Unit 14 : Human Rights Excercise Solution
I am Sorry, The Hardest Three Words to Say)

Working with words

A. Pair the following words as opposites.

Despair : hope
Kind : cruel
Fresh : stale
Strange : familiar
Normal : eccentric
Fierce : gentle
Corrupt : honest
Selfish : generous

B. By adding a suitable suffix to each word in the table, form another word as in the examples below.

into noun
open-minded : open-mindedness
accommodate : accommodation
rehearse : rehearsal
transgress : transgression
angry : anger
mix : mixture

into adjective
pain : painful
differ : different
behave : behavior
remark : remarkable
indifferent : indifference
thought : thoughtful

into verb
less : lessen
sure : ensure
real : realize
glory : glorify
power : powering/powers
prison : prisoning/prisoned


A. Write True or False after each statement. Give reason for your answer.

a. The author says his father was an ideal person in the family. False
He used to abuse his mother verbally and physically when he was drunk.

b. The author wanted to forgive his father but he did not get an opportunity. False
Because he had many pressure and stresses.

c. It’s worth forgiving a person if he/she realizes his/her mistakes. True

d. South Africa had dual type of education system in the 1960s. True

e. The author lived in a joint family. False
Because the author had only his wife and two children in his family.

f. The author regretted for not getting a chance to talk to his father. True

g. According to the author, all our glories and splendors are short lived. True

Answer the following questions.

a.How does the author remember his family environment when he was a small boy? 

Ans.: When as a small boy, the author remembers his family environment as an example of domestic violence where his father verbally and physically abuses his mother.

b.Why does the author blame system more than his father?

Ans.: The author blames the system, more than his father because none is born with bad habits but the system makes a man terrible.

c.How does the principle of forgiveness work ? 

Ans.: The author in the text mentions that the only way to heal the pain in the heart is forgiveness. And, forgiveness is not dependent on the actions of others, yet it is certainly easier to offer forgiveness when the perpetrator expresses remorse and offers some sort of reparation or restitution. In fact, we don’t forgive to help the other person or we don’t forgive for others. We forgive for ourselves. Forgiveness is the best form of self-interest. Thus, the principle of forgiveness works.

d.How does the author interpret the noises, squalls and tantrums of his children? 

Ans.: The author in the text interprets that the noises, squalls and tantrums of the children irritate and bring fatigue to the parent, however, the loving parent slides easily into the place of acceptance, even gratitude, for the helpless bundle of tears of his/her child. Toddler tantrums might provoke an answering anger in a mother or father, but it will be quickly replaced by the understanding that a little person does not yet have the language to express the flood of feelings contained in his or her body and the acceptance comes naturally.

e.Why did the author decide to educate his children in Swaziland? 

Ans.: The author decided to educate his children in Swaziland because he did not want his children to be the victims of the new inferior education system.

f.How does the author define human life? 

Ans.: Human life is a great mixture of goodness, beauty, cruelty, heartbreak, indifference, love and so much more.

g.According to the author, is it heredity or environment that shapes a man’s character? Explain

Ans.: According to the author, it is an environment that shapes man’s character, not heredity. The author argues that no one is born a liar or a rapist or a terrorist. No one is born full of hatred. No one is born in any less glory or goodness than others. Hence, according to the author, it is heredity or environment that shapes a man’s character.

h.Why is forgiveness important in our life? 

Ans.: Forgiveness is important in man’s life because it helps to reduce the amount of anger, hurt, stress, depression etc. that we experience.

Critical thinking

a.Desmond Tutu once said, “Forgiving is not forgetting; it’s actually remembering- remembering and not using your right to hit back. It’s a second chance for a new beginning.” Does this quotation apply to this text? Analyze.

Ans.: Forgiveness means letting go of anger after someone has hurt or wronged you. Forgiveness is for you and you alone. The other person may or may not deserve forgiveness, yet you deserve to be free of resentment. It’s important to remember what had happened to you so you can learn from your past and grow stronger. However, it’s more important to learn how to forgive without forgetting and grant yourself a more peaceful and positive existence.

Forgiving is critical to our emotional health. By refusing to forgive someone, we’re choosing to hold on to all the anger and bitterness that their actions have created. When we choose to hold this anger and it makes us irritable, impatient, distracted and even physically ill. Forgiveness is all about us, and not about the other person. When we forgive those who have hurt us, we can fully let go of the destructive emotions inside of us until we do. Forgiveness is not a justice issue; it’s a heart issue. We can learn from past experiences. We need to take what we can learn, be mindful of the lesson and move on – having no sense of evil for others and with just fine and content mentality. Hence, we can argue that forgiving is not forgetting; it’s actually remembering-remembering and not using your right to hit back, in fact, it’s a second chance for a new beginning

b.The author interprets ‘I am sorry’ as three hardest words to say. How does it apply to your life? 

Ans.: The three words ‘I am sorry’ are really emotional and the hardest words ever to express to somebody. Sometimes people make mistakes that can’t be forgiven. However, it’s more harmful to keep the feeling of bitterness and revenge throughout our life as it is counterproductive and harmful to ourselves too. So, one should let go of such things. There is no word or magic eraser that fixes the past and makes it what we wish it had been.

