PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 August, 2008, 12:00am

Singers' looks are not relevant

I am writing to discuss my belief that Hong Kong singers are chosen first for their looks and then for their talent.

In the past, all singers sang very well and gave wonderful live performances.

Some even wrote their own songs.

But nowadays, popular singers are not as talented. Even if they don't sing or dance very well, they can attract a lot of fans.

While everyone wants their musical idols to be attractive, surely the most important aspect of being a singer is the ability to sing. If you look good but sound awful, perhaps a career as an actor or model is more suitable.

Even when newspapers report a singer's concert was disappointing, fans don't seem to mind. And with the popularity of music videos, attractive singers are even more important - if the artist is good-looking, voices can be altered digitally.

It's time we remembered what's most important about a singer: the fact they can sing. They should use their voices and lyrics to touch our hearts - not their faces.

Margo Chan, Leung Shek Chee College

Make yourself happy and enjoy life

The older we get, the more problems we have to deal with. But this is normal, and it doesn't have to make life difficult.

So we should think about how to stay happy.

I have two methods. Firstly, I am always optimistic. If I have to do something I don't like, I try my best to smile and enjoy it anyway. This makes me feel less resentful about doing it.

This attitude also helps people around me remain happy - emotions are contagious.

I also try not to put myself under too much pressure. I set reasonable targets which I challenge myself to meet, but I don't punish myself if I don't achieve it.

By smiling no matter what difficulties you face, and not expecting too much from yourself or others, you can live happily. Life is wonderful and precious. Don't waste time in misery.

Au Man-yu

Good health is vital for a long life

There are so many diseases in the world, and I believe people suffer from them because they focus more on wealth than health.

Instead of spending so much time balancing our bank accounts, we should focus on eating a balanced diet. Eat less fast food and more fruit and vegetables.

We should also spend less time sitting down. Get up and do some exercise. Join a sports team or go for a walk.

My grandmother is 97 years old. She credits her long life to lots of exercise and healthy food.

If you want to live as long as her, you need to start looking after your health. Good health is essential. Don't neglect it.

Chan Lai-man

Remember: Hong Kong is part of China

While many Hong Kong citizens insist they are 'Hongkongers', many others realise we are, in fact, Chinese.

We should take pride in the Beijing Olympics.

Now that Hong Kong is again a part of China, it is crucial we all take an interest in our country.

I think most people would admit to being proud of the first Chinese astronauts, and of China's previous success in the Olympics.

Patriotism is being proud of what your fellow countrymen do.

Our country has a long, proud history and a bright future.

We should be proud to say we are Chinese.

Terry Leung Chi-ping

The benefits of part-time jobs

Although I have never had a part-time job, I don't think I've missed out on too many experiences.

But I appreciate the many benefits.

Some people say getting a part-time job as a student helps relieve their parents' financial burdens.

But apart from a little money, some students say they didn't gain much.

But others say part-time jobs give students experiences they can't learn from books.

The earlier you start working, the sooner you are exposed to the real world and responsibilities.

Not only can you learn about the working world, you gain exposure to people from different walks of life.

Also, by doing an entry level job, students will be encouraged to work harder at school so that they have the chance to get a better job after graduation.

It's important to acquire knowledge from books. But work experience provides us with other, equally useful knowledge.

Cherry Chak

Without hard times, joy is meaningless

We could never learn to be brave if there was only joy in the world.

Many people blame their unhappiness on things going wrong in their lives.

They say arguing with friends and failing exams make life miserable.

But if we never knew pain and suffering, we wouldn't have anything to compare the good things to.

If we only knew happiness, we wouldn't appreciate the many gifts life gives us.

I agree it is very frustrating to fail. However, we can learn a lot from failure.

We learn not to give up and to keep working hard to improve ourselves. These are very important factors if we want to succeed.

If you think life is difficult, remember overcoming those difficulties makes success even sweeter and happiness more meaningful.

Tse Yi-lam