PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 March, 2010, 12:00am

Love is all around, then and now

My teacher recently asked us if we thought people's relationships today have become more complicated. Some of my classmates said yes.

They said this was because people were competing more fiercely to get ahead and to make money. One even thought this made people cold-blooded and unscrupulous.

But have relationships changed because of competition?

In a society with no competition, people will become lazy; competition pushes us to work harder.

The perception that relationships are more complicated is all in our minds. As we become more independent, our environment changes. Sharing bathrooms with neighbours and writing letters to friends are not common anymore. This makes us feel more isolated and think our relationships have become more complicated.

But it is not true. If you are friendly and attentive to those around you, you will find that relationships have not changed. They were about love then; they still are now.

Wong Hiu-lam, Po Leung Kuk No 1 W. H. Cheung College

Act quickly to preserve traditions

The intangible cultural heritage of Hong Kong needs to be preserved - not just its historic buildings and artefacts.

Intangible cultural heritage is a reflection of the life of ordinary people and the traditions that are passed on orally. But as practitioners are getting older and fewer young people are willing to learn the skills, some traditions may disappear.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department is preparing a list of the city's intangible cultural heritage, and asking for nominations from district councils and the public.

The department should create the list as soon as possible. The longer it takes to conduct research and interviews for the list, the higher the risk that some traditions will die out.

The department should also follow the examples of the mainland and Japan, whose governments are paying allowances to the masters of recognised arts and crafts, and helping them pass on their skills to apprentices.

Wong Man-ching, SKH Li Fook Hing Secondary School

In bad times, learn to spend wisely

The financial crisis in Europe has been making headlines. Some experts fear it may trigger a second global meltdown that is more serious than the first.

Governments everywhere are paying attention to the problem, and so should we.

First, we need to change our consumption habits. We should think before we buy and not waste money on trendy products.

We should also learn to manage our own finances, so that we use money effectively and save what is needed.

Lastly, teenagers who have credit cards should keep only one card. Having more than one may lead you to spend blindly.

Marco Leung, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School

Challenges are fun and fulfilling

We find meaning in life by challenging ourselves.

I like to test myself. Pushing myself to the limit gives me a thrill, and encourages me to continue improving myself.

Success is satisfying; some failure is inevitable, but it motivates us to do better.

You can challenge yourself in different ways. Try playing a new sport, or read an exceptionally thick novel. Or you could aim for higher scores in exams.

Challenges never have to be boring. If you are sociable, you can try new things with your friends or with new people. If you are active, pick something that tests your physical ability. Or pick up a new skill, such as music or art. There is always something that will interest you.

Challenges make you feel alive. Pick a challenge and make your life even more exciting and fulfilling.

Jade Lam, Maryknoll Convent School