Where has all the politeness gone?
A few days ago I took the MTR to Sham Shui Po. On the train I saw an old woman standing and no one was offering her a seat. After a while a child stood up for the old woman. But his mother forced him to sit down and punished him.
I think these people have no politeness at all. We see this behaviour a lot - not giving up a seat, no saying thank you and no greetings. A greeting can make a person smile. We have been taught to be polite, but where is this politeness when it is needed?
Johnny Ho, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College
Social worker an example to us all
Chan Siu-ming is a social worker specialising in cage-home problems in Hong Kong. Chan, who works for the Society for Community Organisation, is a kind-hearted, considerate person and passionate about helping poor people. He has put a lot of effort into fighting for the rights and welfare of low-income families.
The thing that inspired me the most is that Chan chose to live in a cage home to experience how tough it is to be poor. Although he graduated with first class honours from Chinese University, he never thought of finding a high-paid job, preferring to spend his time helping the needy.
Hongkongers are often too money-minded and neglect social problems and the needs of others. We should learn from Chan's example and lend a helping hand to the poor.
School should suit a student's needs
I do not think popular schools are really better than other schools.
Every student has their own learning method, so parents should find a school which best suits their child. They should not just target the leading schools.
Most parents want their children to have the best education and while some top-rated schools might provide this, they also demand a lot from their students. The competition to get into these schools is fierce and parental pressure on children can lead to family conflicts.
These schools want to keep up their reputations and students often seem to study simply for the sake of studying. They lose the original intention of learning.
Mandy Cheng, Pooi To Middle School
Bad behaviour becoming the norm
Most children in Hong Kong have a good life and lots of expensive things. They all can go to school and buy what they like. But do they treat others well? No, they do not.
You many have read about the boy whose grandpa forgot to buy him a birthday present. He demanded to know where his present was. His grandpa didn't know what he should do, so he took his grandson to the gift shop immediately.
This story shows children's behaviour at its worst. Children should not shout at their elders and they should know that birthday presents are not a necessity. This is very impolite behaviour.
We learn many things at school, but we don't have any classes on how to behave.
Ma Hoi-tung, Christian Alliance S. C. Chan Memorial College
We could learn from girls of the past
Recently, I read a book called Half Past Six Every Night. It describes the lives of the young girls who worked in factories in the daytime and studied at college at night in the golden days of Hong Kong's manufacturing industry.
In the past, not every child in a traditional Chinese family could go to school. And it was the girls who were the least likely to study.
After they left primary school, they would have to work in factories. But this band of girls decided not to give up on their dreams and formed a group who worked during the day and studied at night.
Their lives were hard and their families often ill-treated them, but they persevered. Finally they had happy families and careers.
This book inspired me. I realised that these girls were humble, and they studied hard so they could change their lives for the better.
Nowadays, a lot of girls are spoilt, lazy and arrogant, rather than modest, hard-working and patient. I think they could learn some good lessons from the girls of the 1960s and 1970s.
Dorothy Tse Wing-sze