Forgiveness helps the victim, too
Most of us hope we can be forgiven when we do something wrong. But, it's never easy for us to practise 'forgive and forget' when dealing with other people's mistakes.
Some may think we are simply being kind to those who have hurt us if we are able to forgive them. But that's not the whole picture. We are actually doing good for ourselves, too. Of course, the people who are forgiven will feel relieved. But those who give others a new chance are doing the same for themselves.
By forgiving others for the harm they have brought to us, we no longer have to bear the burden of hatred in our hearts. We can focus on the marvellous things in life and move on. Our broken relationships with others can be mended. Our lives become easier and brighter.
Education can cut teen pregnancies
I am concerned by the rising number of teen pregnancies in the world, especially in Western countries. Young people seem to take sex for granted and it is a trend that is steadily emerging in Hong Kong.
In the old days, when traditional Chinese thinking deeply affected people's lives, it was unacceptable for young girls to be pregnant. But the new generation is greatly influenced by Western culture, especially in attitudes towards sex. The lack of sex education and parental care are also important reasons.
I hope the government can step up sex education in schools so teens can understand the risks involved. More social workers should be employed to help students understand sex and pregnancy issues. Teachers, parents and social workers should make young people aware of the consequences of their actions.
Jennifer Chan Lok-yiu, Our Lady of the Rosary College
Time to take light pollution seriously
When I was young, I used to be able to see stars in our night sky over Hong Kong. Today, all I see is a bright night sky with a strange orange colour.
This is because we have too much lighting in residential, public and commercial areas. Colourful billboards adorn our buildings and bright neons blaze above our streets. This is called light pollution. Many people passing on the street feel uncomfortable about the bright lights. So imagine how it affects the residents nearby. At midnight, the city is as bright as day.
Light pollution is a growing problem in Hong Kong. Not only does it hurt our eyes, it consumes a huge amount of energy that creates other pollution problems. It is time for the government to devise a plan to reduce the city's artificial lighting.
Tracey Ng, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School
A balanced view of mainland mums
The rising number of mainland mothers giving birth in Hong Kong hospitals is a serious issue. On the positive side, it is a fact that school enrolments are falling as local birth rates drop.
Hence, new births can help prevent the closure of schools and teachers losing their jobs.
But the Hong Kong economy can be affected. Many mainland children who are educated in Hong Kong may return home when they are old enough to work. This could cause an imbalance in our workforce.
Having too many mainland mothers giving birth here will also put a huge strain on our resources. Hong Kong is right to restrict this practice.
We should give priority to local mothers.
Nicole Li, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School
Ferry services are worth keeping
Should we keep the Hung Hom to Central ferry service now that the service to Wan Chai has stopped because no operator is interested in tendering for the route?
I think we should keep the service because it is a part of our history. With the Hung Hom to Wan Chai route closing, some workers would have lost their jobs.
I would like the government to subsidise the Star Ferry so services will continue. They are one of the few things that have remained unchanged in Hong Kong.
Whenever we lose a bit more of our past, I feel depressed. The relaxed ferry journey is one of the few unhurried things left in a city that lives under great pressure.
Chelsea Ho Ka-po, Pooi To Middle School