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Secondary 3, English, Worksheet 2, Comprehension – tbc

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Secondary 3, English, Worksheet 2, Comprehension – tbc

There are a total of 18 questions.
Time Limit: minutes
a) 18 questions already input into LMS. Including sub-questions
b) categorized.
To follow up:
a) marks allocation
b) time limit
c) requires model answers and workings / explanations (if any);
d) review and determine if format /presentation is appropriate. Currently format used is:
e) Fill in the blanks (to consider if essay / open answer format is more appropriate – especially for Q3 – Q10)
f) Grammar portion of the worksheet shall be setup into a separate quiz as there is no linkage with comprehension


Confucius: A Sage For All Time

Every few centuries, a man arises to alter the course of humanity. Like a brilliant meteor, his light diminishes the darkness. Then, as suddenly, he is gone and mankind must await his successor. Little did the unsuspecting people of Lu, China, know that in 551 B C. such a man was born in the midst. His name was K’ung – later translated to the western world as Confucius. The times in which he taught were difficult. The feudal states of China were at continual warfare. So worthless was the life of the average man then that one ruler tried out his new swords on his unfortunate subjects.

Although the birth of Confucius preceded that of Jesus by over five centuries, it was not until the 16th century that his wisdom was revealed to the Western world by Jesuit missionaries in China. So impressed were they by teachings of Confucius that they recommended that he be made a saint. However, church authorities received their recommendations with scepticism.

What Confucius taught was, like that of Jesus and Socrates, unbounded by time. He challenged basic values. Believing that every man was entitled to an education. He taught the poor as well as the rich. His dedication to teaching led him to undertake difficult journeys beyond his native state of Lu. And the presentation was such that his truths impressed themselves in the consciousness of all who listened. A personality of diverse abilities and talents, his skill with the lute when he was young brought many people to hear him play. It was said, too, that he had great physical strength, and he was reputed to be able to shoot an arrow farther and to throw spear more accurately that other young men. While still a young man, he was given a government position as keeper of the community herds. It was in this position that his fame as an arbiter of disputes was acquired and people began to come great distances to obtain his advice.

When asked by one of his disciples to define humanitarianism, Confucius replied, “it is to love others.” The humanitarian man, he taught, wishing to establish himself, seeks also to establish other; wishing to enlarge himself, also to enlarge others. Sincerity and faithfulness must guide him. Courage is not enough. A humanitarian person is sure to have courage, but a brave man may not be humanitarian.

Asked what one word could serve man best as a guide, he answered “reciprocity” because man’s should be project beyond one’s self. “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do unto others,” he said. Then another time, when asked what constituted virtue, he answered, “Virtue is to love men and wisdom is to understand them.” “Superior men, he taught, think of virtue, but small men think of comfort and favours. He considered that it was character that made superior men, and he attempted, therefore, to instill character in his pupils. Riches and honour were good if they could be attained honourably; otherwise, they were to be avoided. Poverty was to be preferred to dishonor.

Once on a difficult journey, Confucius and his followers were plagued by hunger and hardships. One of them complained bitterly, asking if they didn’t deserve better. Confucius replied that only the virtuous could long endure either in a condition of poverty and hardship or in one of enjoyment. All things follow a certain sequence, he taught. All affairs have their beginning and end. In terms of values, this rule applies likewise. The man of virtue makes the difficulty to be overcome his first business and success a subsequent consideration. The superior man acts before he speaks and afterwards he speaks according to his actions. There are certain things that man must guard against according to his age. In youth, he must guard against lust; in middle age, against quarrelsomeness; in old age, against covetousness. Whatever his age, planning must precede any undertaking.

When asked by a disciple whom he would choose to accompany him if he were in charge of an army, Confucius said that his associate would have to be a man who proceeded to action full of solicitude adjusted his plans, and afterwards carried them into action. “I would not have him to act with me, who would unarmed attack a tiger, or cross a river without a boat, dying without any regret.”

Most important, he believed, was that a man should cultivate himself. A sincere person with a love of learning becomes a solid foundation upon which the family and state can rest. The cultivation of the person, he declared, is the basis of society, the root of everything from the government down to the people.

Always concerned with government and politics, Confucius believed that, to be effective, government must be based on high standards and virtuous examples. He considered that dependence on government by laws and punishments in inadequate. If people are led by laws only and if uniformity of conduct is maintained by punishment, they will lie to avoid punishment and will have no sense of shame when they violate the laws. Government by virtuous men Confucius maintained can be compared to the North Polar Star, which keeps its place and all the stars turn toward it.

He said that government should avoid requiring great tasks from the people without first giving warning. It should not issue orders without urgency and then insist with severity that such orders be carried out. Nor should it give to men callously with selfish intent. If government presses for quick results or visualizes petty profits, it will fail to influence the people and will not accomplish any important ends.

Because of his revolutionary doctrines, Confucius was thwarted in his own personal ambition to become a high government official. His long life of 72 years was devoted primarily to teaching. Yet even on his death bed, he was concerned because no ruler had appeared who accepted his philosophy of government.

His philosophy was focused on the present life of man. He cautioned that to know the truth is not enough, for those who know it are not equal to those who love it; those who love it are not equal to those who find pleasure in it. Asked about death, Confucius countered, “If you do not know life, how can you understand death?” Then asked about serving the spirits of the dead, he asked. “If you are not able to serve men how can you serve their spirits?”

His standards were demanding: “the man of honour makes demands upon himself; the man without a sense of honour makes demands on others. A man of honour has no self-pity and no fears.” He felt that virtuous men are in harmony with people although they may not agree with them; the non-virtuous agree with people, yet are not on harmony with them. To him, man’s reciprocity to man was the measure of men.

AS with all great men, many of the teachings of Confucius became distorted. Nevertheless, his ideas exerted a great influence on the Eastern world and later in the concepts of such thinkers as Voltaire in the Western world. Rather than to curse the darkness. Confucius lit a light. He must be counted among the great teachers of all times.