Letter to Students and Alumni
Dear students and alumni,
I was delighted to see so many graduating students having fun taking pictures with their relatives and friends over the last few days at CityU. This is a glorious time of the year, with campus blooming with colour.
But recent tragic incidents concerning a CityU student, exchange student and alumnus, and their families, classmates and colleagues have left all of us deeply upset. I would like to use this opportunity to send out once again our best regards to all of those affected by these very sad incidents.
Everyone faces difficulties in life, but young people are especially vulnerable. I had my share of setbacks and difficulties when I was a young man, low-ebb periods of loneliness. Looking back, I have come to understand that life is like a marathon. It cannot and will not be determined by momentary ups and downs. Instead, for those periods when we feel lonely, we have to develop the stamina to see us through setbacks, learn to appreciate the mysterious wonders of our universe and the infinite possibilities which life holds for us.
We may not be able to solve problems fully, and setbacks may prove so depressing for some people that they might attempt to hurt themselves as a way out. Of course, we empathise with people who are feeling down, but, as a community of friends and colleagues, of peers and supporters, we can't acquiesce to nor accept self-destruction as a solution. Life is too precious. There are infinite possibilities as long as we live. Without life, there is nothing. Hurting oneself will not solve anything; it will bring only pain to our loved ones.
Every young student and alumnus is dear to us; and we expect everyone to treasure life. If you are experiencing difficulties or perplexing situations, talk to your friends, go and see your teachers, find time to be with your family. Try to see setbacks as opportunities for development and growth. Each of us charts our own path, but whether our paths are smooth or bumpy, we will get there as long as we never give up.
As the semester draws to its end, the days before the Christmas vacations can be especially difficult. Pressure of exams mixed with the recent social upheavals in Hong Kong might prove overly stressful for some of us. So make sure you are fair to yourself. Give yourself and your family and friends a fair opportunity. Rain or shine, we are in this together.
While we may not always get what we hope for, we will achieve something as long as we persevere and try our best. Years later, when we look back over our eventful lives, we will realise that life is beautiful and colourful, like a rainbow after the rain.
Life evolves and revolves. I offer my best wishes to you all and hope you will take good care of yourselves and your families, friends and loved ones.
President and University Distinguished Professor
This article was originally published in a University Announcement to all students and alumni on 27 November 2014.
27 November, 2014