English Reading Practice

Moral Story Number 21:
Flourish and Prosper

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

2. Read the story "Flourish and Prosper" just below it.

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

Here is the Flourish and Prosper 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 21 is "Flourish and Prosper."

Now read the short story about this important principle.

Flourish and Prosper

Brian is a very silly, funny student. What he loves most is to make people laugh. All his friends love his jokes, and even the teachers think he is very funny. Brian knows that comedy is what he likes best.

When he hears about the school's talent show, he decides to sign up so that he can share his comedy from the stage. He has never done real stand-up comedy before, and he is very excited. But when some of the students find out he will participate, they laugh at him. Brian thinks it does not feel very good when someone laughs at you in a mean way!

"You are not funny," the students tell him. "You will do a terrible job. No one will like what you do!"

Brian cannot understand why they are being so unkind to him. For a moment, he thinks about telling the talent show organizers he will not participate. But then he remembers how much his friends and teachers like his jokes. He does not know why these other students are being so negative, but he decides to go ahead and prepare his comedy routine for the talent show.

Brian decides to do a great job at the talent show to prove to the mean students that they are wrong. Everyone loves his routine, and he wins first prize! Even so, the same students tell Brian he is dumb and that he will never be a successful comedian. Brian just shakes his head and wonders what their problem is. He does not understand, but he realizes that it has nothing to do with him. He happily continues to work towards his goal.

As the years go on, Brian meets more people like that. Luckily, they are the minority, and as he works hard to become a comedian, most of the people he meets encourage him and help him to become even funnier. He gets more and more opportunities to perform, and he is even invited to appear on television and act in movies.

His fans thank him for making them laugh, and they tell him that his comedy makes them feel better when they are sad. He likes to tell funny stories in his acts about how hard he had to work and overcome the silly, nasty things people said to him along the way. He never listened to them, and now he is a big comedy star!

He followed his heart to flourish and prosper doing what he loves the most. And he really thinks he chose the best career in the world. He never feels stressed like those negative people, and he laughs all day long!


And now, practice:


Vocabulary Questions

1. What does "flourish" mean?

a) to grow well and be healthy

b) to be very successful

c) to do very well in life

d) all of the above

2. What does "prosper" mean?

a) to succeed at an activity

b) to make a lot of money

c) to become strong, active, and healthy

d) all of the above

3. What does "encourage" mean?

a) to explain how to do something

b) to make someone more confident and determined

c) to try something new

d) to have an idea

Grammar Questions

1. As the years go ________, Brian meets more people like that.

a) of

b) in

c) on

d) at

2. His comedy makes them feel ________ when they are sad.

a) better

b) gooder

c) best

d) goodest

3. He ________ know why these other students are being so negative.

a) do not

b) did not

c) not does

d) not do

Comprehension Questions

1. What is Brian's favorite thing to do?

2. How did Brian decide to deal with the negative comments?

3. In your opinion, why is it important to flourish and prosper?

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