Sowing the seeds for city’s future success
Iwas deeply touched and impressed by an article entitled “Sowing more seeds for better trees” published in People’s Daily on June 19. The article quoted the famous Chinese saying: “One generation plants the trees in whose shade another generation rests” which pays tribute to our ancestors for their selflessness and generosity in building the foundation for a better future. Giving without asking for anything in return is an important reason why Chinese civilization has survived for so many generations. The wisdom behind this is worth learning by heart.
In the 21st century the Chinese mainland is taking strides in terms of both its economy and technology. These successes did not come easy but followed a long accumulation of our people’s knowledge, culture, wisdom and experience from the past. Therefore as long as a nation or a family needs to prosper and be strong, every member should make an effort and contribute to build its competitive strength, so they can continue to stay strong and prosperous in a world where survival for the fittest is all too often the theme. Development of a society is like a never-ending relay race. All must do their best for their own “team”. The more one does for the “team” in the long term the more accomplished one will feel — realizing your ancestors will approve and future generations will benefit. This, in my opinion, is the true definition of a life well lived.
The proverb: “The shade is the result from the tree planted” was given a new definition in recent years because of global environmental challenges. Our predecessors planted trees to help the natural environment and leave plenty of room for our next generation. Hence, tree planting activity has become the best way to educate youths. The author is the chairman of the Fong Shu Fook Tong Foundation and the Fong’s Family Foundation.
As the proverb goes: “It takes 10 years to grow a tree but a 100 years to rear people”. Not only do Chinese people care about the environment, but they also recognize the importance of producing skilled people. The Fong Shu Fook Tong Foundation and Fong’s Family Foundation which I established have been committed to supporting the sustainable development of China. In the past several decades, the foundations have made substantial donations to more than 500 educational projects in the mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Many of those projects adopted tree planting. It was memorable that I planted a bauhinia tree during my visit to Shenzhen University during the second anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in 1999. Recently, I received an email from Shenzhen University which had a photo of the bauhinia tree I planted during my last visit. This tiny plant has grown to be a mature bauhinia tree with beautiful flowers. This symbolizes the success of Shenzhen University in nurturing talented people for the past 20 years. It makes me feel happy about their achievements.
This marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR. According to the old news, youth representatives from both Shenzhen and Hong Kong planted trees in the shape of a China map in Shenzhen during the eve of the establishment of the HKSAR in 1997. This land was then named as Hong Kong’s Return Memorial Forest. Recently, youth from both Shenzhen and Hong Kong went to the Hong Kong’s Return Memorial Forest to care for and plant more trees in Shenzhen Bay Park. This is a celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR. I suggested educational institutions and different organizations in Hong Kong and the mainland should join together and plant trees to celebrate the establishment of the HKSAR. When it is 2027, 2037, 2047, when we have time to recall this moment, it would be something remarkable.
Nobody lives forever but one can set good examples for future generations. This can be done by setting an example with good behavior, high moral standards as well as through material wealth. I believe that when you are determined to do good things for other people, then even a small deed can achieve a lot. If one thinks only about benefiting yourself, even if you do lots of good deeds, you will not earn many blessings. As a citizen of Hong Kong, I contribute to what is best for the community. Finally, I would also like to mention a couplet I have at home. It reads: “Do only what is the best for the community and you will be remembered for your good deeds.”
Nobody lives forever but one can set good examples for future generations.