PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 March, 2011, 12:00am

Panic buying is shameful

On the mainland and in Hong Kong, rumours spread that kitchen salt could help prevent the effects of radiation. Experts dismissed such claims as false.

Yet there was a shortage of salt on store shelves. I think it is ridiculous that so many citizens fall prey to such unfounded rumours, which create panic. They should have the common sense not to believe everything.

By needlessly snatching up available supplies of salt, they inconvenienced other people with shortages and higher salt prices.

In Japan, people have pulled together after the earthquake and been considerate to others. We should learn from them.

I think many people in Hong Kong are greedy and selfish. They like to speculate on the price of goods to make a profit. Doing business is not a bad thing in itself, but we should also consider the needs of others.

Jack Tam Ming-ki, POCA Wong Siu Ching Secondary School

Introspection is key to self-improvement

When we do something wrong, we should be honest enough to acknowledge it and not try to blame others. We should reflect on and learn from our mistakes.

The same applies to being disciplined or scolded. When a teacher punishes you, you might get upset. But you should accept that you were disciplined for a reason.

A good way to evaluate the effects of our actions is to put ourselves in other people's shoes. Think how your words or actions might affect others.

Introspection will help you in this. You can start by keeping a diary to give yourself a few minutes each day to reflect on your behaviour.

Lai Kai-hung, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

How to bridge the generation gap

A recent survey by the Social Welfare Department indicates an increase in family problems such as domestic violence and child abuse. Another problem, I think, is a high level of misunderstanding between parents and their children.

In many families such a generation gap shows up very often. Young people often argue with their parents even about small things. They think they are always right.

Because of the internet, teen culture is very different from what it was a generation ago. Parents may not understand what their children think or misunderstand what they mean. Many parents work long hours and do not have enough time for their children.

Meanwhile, young people spend their time playing computer games or surfing the internet instead of talking to their parents. If you don't spend time with your parents, how do you expect them to understand you?

We need to bridge this generation gap if we want to have a peaceful and harmonious family life. This is what you can do: Learn to see through your parents' eyes.

You should be willing to make compromises, not just always insist on what you want. You should also learn to forgive your family members. Listen to what they say.

Spending more time with your parents is essential. I believe the more time you spend together, the more you will care about one another and the better your relationship will be. Take your parents on picnics or hiking trips.

You can narrow the generation gap if you put your mind to it.

Natalie Wong Hoi-yi, Pooi To Middle School

I feel sorry for Japanese victims

The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan have had devastating consequences.

The situation is still not resolved as local nuclear power stations remain unstable. A radioactive tragedy remains a possibility.

In Hong Kong we are at a safe distance from Japan. Yet personally I am extremely worried - not about my safety but that of the people in Japan.

Even though they are strangers to me, I can still empathise with them. I feel sad that I cannot really do much to help them. I am not a superhero to fly over there and fix the damaged reactors just like that.

What I can do is offer my support and encouragement to the Japanese people. I cannot even begin to imagine what I would be doing in their place.

We should count our blessings that we have been spared from a similar catastrophe. Let us not take life for granted.

Andy Mok