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2017 年 3 月 13 日

太空夢不宜太「空」

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大公報主辦《我的太空夢》徵文比賽,全港160所中小學參與比賽,收到1,874份作文。2月25日,我應邀出席頒獎典禮並致辭。

人類富有想像力。莊子有「鯤鵬展翅、扶遙直上九萬里」之遐想;《西遊記》中的孫悟空,則有上天下海、一個斛斗十萬八千里的「本事」。如今,人類已將古人的想像變為現實,憑藉現代宇航技術,遨遊太空,登陸月球,探索神密的宇宙世界,領略奇妙的天文景觀。

年輕人活力充沛,富有想像力,對未來充滿美好的憧憬。我們鼓勵年輕人勇於做夢,正所謂「心有多大,舞台就有多大。」我講「太空夢」,既可以理解為在「太空中做的夢」,又可以指「上太空的夢」,而且不同的人對上太空做夢也會有不同的認知。一位律師也許會考慮「去太空會不會違法」,經濟學家會考量「去太空能不能賺到錢」,工程學家則會關注「去太空是能否安全返回地面」。

從「太空」這兩個字的字面理解,「太」有「大」的意思,表示大而以為形容未盡;「空」則有「無內容」、「白白地、沒結果」的意思。所以說,作為年輕學生,可以做上太空的夢,但太空夢卻不能「太空」,大而無當、不著邊境;更可怕的是患上網上廣為流傳的一種「空心病」,即一味被驅趕著做這做那,卻不知道自己到底為什麼而活著,失去方向,迷茫不解。

「我的太空夢」不僅僅限於太空,也可以指藝術、政治、體育、經濟或科技上的「太空夢」。它表達了一個人的志向、理想、目標。志向可大可小,但「天下大事,必做於細。」 如果說山與山的距離是雲,樹與樹的距離是風,那麼夢與現實的距離就是做與不做。人生大事,積少成多、積小成大。如果只是停留在發夢而不腳踏實地採取行動,夢終究是幻象和虛影,「飄渺離奇峙碧空,渾疑雲外復雲中」。

我相信,香港人的基因底子好,年輕人如能從自己喜歡的事情開始,敢想,敢做,最終會美夢成真。


Realising one's own "space" dream

An essay contest "My Space Dream", which was organised by Ta Kung Pao, a Chinese newspaper in Hong Kong, drew 1,874 contributions from students from 160 primary and secondary schools all over Hong Kong. I was invited to a prize awarding ceremony held on 25 February.

Human beings are full of imagination. While Zhuangzi is known for his imaginative creation of the legendary bird Kunpeng that was able to fly unimaginable distances in a single day, the legendary Monkey King was endowed with the power to go way up into the sky, dive deep into the ocean and travel tens of thousands kilometres with just a single somersault. Today, with advances in space technology, humans can turn our ancient ancestors' dreams into reality, sending people into space, landing on the moon, exploring the mystic cosmos, and taking in the astronomical wonders.

Young people are full of vigour and creativity, dreaming of a beautiful future. They are encouraged to dream that "one's future is as big as one's imagination". I told the audience at the ceremony that "my space dream" in Chinese could have different interpretations: either interpreted as "a dream that one has while in the space" or "a dream to travel into space". Besides, people may have different concerns when they think about dreaming in space. A lawyer might be concerned with the legal consequences, while an economist might be pre-occupied with financial implications. For an engineer, a safe return might be his major consideration!

The Chinese term for "space" can be split into two characters: tai and kong. While tai may mean "big to an unimaginable extent", kong may mean "containing nothing" or "futilely or having no result". Therefore, while students are encouraged to harbour ambitious space dreams, they should not indulge in wild fantasies, or worse, be possessed by a newly coined depressive disorder, kong xin bing, This condition, which has been discussed widely online, refers to a kind of "learning weariness" that sufferers experience because they don't see a purpose to the learning activities they feel pressured to complete.

"My space dream" is not limited to dreams to travel in space only. It also represents a person's aspirations, ambitions or goals in all kinds of spheres: art, politics, sports, economics and science. One's aspirations can be big or small, but no matter how big they are, one must start from small beginnings. If we say the distance between mountains is the clouds, or that between the trees blows the wind, then the distance between a dream and reality lies in the difference in whether or not one makes an effort to fulfill one's dreams. Rome was not built in a day. After all, dreaming without taking measures to properly fulfil the dream is a waste.

I believe Hong Kongers have good genes because of their recent immigrant history. Young people not only have the courage to dream big; they also have the strength to turn dreams into reality, startign with what they have a passion for.

 

13 March, 2017

 

 

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