PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 July, 2009, 12:00am

Don't underestimate your potential

There is a famous quotation that says: 'It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can do only little. Do what you can.'

It is very true. We often let opportunities go because we think we don't have the ability to succeed. But we don't even try.

In most cases, we regret not trying, thinking perhaps we might have succeeded. Nothing is unachievable.

Don't underestimate yourself. When you see an opportunity, do your best to make use of it. Even if you're not successful, at least you'll know you tried.

Stacey Lau, Hang Seng School of Commerce

Be strong and yet humble for success

I once participated in a group discussion exam with a lot of brilliant students. They all seemed to speak fluent English.

Even though I did quite well in my school, I found them all far better than me.

There is a Chinese idiom which translates into this: 'No matter how good you think you are, there is always someone that's better.' I couldn't agree more.

But while I admired the fluency of their spoken English, I admired even more their humility.

I've met many talented people, but so many of them are arrogant. This makes me uncomfortable and unwilling to make friends with them.

Only a strong but humble person can be a true leader. Arrogance will never win the respect of others.

Tom Chan

Shoeshiners deserve city's support

Hong Kong's shoeshiners are finally getting licences to run their businesses legally with the help of legislators and strong support from the public.

I was happy to hear the news - these men are inspiring. Most of them are self-sufficient, without relying on social assistance.

Their loyalty to their profession and their dedication are characteristics that we, especially as young people, should learn from them.

I hope these veteran shoeshiners have a blooming business and continue to polish this traditional Hong Kong culture.

Shirley Ho Lai-lin

Learning should be interesting

When we are young children, learning new things is fascinating.

We copy what our parents do. We are amazed as we learn to smile and crawl, then stand, walk and talk.

We feel happy when our parents praise us for doing well, and proud of ourselves for imitating them.

But as we are grow up, we start to associate learning with rivalry. Parents want us to be the best, otherwise they will be disappointed in us, or even punish us.

We try to stand out from other students in our classes. We attempt to win sports competitions and score the best on music exams and art or drama contests.

Somehow, learning loses its meaning and is no longer enjoyable. We find ourselves learning but not willing to learn. We start to rote-learn, or find ways to accomplish things, just to get them out of the way.

The true aim of learning is not to win competitions, or find out who knows the most.

Successful learning comes when we are happy to discover something new, not when we find we can do something better than others.

Jon Chan