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School Year Commencement Message

Date: 01/09/2022

Good morning, teachers and students.


It is a blessing to have you all coming back to school for a new academic year. The summer vacation this year is rather short. Perhaps some of you may feel that you are not ready for a new school year yet. It is quite understandable. We all need time to adjust and get back on track.


In this new beginning, I would like to kickstart the school year with our yearly goal-setting practice, “My pledge to act”. As with last year, the theme centers on “Be Grateful and Treasure What We Have, Stay Positive and Optimistic”. What differs this year is that there is a subtheme, namely “Think from Others’ Perspectives, Foster Harmony and Be Respectful”. As a little preparation for the coming school days, I would like to lead you all to think about the theme in relation to the subjects you study at school. 


Let’s begin with Science. Blind spot. As you may have learnt in science class, the blind spot is the part of our eyes where there is no receptor to detect light. We all have blind spots. There is always limitation to what we see. However, we are often unaware of it. In fact, blind spot is not just a scientific fact. It is socially real. Sometimes our blind spots prevent us from seeing the good in others and so we forget to be grateful. In social interactions, we may insist that our viewpoints are right because of our blind spots. It is easy to put “I” in front of everything else. “I am right so you should follow my ideas”; “I think it is alright to leave the rubbish behind after lunch”; “I feel more comfortable not wearing a mask in the public”. This list of “I think”, “I want” and “I like” goes on. Very often, we are so focused on our own perspectives that other people’s needs and feelings fall into our blind spots.


So how do we overcome our blind spots? This is where the brain gets to work and helps us go from “I” to “you”; not just what “I” think, but also what “you” think. In fact, there is something called mirror neurons in our brain, which make us empathetic and help us to imagine what it is like for other people. I know I would feel upset if my ideas are ignored. So I can imagine you would probably feel the same. As the English idiom goes, “put yourself in others’ shoes”. When we begin to think about “What do you think? How do you feel” instead of talking about “I” all the time, our perspective will be broadened. The math, or in fact grammar too, is simple. When the “you” is added to “I”, it becomes “we”. Together, “we” see the bigger picture. We are no longer confined by our own blind spots. 


At this point, you may wonder “What if it does not work the other way round? What if “you” never listen to what “I” think?” Throughout history, there is one Golden rule across cultures and religions, like Buddhism, Christianity or Islam - “Treat others as you would like others to treat you”. If we would like other people to consider our perspectives, we have to treat them the same way first. Change has to start from somewhere. If we want respect and harmony in the world, we have to start with ourselves. Of course, that does not guarantee that the others will follow our example. There will be inertia. However, that should not be the reason why we should stop trying. Always think from others’ perspectives and be respectful. Live by this motto for the sake of our integrity and a harmonious world. Even if the world around us may not change for the better right away, at least we do.


Now with a bit of Science, English and History, I have given you a vision of a better self and a better society. As I said, change has to start from somewhere and we have to start with ourselves. So let us take a pledge to act - “Be Grateful and Treasure What We Have, Stay Positive and Optimistic; Think from Others’ Perspectives, Foster Harmony and Be Respectful”. Make the change and, one day, the world will live as one.  


The educational theme in 2022-2023 is “Embrace the future and explore new possibilities with courage and joy. 勇於求新 樂於探索” In this year, I hope all of you would explore the possibilities around you and extend your potential. I wish you all a fruitful year ahead of you.

Postal address : 2B Tai Cheong Street, Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong E-mail : school@hkcwcc.edu.hk Tel : (852) 2568-4817 Fax : (852) 2568-0336