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

We can all learn from Chilean miners

I was so delighted with the happy ending in the Chilean miners' story. All 33 men were rescued successfully after being trapped underground in a collapsed tunnel for 69 days.

Imagine having to stay in a mine 625 metres underground for three months with only tiny sips of milk and bites of tuna every day? I'm not sure I could do it. I admire the miners' solidarity and resilience. The support they received from the public also helped them cope better.

Throughout their ordeal, the miners remained optimistic and positive. This is what we should learn from these men. If we face life's difficulties with a negative outlook, we are doomed to failure. If we believe in ourselves, our dreams will come true sooner or later.

Young Hoi-man, Tin Ka Ping Secondary School (Fanling)

The shameful way we treat animals

I think the central government was wise to have called on all local authorities to ban animal performances in zoos. Zoos are meant to keep animals safe under love and care. Zoos are also supposed to educate the public about animals, but all we do now is treat them like slaves.

Many people use zoos as a form of show business and use animals for profit. We are often told that all people are born equal, but what about the rest of God's creatures? We are all equal in the Lord's eyes. No one creature can live without others. The food chain and ecological systems would break down without every link in the chain, and humans are no exception. We should be ashamed of the way we treat animals.

Chin Kei-yu

E-waste needs to be handled better

E-waste is creating massive amounts of trash, including hazardous materials from discarded electronics. According to a government-commissioned study more than 70,000 tonnes of e-waste is generated each year. .

What we lack is a detailed plan to tackle the problem. We need to have better collection networks and new treatment facilities in place.

Products that constitute e-waste include TV sets, fridges, washing machines, air conditioners and computer equipment.

The government should set up a new recycling system for such discarded items. We should also stop dumping old electronics as we please.

Requiring people to pay for the disposal of electronic waste can be effective because it may make some people to think twice before disposing of an electronic product.

Tiffany Yu Yik-tung, Leung Shek Chee College

Don't push kids into needless rat race

Children in Hong Kong tend to be very competitive. Some farmers would like every seedling to look well-grown so they pull up young plants early to make them look taller. On the face of it, young plants seem to grow outstandingly. But under the surface, they are still underdeveloped. Likewise, we must not rush things with children by compelling them to compete in various ways from early on.

Childhood is a unique period of human life and should be its most precious. It is a golden opportunity for kids to explore life but not just focus on their studies alone. Children should be allowed to play games from hopscotch to see-saw and swing to slide. Children's imagination should not be limited by their parents and their goals should not be set for them. They must be allowed to remain curious and explore options.

Childhood is the greatest time to build lasting friendships. Children need to socialise actively to develop well mentally. If they are made to focus only on competing with others all the time, they will not learn to make real friends and communicate with people.

Needless competition deprives children of healthy relationships with other people. Before they enter the rat race of adult life, children should be encouraged to experience a brighter side of the world. That way they will become more optimistic towards their life.

Competition often ruins friendships and builds up stress in children. Parents should imagine themselves in their children's shoes to try and see the world through kids' eyes. Yes, children must learn to better themselves, but not at the expense of healthy relationships with others. Let them be happy.

Carmen Wong, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School