In my case, a similar thing has happened to me also. When I was working a couple of years I fell sick one day and I desperately wanted leave in order to have sound bed rest. But ago, my manager did not let me take the leave. He said that there is a lot of work and he wanted me at the office at any cost. And it was not really his mistake as yes there was a great workload too. However, when I did not get the leave even when I was sick, I got so hurt that I just said to him that he was really being mean and that was not fair. I immediately mailed my resignation letter to him. Also meanwhile, I got to know from other people that he was upset over what I had said to him. Every time, I decided that I would make an apology to him. But then I didn’t. I don’t know why? When I think of it now, I still feel that I should have apologized. But later everyone said that it’s not really a big deal as such things happen – and this is the destiny of our life.


The author talks about dual education based on race in South Africa in the second half of the twentieth century. We also have private schools and public schools in Nepal. What should be done to make education equal to all citizens of Nepal? Write a couple of paragraphs expressing your views. 

Ans.: Nepal has two primary types of schools: community and institutional. Community (public) schools receive government grants, and institutional (private) schools are self-funded. Institutional schools are non-profit trusts or companies.

There are major differences between public and private schools in Nepal. First is the language of instruction and communication. In private schools, pupils and teachers are encouraged to speak in schools have few resources, especially in rural areas. Thirdly, teacher motivation in public schools English, while in public schools, generally, Nepali is the medium of instruction. Secondly, public is lower than in their private counterparts, leading to teachers’ absenteeism and lower performance. Fourthly, parental pressure on public schools is lower because parents of private

schools have a much greater stake in their child’s education. Privatization of education in Nepal has resulted in high tuition fees, large class sizes, less qualified teachers and part-time (non- committed) teachers. Most of the resources are allocated for marketing with attractive school buildings and well-furnished classrooms while encouraging temporary contracts, low salary and delivering much long working hours for the teachers. In contrast to this, these private schools are higher quality education to the students compared to their public counterparts. However, the private education system in Nepal is far expensive than public education and everyone cannot afford them. So, many students from the rural and backward classes in Nepal don’t posses opportunity to study in private institution. This education gap and separation have created a sort of discrimination among people – in fact, enrolling students in Nepal in private school has been a matter of prestige and class division. The general concept about education is rich should teach their children in private institution and the public school is for the poor ones. To solve this problem, government should amend the laws regarding education system. Government should initiate the systems of free education in Nepal. The quality of education should be maintained in a proportionate manner. The governing bodies should be the same and teachers should be equally qualified, licensed and trained. In addition to this, the government should empower the public schools with resources, trainings and other teacher development programmes. Only then, the quality of education of the whole nation can uplift, otherwise, it will degrade and worsen more.


A. Join the following pairs of sentences using when and while

a. Bibha Kumari was doing her homework. The doorbell rang.

i. Bibha Kumari was doing her homework when the doorbell rang.
ii. While Bibha Kumari was doing her homework, the doorbell rang.

b. I heard the telephone ring. I picked it up.

When I heard the telephone ring, I picked it up.

c. Dil Maya found a thousand rupee note. She was washing her pants.

i. While Dil Maya was washing her pants, she found a thousand rupee note.
ii. Dil Maya was washing her pants when she found a thousand rupee note.

d. Tenjing gave his measurements to the dressmaker. He was visiting the market yesterday.

i. When Tenjing gave his measurements to the dressmaker, he was visiting the market yesterday.
ii. While Tenjing was visiting the market, he gave his measurements to the dressmaker.

e. I was at the butcher’s shop. I met Harikala.

When I was at the butcher’s shop, I met Harikala.

f. The sales agent was dealing with the customer. A thief stole the jewels.

i. While the sales agent was dealing with the customer, a thief stole the jewels.
ii. The sales agent was dealing with the customer when a thief stole the jewels.

g. My small brother was sleeping. I played chess with my father.

i. While my small brother was sleeping, I played chess with my father.
ii. My small brother was sleeping when I played chess with my father.

h. The old lady fell down. She was climbing up the stairs.

i. When the old lady fell down, she was climbing up the stairs.
ii. The old lady fell down while she was climbing up the stairs.

i. The leader was giving a speech loudly. He lost his voice.

i. While the leader was giving a speech loudly, he lost his voice.
ii. The leader was giving a speech loudly when he lost his voice.

j. Kanchan broke her backbone. She was lifting up the load.

i. Kanchan was lifting up the load when she broke her backbone.
ii. While Kanchan was lifting up the load, she broke her backbone.

B. Fill in the blanks with one of the connectives from the box.

a. We didn’t go for a morning walk today since it was raining.
b. I wanted to go home early as I was not feeling well.
c. My brother stayed at home because of/ owing to his illness.
d. I was late in the class owing to traffic jams.

e. He didn’t like dogs so he was not happy when his wife brought a puppy at home.
f. He was not included in the team owing to his knee injury.
g. As I was tired, I went to bed early.
h. He was very unhappy since he lost one million rupees in share market.
i. We cancelled our trip to Rara Lake owing to the bad weather.
j. These two lines intersect with each because they are are not parallel lines.