English Reading Practice

Moral Story Number 11:
Do Not Harm a Person of Good Will

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

2. Read the story "Do Not Harm a Person of Good Will" just below it.

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

Here is the Do Not Harm a Person of Good Will 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 11 is "Do Not Harm a Person of Good Will."

Now read the short story about this important principle.

Do Not Harm a Person of Good Will

There is a little town that is far from any big city. It is isolated and the only school is very small and does not have much support, so the people who live in the town cannot get good education.

One day, a new lady moves to the town. Her name is Sophia. She is a lively, radiant person. She opens a free learning center so that the kids who live in the town can get better education.

Lots of young people go to the learning center. Sophia is busy all day and has to get a staff of volunteers to help her! The kids have a lot of fun and learn many new things with the kind volunteers. They even improve their grades at school.

Most of the parents in town are thrilled with Sophia's learning center, but one mother, Judy, is not convinced.

"Who would want to open a free learning center and work for free?" Judy wonders. "Sophia must be a liar or a criminal. She has something to hide."

But her neighbors disagree. "That is not true," they say. "She is just a good person. She wants to improve this community for all of us."

"Oh, no," Judy insists. "On the inside, all people are bad. You cannot trust anyone. This learning center seems too good to be true. I know she is hiding something. I am going to write to the Town Hall and report her to the education department!"

But Judy never gets a chance to carry out her threats. All of the local parents unite and write to the education department the very next day.

They explain the wonderful work Sophia is doing and the amazing changes she is helping to create in their community. Sophia and her team are great with the town's children. Their grades at school are improving, and many of them want to go to university. They never even considered that possibility before.

The parents even publish a lovely letter in the local newspaper thanking Sophia for her hard work and dedication to the community.

Everyone is very happy now: the children, the parents, the town residents and officials, and, of course, Sophia.

The only person who is not happy is Judy. She is already looking for someone else to say nasty things about. But her neighbors value the volunteer work that Sophia does and recognize that she is truly a person of good will. 

And now, practice:


Vocabulary Questions

1. What does "good will" mean?

a) a kind, helpful, and friendly attitude

b) an attitude of independence

c) a happy, positive attitude

d) a calm attitude

2. What does "volunteer" mean?

a) a person who works for money

b) a person who works many extra hours for extra pay

c) a person who works for free doing something they think is important

d) a person who does not have a job

3. What does "value" mean?

a) to think something is expensive

b) to think something is very important and worth doing

c) to think something is not important

d) to think something is beautiful

Grammar Questions

1. She wants to improve this community for ________ us.

a) all

b) all of

c) of

d) everyone

2. The parents even publish a lovely letter ________ the local newspaper.

a) in

b) at

c) on

d) of

3. You cannot trust ________.

a) no one

b) someone

c) everyone

d) anyone

Comprehension Questions

1. What special kind of work does Sophia do?
2. Why does Judy think Sophia has something to hide?
3. In your opinion, why is it important not to harm a person of good will?

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