old age pensioners
1. Reading comprehension
How often one hears children wishing they were grown up, and old people wishing they were young again. Each age has its pleasures and its pains,
and the happiest person is the one who enjoys what each age gives him without wasting his time in useless regrets.
Childhood is a time when there are few responsibilities to make life difficult. If a child has good parents, he is fed, looked after and loved, whatever
he may do. It is improbable that he will ever again in his life be given so much without having to do anything in return. In addition, life is always
presenting new things to the child -
playing in the rain, or in the snow. His first visit to the seaside is a marvellous adventure. But a child has his pains; he is not so free to do as he wishes
as he thinks older people are; he is continually being told not to do things, or being punished for what he has done wrong. His life is therefore not
When the young man starts to earn his own living, he becomes free from the discipline of school and parents; but at the same time he is forced to
accept responsibilities. He can no longer expect others to pay for his food, his clothes, and his room, but has to work if he wants to live comfortably.
If he spends most of his time playing about in the way he used to as a child, he will go hungry. And if he breaks the laws of society as he used to
break the laws of his parents, he may go to prison. If, however, he works hard, keeps out of trouble and has good health, he can have the great
happiness of seeing himself make steady progress in his job and of building up for himself his own position in society.
Old age has always been thought of as the worst age to be; but it is not necessary for the old to be unhappy. With old age should come wisdom and
the ability to help others with advice wisely given. The old can have the joy of seeing their children making progress in life; they can watch their
grandchildren growing up around them; and, perhaps best of all, they can, if their life has been a useful one, fell the happiness of having come
through the battle of life safely and of having reached a time when they can lie back and rest, leaving others to continue the fight.
(about 445 words)
2. Gerund plus preposition