English Reading Practice

Moral Story Number 15:
Fulfill Your Obligations

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

2. Read the story "Fulfill Your Obligations" just below it.

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

Here is the Fulfill Your Obligations 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 15 is "Fulfill Your Obligations."

Now read the short story about this important principle.

Fulfill Your Obligations

Samantha sometimes does not go to work because she is sleepy or she just does not feel like going. At first, her boss tries to be understanding, thinking that maybe Samantha is getting sick. Of course she is earning less money because of all the time she misses, and soon her boss loses patience. He fires Samantha and looks for someone else to do her job.

Samantha is upset, and she is also a little worried about paying her bills. But she decides that she really does not like to work very much. Still, Samantha is lucky because she has lots of friends and family members who love her. So rather than look for a new job, she starts to ask them for money.

At first most of them are willing to lend her a little bit. But, when she does not pay it back, they become upset. Why is she being so irresponsible? They all stop loaning her money.

Just like Samantha always has excuses for her friends and family, she also has excuses for her landlord. She usually does not have the money for her rent, but she always says she will have it soon. Of course, Samantha's landlord eventually loses patience and tells her that she must leave her apartment immediately.

Samantha does not know what to do. She does not know where to begin to look for a new apartment, and anyway, she does not have any money to pay for rent. She feels desperate and realizes that she has made some very big mistakes. She begins to call her friends to see if they will let her stay at their apartments, but they are all still upset about the money she owes them. They say no.

Finally, Samantha is left feeling very desperate and worried. She dials her brother's phone number and hopes that he is in a good mood. When he answers, she explains her situation and admits that she thinks she has made some big mistakes.

Her brother, Edwin, agrees with her. Her behavior has been very inappropriate, and he refuses to lend her any money. He tells her that she can stay with him, but only under very specific conditions. First, she must begin to look for a new job. And while she is living with Edwin, she must walk his dog every day, clean the house, and do cooking. If she does not fulfill all of these responsibilities, she must leave.

Edwin sounds very serious, and Samantha knows that her brother is not joking. She knows he is giving her an important opportunity to make a change in her life. She realizes that she must live up to her responsibilities and fulfill her obligations.

Samantha thanks her brother and agrees to his offer. She will do her best to find a good job soon. She wants to pay everyone back as soon as possible and get her life back in order. She knows it is going to be a challenge, but she also knows it will be well worth it!

And now, practice:


Vocabulary Questions

1. What does "obligation" mean?

a) something you want to do

b) something that is a good idea to do

c) something you might do

d) something you must do

2. What does "landlord" mean?

a) the person who lives in the apartment next to you

b) the person who owns the apartment you live in

c) the person who cleans your apartment for you

d) the person who comes to repair things in your apartment

3. What does "pay back" mean?

a) to return money that someone lent you

b) to pay in advance

c) to pay your bills

d) to lend someone money

Grammar Questions

1. She realizes that she must live ________ to her responsibilities.

a) over

b) down

c) up

d) in

2. Samantha is worried ________ paying her bills.

a) of

b) about

c) for

d) to

3. Samantha ________ know what to do.

a) do not

b) was not

c) were not

d) does not

Comprehension Questions

1. Why do Samantha's friends and family become upset with her?
2. What does Samantha plan to do at the end of the story?
3. In your opinion, why is it important to fulfill your obligations?

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