Saturday, 16 August 2008


There have been many inspiring moments/conversations/people these days.

I was very pleased today to have a very engaging debate with the participants of my workshop (which takes place every Saturday morning at my old school). It was probably the most engaging debate of my entire time with them this year and last year - a testimony to their improvement :) It was on the motion, 'Functional constituencies should be abolished.' I was very impressed by the depth of their ideas and the quickness of their rebuttal. More importantly, their brains were set in motion and the arguments both sides put forward kept advancing as the debate went on. That was a proper exchange of views and clash of ideas - very thought-provoking indeed. ^^

It started off on a rather superficial level regarding purely the representation of the interests of the industries in the legco. But we later debated on deeper questions like how the interests should be represented (by a secure vote or other ways?) and what kind of political system Hong Kong really needed (a completely democratic system with universal suffrage or a continued dwindled role of functional constituencies) and discussed the compatibility between functional constituencies and universal suffrage. It was a very dynamic debate. I'm very proud of them They are doing what I couldn't have done when I was their age. :) They are now debating in English comfortably with some scant notes. Maybe I was being too pessimistic about the change of times and all the generation comparison prejudice. Please forgive me if I have been in any way too mean.

I joined in as well to fill the numbers and it was a lot more fun getting involved myself. I hope I gave them helpful guidance without being intimidating or too much of a bully. They inspired me to think a lot and set my mind working. I was still quite rusty but debating reminded me of my days in HKU Debate team. I realised that though I didn't fully grasp the techniques then, a lot of the good models I had seen had somewhat mellowed these few years ad I matured a bit more. It's a good feeling to see that I've made some progress these years. My thinking is slowly taking shape now. I hope I can pass it on and am helping them to improve.

Another inspiring conversation was at a very congenial dinner with a very harmonious and accommodating family after my informal and non-professional attempt of legal consultation to Mr R. W. R shares a similar background to mine and their family prepared a seven dish meal for 5 people - goodness me what a tremendous effort it must have taken his mom. I have always enjoyed seeing relatives of my friends because that helps me to see where they come from - what makes them how it is now :) His family is very intelligent and observant. I couldn't believe they could actually prompt me to make a tirade and withstand it all. And I was talking about what many people find boring eg my time in oxford and all the academic struggles, as well as my Finland project and Scandinavian systems etc. It was a very sweet time and I understand a bit more now.

I guess it left me thinking about myself and comparing this experience to my own family. We're both going after a very similar route with very similar goals. We've been feeding off our families and it's our time to contribute in return for their kindness. I wonder what it will be like in ten years' time.

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