PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 June, 2008, 12:00am

Value your health

In the past, I thought money was the most important thing in the world. I believed if we had money, we could buy whatever we wanted. Buying ourselves gifts would make us happy and relaxed.

But now I realise health is far more important. If we are healthy, we can do anything and go anywhere.

You may wonder what changed my mind. One of my relatives was diagnosed with cancer. Although he is quite rich, his money couldn't save him and that made him unhappy. This made me realise that money doesn't buy happiness.

My realisation also made me treasure the people around me. We have to make an effort to spend time with people we love, because they won't be around forever.

Yau Chung-man, Shun Lee Catholic Secondary School

Blogs can be used for learning English

Many people have a blog. They use it to talk about their life and their feelings, and their friends can then write comments.

But blogs are not often considered educational tools. But I think they're a great way to learn.

My English teacher set up a blog recently. She asked us to visit the blog and leave comments - but they had to be in English. Not only will this bring students closer to our teacher, it allows us to practise our English.

Some people may think that this method of language practice will affect students' study. But I think if we spend just 15 minutes reading and responding to blogs, we will see a real improvement in our English.

We can even try to write our own blogs in English!

Mary Yu Hoi-yin, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

Forgiving others benefits us too

When we are with or thinking of our friends and other people we like, we get warm, fuzzy feelings. These feelings affect the way we act, and it is obvious to other people that we are happy.

But the opposite is also true. When you think of someone you don't like, you may become short-tempered, and take your bad mood out on innocent bystanders.

We hear people acknowledging this connection between the idea of someone and how it makes them feel when they say, 'Just thinking about them makes me feel wonderful' - or conversely, 'Just thinking about them makes me sick'. But allowing yourself to let the idea of someone control your emotions is not healthy, especially when you feel negatively towards someone.

Work out why someone puts you in a bad mood. Did they treat you badly? Identify the source of your feelings - and make a conscious decision to forgive them for whatever they did.

To forgive and forget will make you happier and able to think of those people without getting upset.

Fahad Munstaz, California School

Ocean Park still a top attraction

I think it is a good idea for Ocean Park to open a railway link between the lowland and the headland.

The millions of annual visitors currently use cable cars to travel between the two areas, but there can be long queues. This can put visitors off.

The railway and the three proposed hotels will make Ocean Park even more attractive to tourists and Hongkongers.

Although the expansion programme will be extremely expensive, if it attracts more visitors to Hong Kong, it will be worth it. More tourists will improve the economy.

We should support our unique attraction - Ocean Park's popularity affects us all.

Wan Wing-lam, Our Lady of the Rosary College

Students enjoy jazz

The annual Hong Kong Arts Festival exposes Hongkongers to a variety of performing arts.

This year, students from our school were lucky enough to take part in the Young Friends scheme, which is sponsored by the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund, and enjoy two wonderful music programmes.

My favourite was the Eddie Palmieri Jazz Sextet. The six band members performed pieces composed by Palmieri.

The pieces were so lively that they made me want to dance. All the musicians were amazing, especially the percussionists.

Each performer had to play an impromptu solo. They used body language to communicate whose turn it was, and when someone else should join in.

I'm so grateful I had the chance to see two great shows. I hope next year I can see more!

Sophia Lee, Concordia Lutheran School

Rising prices effect

Recent inflation rates in Hong Kong reached a 10-year record high, prompted largely by the upsurge in food prices all over the world.

When I go out for lunch with my friends, it's difficult to choose where to eat because the cost of a meal has increased everywhere. The cheapest meal costs at least HK$25.

Students cannot afford an expensive lunch. Many of us have an allowance of about HK$150 per week, but we must use this to pay for other expenses such as telephone bills, stationery and transportation as well as lunch.

The price of rice in Hong Kong is also extremely high because of the international food shortage.

Although the government has told us that Hong Kong has sufficient rice for everyone, people have been buying many bags in case it runs out.

This kind of attitude fuels the crisis, pushing up prices and intensifying the lack of food available, even in a rich city like Hong Kong.

The government has to work harder to solve this problem and stop people worrying.

Au Chun-ho