17 th August

I am really excited. I have bought the textbooks for the HKAL and I really look forward to fighting another battle. I thirst for battle. Only the HKAL result will speak for me. And let that be realized, my result is entirely due to my unceasing efforts, not what my mum put as " It's in every sense correct to send you to tutorial class." It is my merits. I can still get it without the tutorial class. I have striven for it. And I have not only striven for it, but I went into the details, examined it closely, and thought it over for many times. I deserve it. I am not a machine which simply put back what was taught. Recitation does not make a winner, anymore than a dictionary can be called grammar. However, my parents arbitrarily ignore it. I hate them.

18 th August

Pretty strange for me to write something down on a day I received no call and stayed at home. I have gone through a psychological journey, a tiring one.

Today, I have glanced through the Business Study textbook which was similar to the HKCEE level Commerce. The first chapter was the introduction. As it was very boring, it was only a few minutes before I turned to the next chapter. However, I could not understand what the chapter was saying. I told myself to concentrate and read it once again. The second reading took me less time and that was all. I still did not have the slightest idea on what it was suggesting. I could not stop myself wondering that my distinction in Commerce was to a certain extent due to the tutorial class. Soon, I even began to believe I had no talent in Commerce. A distinction in Commerce meant nothing but I had devoted time to it. Getting a distinction is always sweet to remember. But I am among the few who would not forgive himself if it were only due to his time devoted to it. To put it in a discriminatory term, I could not tolerate the idea "I am a fool but I can be of some help." It's the slogan to push people forward to accept the mentally retarded. But that is what me, John, stands for. Everyone considers himself to be a genius and pain inevitably comes when one begins to realize the plain fact, the mirror that reflects all things fully and precisely. I ask myself, "John, can't you be satisfied with being a fool and be of some help to others? If you are that fool, you have lived your life to the fullest. And you will not regret when you are to pass away. People at the funeral will cry for you and miss you. John, can't you be content with that?" I was really tired. My endless wishes are all source of trouble. "John, you want to have achievement and want to attain it with the ease of a genius."

John smiled while reading his diary, going through the same psychological journey he had gone through before. He picked up his pen and wrote...

The stylish handwriting goes, I know I was trapped in the pursuit of self-recognition. It is the whole world to me. Economists assert that people are maximizing utility and what they are doing is for the utility. And the utility I am to assert is self-recognition. If someone comes to me and says it is a money-driven society, I will not object. But I would like to point out there are a great more people who would be very willing to die for the pursuit of self-recognition. In Chinese history, after a seizure of power, the intellectuals who had hold high posts in the former reign, were not moved by money to serve the new ruler and feared no execution. They were men of dignity who appreciated their masters had taken every piece of their advice unreservedly. They knew they could only thank their masters by working hard and were prepared to die for their masters. This is an evident example of self-recognition. We are doing similar things in our daily life. We would be delighted for praise. We would feel anxious if we do not meet our standard. We would blame ourselves or do harm to ourselves then. Self-recognition is the motive behind everything. Even justice cannot be exempted. People exercise justice to show that they are just and reliable and enjoy being the justice, another form of self-recognition. It is a corollary that I hated my beloved parents as they have tampered my self-recognition by suggesting it was wise to send me to tutorial class and gave a second thought to emergency plan in case of a failure in HKCEE. John read his passage once again. He felt a very strong impulse in himself. He turned to the page with a piece of leaf as bookmark. He picked it up from the football field in the campus and dehydrated it in the Chemistry laboratory. The manuscript reads,

My year in Form six was the happiest time in my life. Of course, Wah Yan is no playground and I no longer find any fun in the silly jokes. I have shed blood, tear and sweat in the brotherhood of Wah Yan. But I do treasure it. My school is a soil free for us to shape our future. It has no seclusion policy. It respects every individual. The school regulations are set leniently and are never exercised seriously. It believes the students are self-disciplined. We do not have that sort of system that a student having been late for three times would be sent to detention. And when students have been sent to detention for more than twice have to see the disciplinary master. The school prefects do not have to report the mischief of the students, let alone the power to punish them.

After a year's work in organizing extra-curricular activities, I am surprised by the liberty allowed by school. Unlike most other schools I have come across, the supervisors stand aside and it is up to the students themselves to arrange the programmes all on their own. The ultimate power rests with the students. Many other school authorities could hardly imagine leaving the programmes and the school album to the students. They believe it will take more time for them to clean the mess left by the students than to do it themselves. In

Wah Yan, we made occasional mistakes. No one will criticize us but we, out of self-recognition, will be annoyed with our performance that was not worthy of our talents. We will be sorry to have disappointed those who have back the ideology of believing the students and leaving a free hand to them. We are touched. They have given us the greatest support actually -- The greatest respect that can be paid to anyone is let them assume responsibility. We swear we will be better. Somewhere else, the idea of running a similar activity that has failed once would be nipped in the bud. The ideology of my beloved school is the opposite. The fathers and teachers here just handed us another blank cheque. Once again, they cast their vote of confidence for us. If we were not trusted but were much constrained, we would never come to realize our full potential. We would remain shy and whenever problems come we would turn to the teachers for advice without giving a second thought. We could at most be good executors. In trust, we grow in self-confidence and become independent. This is the education that guarantees the outcome of education as recognition as oneself and acquisition of what is necessary to educate himself on his own.

We might not attain the best result, in both the academic and the extra-curricular field. But we dare to take responsibility. We will not be over-cautious to avoid all possible mistakes. We believe in ourselves and we do what is expected of us. Wah Yan might not have students with 10 distinctions but I feel entitled to flatter ourselves that we have students who would leave something of permanent value to the world and whose names would descend to posterity. The trust backing every Wahyanite is what makes Wah Yan as it is today.

John closed the diary and took out his reference book. He would strive for Wah Yan in the coming public examination. He knew he would never be speechless before his close old friend and would tell him he would not hesitate in sending his sons, if any, to Wah Yan.

Ko Man Kit, Eric

Search section home
next previous