English Reading Practice
Story Number 10:
Watch the video at the top of the page.
Read the story "Support a Government Designed and Run for All the
People" just below it.
Do the exercises at the bottom of the page.
Support a Government Designed
and Run for All the People
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
click the word "language" at the top right corner of that page.)
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.
number 10 is "Support a Government Designed and Run for All the People."
read the short story about this important principle.
Support a Government Designed
and Run for
All the People
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
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
the art or science of managing and leading a country.
Raise your voice
To make your opinion
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.
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
When two or more
countries fight against each other over a period of time. It
is generally characterized by extreme violence, social disruption and
And now, practice:
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
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
c) a person who is protected by his or her country's government
d) all of the above
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.
3. Alan and his family ________ very worried by this news.
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?