Heroine inspires youth to speak up
After reading news of He Peirong helping blind activist Chen Guangcheng escape house arrest, this heroine won my respect for her keen sense of justice.
She said: 'I hope everyone can speak out, then the world will be a better place.' This made me ask myself: If I were in her shoes, would I help Chen? But I found myself hesitating. I recalled our elders' advice to 'be wise and stay out of trouble'. Indeed, He is now in danger because of her brave action.
My hesitation made me feel ashamed. I live in Hong Kong, where I enjoy the freedom to publish anything and to speak my mind. But I wasn't willing to stand up for Chen.
This reminded me of the poem First They Came, written during the second world war, about a person who didn't speak out when the Germans came after the communists, unionists and Jews. The last line of the poem says: 'And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.'
So I have resolved to make a change. I will carefully study history so I can learn more about our past. Also, I will learn to hone my sense of justice so I won't let He down.
Hermione Chan Pui-lam, Christian Alliance S. C. Chan Memorial College
Quake hero teaches lesson for locals
If you were in an earthquake, would you run away? Wong Fuk-wing didn't. The truck driver, aka Ah Fuk, sacrificed his life trying to save orphans during the quake in Yushu, Qinghai province.
Wong had been doing volunteer work for eight years on the mainland before the tragedy happened.
He had kept a low profile and did not ask for anything in return. Ah Fuk's selfless action showed his love for the nation.
In Hong Kong, locals are usually described as indifferent. Ah Fuk's story should then be a great lesson for Hongkongers. We don't need to die in the attempt, but we can use our time to do volunteer work or donate money to the underprivileged.
I really admire Wong. He is undeniably a role model. I hope that more Hong Kong people will be inspired by him and be more caring towards the community.
The heart and soul of organ donors
I am writing in response to news a couple of weeks ago about a woman donating six organs upon her death, saving other patients' lives.
I think organ donation is a very taboo subject in Chinese culture because people, especially the elderly, stick to the belief that one's body should be preserved intact when one dies.
This outdated concept hinders the progress of organ donation in the city. Isn't saving others' lives more important than obeying outdated traditions?
Official figures show that less than 10 in every million citizens donate their organs to patients in need of transplants. Many patients die before finding a donor. The situation is grim.
We used to be taught to give away things that we don't need, but which may be beneficial to others, such as toys, books and clothes. The same can be said for our organs, which we can opt to donate after we pass away.
This way, we can help cure a gravely ill person. The decision to be an organ donor is a difficult one, but we can at least rest easy knowing that some day we can give someone in need a ray of hope.
Thomas Au Ching-ho, Shatin Tsung Tsin Secondary School
Chasing the dream of bike-friendly city
Have you ever ridden your bike to school? Or cycled around Hong Kong instead of riding in an air-conditioned car?
For me, doing this was an unrealised dream.
But after reading an informative website on the cycling culture in Amsterdam, Holland - one of the world's first-class, bike-friendly cities - I thought it was high time that Hong Kong should aspire to be the same.
In my own life, I have struggled to take up the sport. I have always wanted to go cycling - but looking at the size of our flat and the layout of the city, I have always had second thoughts. Where are the bike lanes, for instance?
It's unfortunate that the government has not been making a determined effort to promote cycling across the city.
Stephanie Chiu Yuen-ki