Professor Way Kuo, President of City University of Hong Kong (CityU), encouraged a group of young people to develop rational thinking and use their knowledge and good heart to contribute to society in his keynote speech at the presentation ceremony of The Hong Kong Youth Service Award 2017 on 1 November.
Addressing a group of around 200 secondary and university students, senior management in the social service and education sectors, and family and friends of this year’s awardees, Professor Kuo pointed out that in recent years, some people have been unwilling to travel to the UK and Turkey because they are afraid of terrorist attacks there. But he quoted evidence to show that there is a far greater risk of injury or illness from traffic accidents, food safety problems or air pollution than from terrorist attacks.
He used this example to encourage his audience to develop rational thinking and be analytical, instead of being misled by rumours and sensational headlines.
Professor Kuo also encouraged the young people to use their knowledge to contribute to society, instead of merely pursuing more degrees. “Just as in a poem, longer is not necessarily better,” he said. “What’s more important is to have a good understanding of what’s going on in society and the world and use our knowledge for the betterment of community and humankind.”
To conclude his keynote speech, Professor Kuo shared a story of a lady who dropped a glove outside a train while she was travelling from Beijing to Xi’an. The lady threw the remaining glove out of the train in the hope that someone could pick it up and have the complete pair. “If the lady had kept one, it would have been useless. Throwing it out the window could help whoever picked up the pair. Like this thoughtful woman, we should use our intelligence and good heart to contribute to society,” he concluded.
The Hong Kong Youth Service Award is an initiative of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, established to honour, acclaim and encourage outstanding young people who through their commitment, dedication and integrity, exemplify the true spirit of service to the community.