English Reading Practice

Moral Story Number 2:
Be Temperate

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

2. Read the story "Be Temperate" just below it.

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

Here is the Be Temperate 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 2 is "Be Temperate."

To be temperate means to avoid behavior that goes beyond what is reasonable or healthy.

Now read the short story about this important principle.

Be Temperate

Rick is a student at an expensive private university. He is lucky because he has a wonderful offer from the university's sports department. He can study for free because he is a great basketball player, and the university's basketball team needs him. He just needs to maintain good grades, and he can study for free.

But Rick likes going to parties more than he likes studying. Playing basketball is what he loves the most, but he likes partying almost as much. He goes out with his friends four or five times a week.

That means that Rick misses a lot of classes because he usually doesn't feel well in the morning after partying all night. He tries to do his best at basketball practice, but he feels sick there sometimes, too.

Rick really likes his teammates because they are so much fun. He convinces some of them to go out with him on a Wednesday night.

They are all having lots of fun very late that night at the party and drinking a lot. They decide to play some basketball outside. They feel as if they are responding perfectly, but of course their reflexes are really quite slow. As they play, one of Rick's teammates falls and breaks his arm. They have to take him to the hospital, and they are all very embarrassed.

Naturally, Rick's coach is very angry. He tells Rick that he is being very irresponsible.

"I spoke to your teachers," his coach tells him. "They say you miss lots of classes and that your grades are very bad. If you do not stop all this drinking and partying, this will not get better. And if you do not improve your grades, you will have to leave the basketball team and the university. You have some thinking to do."

Rick is shocked. He does not want to leave the basketball team! He thinks about his parents and his grandparents. They are so proud of him, and before he left for university, his little brother told Rick he was his hero. Rick knows that he can do much better.

When he really sits down to look at his situation, Rick decides he is tired of feeling sick every day. He wants to show his family and his team that he is responsible. And most of all, he wants to play basketball at a big university! This is his dream, and he will not throw it away by partying and drinking too much. From now on, Rick decides to be temperate and enjoy what he loves most.

And now, practice:


Vocabulary Questions

1. What does "temperate" mean?

a) not doing anything fun

b) not going to extremes and not overdoing things

c) not listening to anyone's advice

d) not doing any physical activity

2. What does "grades" mean?

a) the scores you get in your classes

b) the discussions you have with your teachers

c) the time you spend in class

d) all the books you have to read for your classes

3. What does "shocked" mean?

a) very angry

b) very sad

c) very surprised

d) very happy

Grammar Questions

1. If you do not stop all this drinking and parting, this ________ not get better.

a) will

b) would

c) does

d) did

2. He goes ________ with his friends four or five times a week.

a) in

b) about

c) out

d) up

3. They are so proud ________ him.

a) of

b) about

c) with

d) for

Comprehension Questions

1. Why can Rick go to university for free?
2. Why do Rick and his friends feel as if they are responding perfectly, but in fact their reflexes are quite slow?
3. In your opinion, why is it important to be temperate?

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