PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 July, 2011, 12:00am


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Look at the world before it passes by

When I went to school last week, I was amazed by the sight of the beautiful blossoms on the Flame tree outside the school entrance. It obviously didn't just move there overnight, so I realised I have been walking too fast, and spending too little time looking at the surroundings.

I think most Hongkongers are in such a hurry going to school or work they never slow down and look at the world around them. We miss the simple pleasures, like admiring the beautiful flowers along the street, and smelling their fragrance.

We miss out on the chance to improve our mood. Imagine actually smelling the scent or hearing birdsong on the way to school or work. Wouldn't it make you feel better than focusing on the noise of vehicles or inhaling exhaust fumes?

We should not overlook the joys of nature. So people should slow down - if only for 15 minutes - and enjoy what is going on around them.

Look around you and consider exploring more. And do it before it is too late, or you will miss things like tree blossoms and other eye-catching scenery that are seasonal.

Shirley Chan, Sha Tin Government Secondary School

Good manners help us live in harmony

Good behaviour is the most important thing in daily life. But I have noticed problems about the way some Hong Kong people behave.

Hongkongers often talk loudly into their mobile phones without thinking about the people around them. Others play computer games, with the volume turned up to the highest level. Sometimes children will run around and make a loud noise inside the trains. But their parents simply ignore this behaviour.

Such behaviour is impolite, thoughtless and a nuisance to others.

I think people should consider the feelings of others. They should talk softly when using their mobile phones, and turn down the volume of their music and games.

Mutual respect is important in making our society a harmonious place to live in. We should be more considerate.

To Kai-fung, Maryknoll Fathers' School

Group buying does have its drawbacks

You are probably familiar with the websites groupon.com, qpon818.com and ubuyibuy.com.

Many shoppers like the idea of getting low prices by forming a group when ordering products. Although shoppers can get a discount on the products or services, they need to be aware of the risks, too.

According to a study by the Consumer Council, all online group purchases must be made by using a credit card or bank transfer. This is a precaution, so that if the online retailer suddenly goes out of business, the shoppers do not lose money.

When making online group purchases, we must also check the background of those websites to ensure they are credible. And we need to think twice before signing up. Ask yourself the question: do I really need to buy the things, or do I want them just because the price is really low? Remember the expression: 'there is no such thing as a free lunch.'

Leung Ngan-man, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

Doing sports is a healthier way to live

The sports culture in Hong Kong is still inadequate. This is despite the interest generated in the city by the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Our parents teach us that sport is the recipe for a healthy life, yet today, Hong Kong teenagers ignore its importance.

Hongkongers are often busy; students are striving to get into university; workers are aiming for promotion and a higher salary. But many of them do not think about their health, and exercise plays a vital role. The consequences of inadequate exercise could be serious, with people suffering from many diseases, including heart disease and cancer.

To maintain a healthy body, we should change our sports culture. Students need to think carefully and discover the sport that suits them the most. Then, as they grow up, they should continue to take part in the sport. By doing so, everyone in our society can play at least one sport and keep themselves fit. In the long term, we'll all be healthier.

Jim Yeung, Hang Seng School of Commerce