I have been following the news from Hong Kong, my homeland, for a month. Hong Kong has never been so divided before. I think the conflicts were caused by the growing discontent towards the government policies towards the mainland Chinese, the increasing gap between the rich and the poor, the keen competition of resources, the PRC apathy towards the public voice for a more transparent government and growing corruption.
People have been using bad language yelling or cursing each other. They have so much anger and fear about the future. They don’t listen to each other anymore. We all want the same things, like freedom, justice, prosperity, stability and fairness. But our means are different.
The older generations want the teenagers to accept the constraints within a dictatorship and be considerate to the needs of the general public. They know how hard it is to earn a living and raise a family. They feel sorry for those families whose income depends on small businesses that have been badly affected by the protest.
Yet most teenagers in HK have a strong yearning for a better future. They are idealistic because they are young. They have a dream. Their future still have infinite possibilities. Many people said that they are “useless teenagers”. But if they are useless, they wouldn’t have concerned about democracy. Maybe some of us don’t agree with their extreme means. But calling names or yelling at them will add more violence and confusion among the protestors.
The adults and elderly need to model a calm, reasonable and mature manner for the younger ones. We need to be compassionate and understanding towards the young people. We need to guide them gently how to communicate their ideas logically. Do you think cursing them to respect the police is the way to teach them how to be respectful? No. They cannot give what they don’t get.
Constructive change can only happen when we use loving speech, active listening and compassion to relate to each other. Everyone in Hong Kong, no matter old or young, really need to learn that right now.