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How Should We Then Live? Vanier Alumni 

How Should We Then Live?

Francis A. Schaeffer writes in his book, How Should We Then Live? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, that “the choices we make in the next decade will mold irrevocably the direction of our culture… and the lives of our children.”

In Hong Kong’s politically sensitive and unstable 2019 era, this quote is especially relevant, for it is considered to be an immensely Westernized part of China, due to British colonization. Given today’s serious political instability in society, how do fellow Hongkongers choose to act and to think in such a way that shapes the direction of Hong Kong’s culture, as well as the lives of future generations?

No matter which course of action they choose to take, whether it be protesting or praying for peace at church on Sundays, people must bear in mind that each and every action they take will influence people in their community both emotionally and mentally, thereby impacting Hong Kong’s global image.

It is especially sad for me to learn that the long-anticipated annual New Year’s Eve fireworks of 2019 have been cancelled. In my 8 years of working in Hong Kong, between 2008 and 2016, I had gone almost annually to watch the fireworks at Victoria Harbour. Upon hearing the sad news from the German media, I was bewildered and wondered why such a decision was made.

However, after careful and critical thinking, I immediately realized what the reason was: where crowds should have been gathered at Victoria Harbour to watch the beautiful fireworks, there posed a great danger to the general public, the chaos resulting from  the (potentially violent) riots.

In the above paragraph, I mentioned “critical thinking”, a crucial element of Liberal Studies (LS); it is a subject in the Hong Kong local secondary schools (administered under the Education Bureau), where the youth are encouraged to “think critically” about society and their environment.

If Hong Kong politics is covered in LS, will the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority, include the topics the riots, protests, and political unrest, all of which originate from a dissatisfaction about the extradition law, in future exams?

Will textbook publishers write about it in LS textbooks? These questions have not been openly discussed yet, but it is definitely food for thought.

By Yvonne Y. F. Kelle

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