There is more to Hong Kong than just street protests. But with so much tension and bickering going around, it is easy to forget there are still good stories to tell. Recently, traditional and new media have been awash with depressing news, giving an incomplete picture of our city. For the second year, the South China Morning Post has held the Spirit of Hong Kong Awards. Initiated to mark the paper's 110th anniversary last year, they seek to give recognition to lesser-known individuals who inspire with their extraordinary accomplishments or selfless contributions to society. After publishing a series of reports on the nominees' profiles, the event wrapped up last week with eight winners, chosen for their impressive achievements in different spheres. The People's Choice Award, selected in an online vote by our readers, went to Sheila Purves, who has spent most of the past 30 years helping to train orthopaedic students and hospital staff on the mainland. The full stories of the winners and nominees are published on the paper's website. What sets them apart is that they are all ordinary individuals who have dedicated themselves to finding a meaningful cause in life. More importantly, they do so without seeking any reward or recognition for themselves. They embody the qualities that define the city's character - generosity, perseverance, benevolence, resourcefulness and versatility. Commendations for these unsung heroes aside, we can all ask ourselves what we can do to make our city a better place. We don't necessarily have to challenge ourselves with some lofty altruistic goals. As clichéd as it sounds, a simple and modest act can sometimes make a difference to others. Our winners had no idea how much benefit they would bring to the community when they made the first step in their ventures. But they have successfully set the examples to follow. They can, hopefully, inspire more people to follow their path and help make Hong Kong a better place.