English Reading Practice
Story Number 6:
Set a Good Example
Watch the video at the top of the page.
Read the story "Set a Good Example" just below it.
Do the exercises at the bottom of the page.
is the Set
a Good Example
You can watch it in your own language at The
Way to Happiness Foundation
click the word "language" at the top right corner of that
Way to Happiness
is a common sense
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.
number 6 is "Set a Good Example."
read the short story about this important principle.
Set a Good Example
a small town lives an old man named Mr. Benson. He lives alone. He has
a big scar on his face that makes him look a little scary. No one talks
to him, and no one helps him carry his things up the difficult stairs
to his home.
Mr. Benson does not have any friends. He is not married. But one day, a
new family moves into the neighborhood. They are a nice couple, Mr. and
Mrs. Clarence, and their children, Amanda and David. They move into the
where Mr. Benson lives.
The other people who live in the building welcome the new family. They
say hello to Amanda and David, but they tell them not to talk to Mr.
is a scary old man. He has no friends and he has a strange scar."
Amanda, David, and their parents think this is very silly advice. When
Mr. Benson in the hallway or in the street outside their building, they
always say hello with a smile and ask how he is feeling today.
Mr. Benson is very happy to see them. He tells them they are always
welcome in his home. He gives Amanda and David some delicious cupcakes
Mr. and Mrs. Clarence always help Mr. Benson with his groceries, and
Amanda and David like to sit and drink tea with him. He tells wonderful
He was once a very famous chef, and he makes the most delicious
desserts in the whole world, in Amanda's opinion.
One evening, all the neighbors in the building hear laughter and the
sounds of cups and plates and silverware in Mr. Benson's apartment.
They are very confused! It sounds like a delightful dinner. They all
wonder why they are not invited.
The next day, Mrs. Clarence talks to her neighbors. "You really must
get to know Mr. Benson. He is so funny! And he is a fantastic chef. He
told us the amazing story of his scar. He had an accident when he was
helping his parents on their farm."
The neighbors all feel very silly. They do not know anything about Mr.
Benson. They all start to follow the examples the Clarences gave them.
Soon, they all enjoy Mr. Benson's delicious cakes every weekend at
their potluck dinners.
Everyone brings something to these weekly dinners, and they share their
food and their time with each other.
What they love most of all are Mr. Benson's funny stories!
As they watch Amanda and David play and laugh with Mr. Benson, the
neighbors all see that there was nothing to be afraid of. They were not
kind to the old man, and he is really a good person. Everyone
the building is happier because of the good example the Clarence family
set for them. They all live better together now, and Mr. Benson does
lonely anymore because he is now part of the
And now, practice:
1. What does "set an example" mean?
a) to explain to someone
how to do something
b) to learn how to do something
c) to use your actions to show good behavior
d) to tell others what they are doing wrong
2. What does "potluck" mean?
a) a meal shared by lots
of people where everyone contributes something
b) a big party with lots of food to celebrate an event
c) a special traditional meal to celebrate a national holiday
d) a time to say thank you for the good food we eat
3. What does "get to know" mean?
a) to talk about someone
b) to ask other people about someone
c) to get something from someone
d) to spend time with someone and learn about him or her
1. No one talks ________ him.
2. They ________ know anything about Mr. Benson.
a) does not
b) do not
c) are not
d) is not
3. Mr. Benson does not feel lonely ________.
1. Why do the neighbors stay away from Mr. Benson?
2. What do Amanda and her parents think about this?
3. In your opinion, can the examples you set change other people's
ideas or behaviors?