PUBLISHED : Monday, 20 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 20 October, 2008, 12:00am

Kids need to learn healthy values

I would like to express my thoughts about the values of Hong Kong teenagers. I think too often they're simply superficial. We see teenagers with beautiful accessories and designer clothes, as if the only important thing is how we look.

Parents and teachers need to tell children there's more to life than appearances and beauty is more than skin deep.

Celebrities - in particular pop singers - can do more to teach teenagers. When they get involved in scandals, they set a bad example for their fans who adore them and think they can do no wrong. It sends kids the wrong message about values.

It's crucial that we learn healthy values when we're young. If we don't, it's likely that as adults we will be beyond hope.

Clearence Cheung, Hang Seng School of Commerce

We need more than bread and circuses

For a long time, the impression many Hong Kong teenagers had of the mainland was that it was dirty, conservative and impolite. That has started to change since the Olympics and the recent spacewalk, making many Hongkongers more proud to be Chinese.

According to a recent survey, more than 60 per cent of respondents said they felt more attached to the mainland after the Olympics. I think this is good, but I also think it's likely they'll revert back to their previous outlook if the government doesn't continue to do great things.

The government needs to do more than put on shows. The political system needs to be improved and human rights need to be addressed in Tibet. These are issues that are holding the mainland back, as is the low levels of education, a problem that needs to be addressed. In short, I like my motherland and agree that I am Chinese.

But I think there is a lot of room for improvement on the mainland if China is going to stand up as a strong country on the international stage.

Hui Chi-sing, Christian Alliance S. C. Chan Memorial College

Wake up and smell the coffee

A lot of students drink coffee as a stimulant to get them through their homework after a busy day at school.

I haven't read anything that suggests drinking coffee is harmful, but research I've seen says that more than 500mg a day can result in caffeine addiction and tends to poison our bodies somewhat.

We all have to study hard in these competitive times, but let's not become so obsessed with studying that we forget our health. In fact, if our bodies are not healthy, we won't study well. A healthy body equals a healthy mind and a good memory.

Instead of that cup of coffee first thing in the morning, try a glass of freshly pressed orange juice. It's the ideal start to a bright, fresh day.

Connie Chan

A hidden killer among the blind

As if the financial meltdown were not enough to worry about, the recent scandal over milk tainted with melamine now has a lot of people wondering just what is safe to eat.

Even international brand names, such as M&M and Nestle, have been affected.

The problem for consumers is that they don't know which products are safe - it is as if we were a community of the blind that is home to a hidden killer.

I think, in order to regain consumer confidence, the Hong Kong government should put more effort into checking food products, whether they are domestically manufactured or imported.

Protecting the health and safety of Hong Kong citizens should be the government's first priority.

Kenneth Li, Hang Seng School of Commerce

Don't give in to unnecessary anger

Anger is an emotion we all feel from time to time, but some of us get angry more easily than others. Some people can get angry at the slightest thing. But the truth is, it does no good.

All anger achieves is fights and ultimately loneliness, which can lead to depression and perhaps even suicide.

I tend to see anger as a disease. We need to keep it at bay if we want to be healthy and have good relationships with those around us.

Raj Kumar, California School

Don't forget to be kind to your parents

When we were helpless, our parents looked after us. That is why we have always learned we must be filial.

But often the daily pressures of life mean we forget about all the things our parents have done for us. They have done so much for us, and yet we seem to always want more.

We think they are only there to lecture us and annoy us.

Yet they still continue to do a lot for us, send us to school, feed and clothe us.

We must repay our parents in future because of their love for us. Otherwise, we would regret how we treated them in the past.

Nam Wai-yan, Leung Shek Chee College

Focus on one thing for success

Nowadays, it seems it's not enough to just have a single career. People can't earn enough from just one job. They need to have several jobs. That is why further education is essential. But, even having a university degree is not enough in Hong Kong.

Yet if we don't focus on one job at a time, we can't gain the skills necessary to improve. So we might be doing ourselves a disservice by taking on other work.

Undoubtedly, a good motto for success is 'pay more attention and you will gain more'.

Christine Ip Lam-ha, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School