PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 September, 2011, 12:00am


The healing powers of music

Songs are much more than entertainment. Listening to songs makes me feel happier. I think some lyrics can really influence our emotions and feelings.

Studies have shown that music can help relieve pain and treat children with learning and mental disabilities.

Some charities provide music therapy to child patients to help them relax and stimulate their minds. The volunteers who play musical instruments and sing in hospitals deserve special praise. The performances help lift the spirits of young patients and show that other people care about them.

Music is a powerful tool which can change our lives for the better. It can make us stronger, more cheerful and help us cultivate a positive attitude towards life.

Ivory Chan Wing-gee, Leung Shek Chee College

Happiness is helping others

You can easily help others by giving them a hand, a gift or a donation. It's not hard - but will you do it?

Helping others can make you happy. It's not about praise or self-satisfaction. But when someone says 'thank you' to you, then you'll know what I mean.

The important thing is that you are always ready to come wholeheartedly to the aid of someone in need.

Cheung Sze-po, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College

Tiger mums have got success all wrong

Here is the timetable of a poor child who is controlled by a Tiger Mother: two hours for English; one hour for a maths tutorial; one or two hours for playing the piano and the violin; two more hours for swimming or drawing ... Scared? Who wouldn't be?

If success is defined simply as 'high scores', the Tiger Mothers' fierce teaching methods would appear to be effective.

Yet is it really success when their children are not happy and would prefer parents that respect their individuality, encourage them to pursue their true interests and provide positive support? I think there is a better motivational tool. Love. Love makes us strong. Love is everything.

Zoe Cheng

Mainlanders make lie out of marriage

Some mainlanders are shunning legitimate procedures to secure the right to live in Hong Kong, in favour of a method seen as quicker and more convenient - sham marriages to Hongkongers.

There are even so-called 'marriage agencies' to help arrange sham marriages.

It is, of course, illegal, both on the mainland and in Hong Kong.

Marriage is a holy and serious endeavour, in which one makes vows that are supposed to last the rest of one's life.

Marriage is a union of two people. It is a remarkable turning point in our lives.

In contrast, sham marriages violate these values and reduce a serious commitment to a mere tool for deception.

Ip Kong-man, Ju Ching Chu Secondary School, Kwai Chung

Schools must act to stop bullying

As bullying becomes a growing problem in schools, it is time to take action.

Both the bullies and those that are bullied are affected physiologically and psychologically at a very delicate stage in their lives.

Students may be teased by schoolmates based on their physical appearance, abilities, economic situation or family background.

Such damage to their self-esteem may mean they end up in trouble for bad behaviour if they seek revenge, or they may retreat into themselves and avoid any contact with people for fear of being ridiculed. Some victims are driven to harm themselves.

The bullies can also begin a spiral of loss of control, or may be turned against and bullied themselves.

So what can schools do? Schools can bring the topic into the open by holding talks on subjects such as 'how to communicate and respect others'.

Some lessons should be devoted to teaching students how serious bullying is.

Social workers can also be employed to work within the school, providing counselling services and helping victims of bullying to enjoy their childhood.

Jacky Wong, The Chinese Foundation Secondary School