Sow­ing the seeds for city’s fu­ture suc­cess

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF HKSAR -

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.

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