the top right corner of that page.) 

The Way to Happiness is a common sense guide to better living which has been distributed to more than 100 million people in over 100 languages. It describes 21 principles to a better quality of life.

Principle number 10 is "Support a Government Designed and Run for All the People."

Now read the short story about this important principle.

Support a Government Designed
and Run for All the People

Alan is a hard-working man. He loves his country and his people, and because he wants to be a good member of society and help his fellow citizens, he always pays his taxes and national social security.

Yet for years, Alan has not been very happy with his government. He feels that the people in charge make many bad decisions. They do things that do not seem beneficial to the people. Alan was taught that the government exists to serve and care for the citizens.

But Alan's government spends lots of money on unnecessary things and makes bad economic choices. So, they keep raising taxes to have more money to spend.

Alan now pays most of his income in taxes, but he does not see the benefits of what the government spends the money on. He and his neighbors are in a difficult situation. Alan sees this happen, but he does not say or do anything about it.

Top politicians in Alan's country have close connections with big companies. The politicians give businessmen unfair privileges in return for personal favors. And of course, normal working citizens like Alan are hurt by these unfair deals. Moreover, Alan finds himself obeying laws that only protect a few big companies, but hurt him. Alan sees this happen, but he does not say or do anything about it.

On the news, Alan hears that the politicians want to start a new war. They say it will be good for the country. "Peaceful diplomacy is pointless," they insist, "and our weapons companies are ready for war."

But war is expensive, so the government will have to increase taxes and recruit more soldiers. Alan and his family are worried, but he does not say or do anything about it.

Then the message arrives that Alan must go to fight in the war. It is all very sudden. He packs his things, kisses his wife and children goodbye, and gets on a train to the army base.

It is a long ride, and Alan thinks the whole time about his life and his country. Alan is an engineer. He is a professional. He studied his profession, finished internship, and now he can build good roads and bridges. He is an honest man, and he would not take bribery to build bad roads and bridges.

The subject of government is the knowledge and methods of managing and leading a country. There should be no reason for it to be less professional, effective, and honest than any other profession.

Alan realizes he has been asleep as a citizen. He paid his taxes and minded his own business, hoping all will be well. He did not pay attention to the warning signs.

But no more. He will no longer wait for someone else. Alan will not do anything illegal, but he will speak up and only support a government that is working hard for ALL its people.

Alan decides to join a group for citizens' rights so that he can help improve his country. In this peaceful and legal way, Alan will raise his voice and only support a government designed and run for ALL the people.

Story glossary


A person who legally belongs to a country. This means this person has rights and duties related to the country.


The activity or skill of maintaining or creating friendly relationships between countries.


Relating to buying and selling, industry, and money.


1. The group of people who are responsible for controlling a country. They are in charge of the well being of the citizens.

2. The knowledge and methods of managing and leading a country. For example, how to manage economic matters, how to successfully use diplomacy, and how to organize people.


A period of time during which students at the end of their training get practical experience in their profession, until they meet standards such as competency and efficiency.


Someone who works in politics.
Politics is the art or science of managing and leading a country.

Raise your voice

To make your opinion clearly known.

Social security

A system in which people pay money regularly to the government and may receive payments back from the government when they are sick or too old to work.

Speak up

To say what you think clearly and freely, for example in order to defend or support something.


Money that you pay to the government so that it can pay for public services and government institutions.


When two or more countries fight against each other over a period of time. It is generally characterized by extreme violence, social disruption and economic destruction.

And now, practice:


Vocabulary Questions

1. What does "government" mean?

a) professors who know a lot about politics

b) a building where people have lots of meetings

c) a group of people who manage and lead a country

d) a group of people who agree on important topics

2. What does "taxes" mean?

a) work you do to help your community

b) money you must pay the government for income or purchases

c) money you receive from the government

d) the cost of food in a country

3. What does "citizen" mean?

a) a person who legally belongs to a country

b) a person who has rights and duties in the country

c) a person who is protected by his or her country's government

d) all of the above

Grammar Questions

1. But for years, Alan ________ very happy with his government.

a) does not

b) has not

c) is not

d) has not been

2. Alan's government spends lots of money ________ unnecessary things.

a) on

b) in

c) of

d) to

3. Alan and his family ________ very worried by this news.

a) is

b) have

c) am

d) are

Comprehension Questions

1. What does Alan do to be a good citizen at the beginning of the story?
2. Why is Alan unhappy with the choices his government makes?
3. In your opinion, why is it important to support a government designed and run for ALL the people?

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