English Reading Practice

Moral Story Number 20:
Try to Treat Others as
You Would Want Them to Treat You

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

2. Read the story "Try to Treat Others as You Would Want Them to Treat You" just below it.

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

Here is the Try to Treat Others as You Would Want Them to Treat You 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 20 is "Try to Treat Others as You Would Want Them to Treat You."

Now read the short story about this important principle.

Try to Treat Others as
You Would Want Them to Treat You

There is a very mean, nasty man named Mr. Douglas who lives on the fourth floor of an apartment building. He is so rude to his neighbors that no one even knows his first name is Adam. He never says hello to anyone, and he leaves his garbage out in the hallway. He constantly complains about all his neighbors and the noise they make.

He even gets upset when the couple who live next door to him, Catherine and David, have a baby. Instead of saying congratulations, he loudly complains about how the baby will surely cry all night.

Suddenly, one day when he is leaving his apartment, Mr. Douglas sees that his garbage is gone. In its place, he finds a note from David. "Good morning, Mr. Douglas. I saw your garbage here, and since I was on my way out, I picked it up for you. I wanted to save you a trip. Have a nice day, David."

Mr. Douglas does not know what to think. Maybe David is not very smart. Mr. Douglas has been very mean and rude to him, but David has done something nice. Deciding to ignore this kind act, Mr. Douglas begins thinking about the terrible traffic he will surely have to deal with on his way to work.

But as time goes on, Mr. Douglas starts to feel a little silly. No matter how rude he is, Catherine and David always smile at him when they pass in the hallway and politely say hello. It becomes harder and harder for him not to simply say hello back.

One day, Mr. Douglas finds another note outside his door. It is from Catherine and David, saying they are very sorry about the noise. Their baby son is not feeling well, so he cried a lot last night. The note says they hope the baby did not interrupt Mr. Douglas's sleep.

Now he feels really silly, because he did not even hear the baby. He slept with his fan on because of the heat, and that covered the noise of the baby crying.

When he sees Catherine and David that afternoon, they both look very tired. He says hello politely and thanks them for their note. They are so nice to him that he cannot be rude. After a few weeks, Mr. Douglas is always happy to see Catherine and David in the hall. They even start calling him Adam.

Finally, they invite Mr. Douglas into their apartment for a cup of coffee. As they talk, he admits that he and his wife got a divorce a year ago. He has been so upset about it that he has been rude to everyone he knows.

Catherine and David say they are very sorry to hear this news. They thought maybe Mr. Douglas was unhappy about something. They hope he feels better soon.

Mr. Douglas is very glad that they have treated him with so much tolerance, compassion, and friendliness. He cannot help but appreciating and respecting them for it. He will try to do the same with the people he meets. Now he knows the importance of treating other people as he would like to be treated.

And now, practice:


Vocabulary Questions

1. What does "rude" mean?

a) considerate

b) impolite

c) nice

d) violent

2. What does "traffic" mean?

a) bad weather

b) people walking on the sidewalks

c) people on the train

d) cars and buses on the roads

3. What does "compassion" mean?

a) being with someone else

b) helping someone else who is in a bad situation

c) feeling bad about something

d) understanding and caring about someone who is in a bad situation

Grammar Questions

1. Catherine and David are very sorry ________ this news.

a) heard

b) hearing

c) to hear

d) hear

2. It becomes ________ for him not to simply say hello back.

a) hardest

b) harder and hardest

c) hard and harder

d) harder and harder

3. Maybe David ________ very smart.

a) has not

b) is not

c) were not

d) does not

Comprehension Questions

1. How does Mr. Douglas treat all his neighbors?
2. What nice things do Catherine and David do for Mr. Douglas?
3. In your opinion, why is it important to try to treat others as you would want them to treat you?

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