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Things To Do Before You Die - Upper Int Reading

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The internet is full of lists of things to do before you die, but this is one of the most original I have found. Read through the article and then try and answer the true or false questions at the end.

To read the full article go to, http://www.forbes.com/forbes-life-magazine/2000/0918/082.html

10 Things To Do Before You Die

In 1902, as he lay dying at the age of 48, Cecil Rhodes could look back on a not undistinguished career. He had made a vast fortune in gold and diamonds. He had built railroads through the wilderness and become one of the century's great rulers. He had created an empire, which is more than your average 48-year-old has done. But Rhodes was not going gentle into any good night. On his deathbed he was heard muttering, "So little done, so much to do."

What did he mean? It's possible he wanted still more money or land or power--maybe he was the one workaholic who really spent his last minutes wishing he'd spent more time at the office. But at that moment most people worry about a different kind of "To Do" list. When Jos Mart named the things that every man ought to do before he dies, the list did not include "Liberate a country." The hero of Cuban independence named three more important tasks: Plant a tree, write a book, have a son. That's an excellent start. Here are ten more.

Make a pilgrimage. The destination might be a traditional one such as Jerusalem or Rome or Mecca. It might be a site of prehistoric rituals, like Stonehenge or Machu Picchu. For nature-worshippers it could be an African savanna or Amazonian rain forest; for music-lovers it could be La Scala or Bayreuth. The goal is a cathedral you hold sacred, a place where you can feel part of something larger. The reward is a moment, whether it's hearing the "Gloria" at St. Peter's or watching a gazelle take its first step, that you won't need a video camera to capture.

Eat a meal good enough to be your last. When the end comes for you, there is a distinct possibility that you will be in no position to enjoy white truffles. But if you plan ahead carefully--if you eat them now--you will not die feeling cheated. Think of it as death insurance and pay no attention to those numbers on the right side of the menu.

Make an enemy for life. A gentleman has been defined as someone who never gives pain to anyone unintentionally. This leaves plenty of leeway for deliberate rudeness toward someone you can't stand. Stand up to a bully; speak out against a fraud; fight off a rival for a prize. Care enough about something to make someone mad. An enemy helps you define yourself. As Schopenhauer said, "We can come to look upon the deaths of our enemies with as much regret as we feel for those of our friends, namely, when we miss their existence as witnesses to our success."

Defy gravity. Yes, it's the most drearily immutable law on the planet, but on your deathbed it would be good to recall a momentary rebellion--one sky dive out of a plane, one plunge on a bungee cord, one ride on a parasail. For the ultimate in simplicity and pleasure, paraglide off Baba Dag, a 6,000-foot-high peak rising straight above the coast of southern Turkey. Just make sure that you have a professional pilot strapped in the harness of your parachute. The two of you take a few running steps and leap into the void, at which point the pilot and the wind take over. You soar a mile above the ocean, then slowly circle for 20 minutes as the pilot guides you to a leisurely landing on the beach, whereupon gravity takes over again.

Let someone else have the chance you missed. Maybe it will be one of the things on this list, like a trip you always meant to take but which eventually becomes impossible. With age come limitations. But with age also come wisdom and money. When it's too late for you, give someone younger what you always wanted.

Lesson by Caroline

True or False?

  • 1. Cecil Rhodes was a very successful business man during his life.

  • 2. Jos Mart said that everyone should try and liberate a country.

  • 3. Everyone should make pilgrimages to places that are meaningful to them.

  • 4. When you die, you will probably have a craving for truffles.

  • 5. The writer thinks you should never be rude to anyone.

  • 6. The writer thinks bungee jumping is dangerous and pointless.

  • 7. People who are older are usually richer.