Getting on with parents takes work
A recent study shows that parents' relationships with their children are deteriorating in Hong Kong. Conflicts are frequent and it seems the words 'respect' and 'tolerance'' have lost their meaning.
Actually, the parent-child relationship is simple. Someone once described it to me as being like balloon with a needle inside. If things are normal, and people have their space, then everything is ok. But if pressure builds up, then the needle becomes a threat. Finally, the relationship, like the balloon, explodes.
Every parent gets tired of listening to a child who is constantly whining. If we could learn to accept what we can't change, and work hard to change what we can, the relationship would be much better. Christmas and birthdays are golden chances for us to repair a broken relationship and show our parents we love them.
Zoe Cheng Hiu-tung, CNEC Christian College
Tougher laws will make roads safer
After the terrible Lok Ma Chau traffic accident last year in which six people were killed by a drunken truck driver, Legco passed tougher driving laws in December. These include a new offence of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm, which carries a prison sentence of seven years.
Some legislators called for even tougher penalties, such as lifetime driving bans for repeat offences of dangerous driving causing death, but these were vetoed.
The amendments are good for the public. Not only can they deter dangerous driving, but can also raise public awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
A new, practical, three-tier penalty system is based on the amount of alcohol consumed by the driver. The penalties become harsher for repeat offences, and the more alcohol or drugs are found in the driver's blood.
It is very important that these laws are accompanied by education and strict enforcement.
April Kung, Tuen Mun Catholic Secondary School
Keep luxury flats out of wetland
Henderson Land should drop its plan to build luxury flats and a golf course at Nam Sang Wai in the western New Territories.
First, the construction would damage the natural environment of the beautiful wetlands. They are an important habitat for many plants, animals and marine creatures such as egrets, mudskippers and fiddler crabs. This large-scale project would produce waste and air pollution. The noise during construction will scare away wildlife, and building waste left behind may be toxic to animals that return.
Second, the developer seems to be out of touch with public expectations. Our wetlands are public spaces that everyone should have the right to visit and enjoy. They should not become playgrounds restricted to the rich.
Finally, we should consider what is left for future generations. Nature is our teacher. Through our close contact with it, we learn about different kinds of precious animals and their habits. Seeing this first-hand is very different to reading about it in textbooks. We don't have much countryside left in Hong Kong. We need to be a role model for our next generation and protect our environment.
Janice Tam Yi-tung, St Antonius Girls' College
Confidence good for success and beauty
People say confidence boosts one's appearance and success. They see it as a magical thing that can make someone beautiful. It certainly is psychologically good for you.
Confident people find it easier to convince others. For instance, US President Barack Obama is a highly confident speaker. Whenever he speaks, regardless of the topic, audiences are nearly always won over by his confidence.
Confidence can make a person happy and beautiful. Many people say confident women are the most attractive because they have a determined and attractive smile on their faces. Confident people are satisfied with what they have and who they are, so they are happy. That's why being confident is so vital for people.
How can we be confident? Try to find your strengths and appreciate yourself. More importantly, don't be upset to find that someone is better than you. No one is perfect in this world.