Good People Good Deeds
2D03 Cheng Shu Man
In this world, whether in life or work, many people are in difficulty that need our help. But some will sit on their hands, while other kind people will help them. If everyone in this world is tender-hearted, will the world be better with more peace and love?
In Hong Kong, the buses and trains are full of people during peak hours. There are young people in suits preparing to go to work, flight attendants with suitcases, and students like me who carry school bags preparing to go to school. One day, on a crowded bus, it was humid and sultry. The bus swayed from side to side due to the uneven ground. I stood in the middle of the bus and could only rely on the handrail to maintain my balance.
One stop after another, I looked at the display screen and realized that there were still seven stops before I would arrive at school. My legs started to complain from soreness. Just as I was looking for an empty seat, I almost fell over during a turn. At that moment I noticed a boy who was about my height standing next to me. He was from the same school as mine. ‘Kaff! Kaff!’ His cough and wheeze frightened all of us as the breeze of potential viruses spread everywhere.
Avoiding people’s cold-eyed stares, he started to breathe very hard as if there was no oxygen. I asked, “Are you alright?” Before he could answer, he suddenly leaned and collapsed on the window. “Hey! Wake up! Wake up!” I called him several times, but he didn’t respond, no matter how hard I patted and shook him. I then yelled at the top of my lungs to seek help. However, the bus was full of people, and even walking was difficult. I kept yelling to the bus driver, “please stop, someone has fainted!” Because we were in the middle of the bus, the bus driver didn’t seem to hear it. But the passengers standing next to the young man heard it, and everyone shouted together. The bus driver stopped immediately after hearing this. Passengers worked together to lift the boy out of the bus. With the help of the school, an ambulance arrived on time, and the boy was successfully resuscitated.
Later, when I got home after school, I saw the news on TV. It was said that the boy himself had asthma because the bus was stuffy and overcrowded. If there was no assistance from the passengers, the boy might not have made it.
If people in the world are like those passengers, willing to lend a hand to help others. Would the world be a better place?
2D26 Lew Kei Yeung
Just Pay It Forward
One day, a middle-aged man called Carlos was heading to the supermarket to buy some groceries. He saw an olive-skinned boy sitting in the alley next to the supermarket, his clothes were raggedy and dirty, his skin was rather pale. It seems that he had nothing to eat. Carlos pitied him and decided to talk to the boy. “What’s your name young one? Are you hungry? Do you need some help?” Carlos kindly asked. The boy replied, “My name is Miguel. I haven’t eaten since yesterday, I’m starving! I could use some help but…… Are you just another bully trying to get a laugh out of me?” Carlos answered, “Wait, why would I even do that? You’re just a poor kid who needs some help.” Miguel asked, “You’re not going to stereotype me for being Hispanic?” Carlos replied, “You don’t look like a petty thief to me, young man. You’re a kid who clearly needs help, anything you’re struggling with?”
“My family’s in debt, and my mother passed away a few years ago. Dad hasn’t found a well-paying job because people of the higher ranks don’t want to hire a Hispanic man, the only way he can get money is by delivering packages, but unfortunately it doesn’t pay very well so we’re really struggling on income.” Miguel replied sadly with tears in his eyes. Carlos felt sympathy for the young boy, he took a lot of money from his wallet and gave it to the boy. “This is for you. I believe you’ll need it more than I do.” Carlos said. “This is so much money! Why are you giving me this much?” Miguel asked in shock.
Carlos explained to an overwhelmed Miguel, “I once was in the same boat. A few years ago, I was a poor man who had nobody on my side, I didn’t have enough to buy food and most of the money I had was used for rent, so I had to live with an empty stomach for a long time, it was extremely painful. Until one day, I met a man delivering a package, he saw the state I was in and he gave me tons of money. I didn’t know how to repay him but he gave me a card and said the only thing he needed was for us to one day help someone else in need and pay it forward. I’ll never forget that; he gave me so much more than just money. He gave me a life lesson of hope. A hope to live a happy life. He’ll probably never know how big of a difference he has made.”
Miguel was touched by Carlos’ story and thanked him many times. Before Carlos left, he gave Miguel the very same card the kind man gave him and said the same thing he did before he left. Miguel rushed home and greeted his dad. He was sitting in the living room crying with tears flowing down his eyes. “Dad? Why are you crying? Is something wrong?” Miguel asked. His dad replied while crying, “No, it’s just that I can’t even get enough money to help pay our family’s expenses, I can’t even get you food or new clothes, sometimes I just wonder if my life had any purpose. I feel like the worst father in the world.” “Dad, it’s all good. A kind man gave me a lot of money at the supermarket to help us pay it off!” Miguel reassured his dad. His dad asked how he got that much money, Miguel explained everything that happened and about the man that gave him the money. He then gave the money and the card to his dad. When his dad saw the card, he realized the man he had helped a few years ago was actually Carlos. More tears flowed down his eyes. Miguel asked, “Dad, are you okay?”
His dad replied, “It’s nothing, I just realized that… my life did make a difference.”
3D21 Wong Qian Han
Stand up for the needy
One day, I was hanging out with my friends. It was raining out. When we walked along the street in West Kowloon, everyone on the street wore a face mask and we saw a lot of people lining up to buy face masks. Everyone on the street was wearing a mask and holding many boxes of face masks of different brands. However, I noticed one old female cleaner totally unmasked, which was odd considering everyone else had one for their face, and many more in-hand.
Suddenly, a loud voice caught my attention. A fat man threw a judging sight to the old female cleaner and he started to yell at her. He said ‘You are crazy! Get off! Why don’t you wear a mask? You must wear a mask. It’s government regulation!’ The cleaner was scared and replied ‘Sorry, I don’t have money and time to buy masks.’ He said ‘I don’t care if you have money or not! You have to buy a mask immediately.’ I did not want to help the cleaner at first, but she looked so helpless. I couldn’t just leave her there with this angry man berating her. I told the fat man to mind his own business, and to stop making a scene. That only seemed to anger him more. My friends stood between us, and told me to calm down.
After I calmed down, we decided to ask the cleaner if she would want some face masks for help. She said ‘No need. My company gives me a mask each working day, but I want to save the mask for emergencies.’ We gave the cleaner three extra masks in our bags when we left. At this moment, a shopper came out and said ‘These masks aren’t enough for you. I have too many masks. Here! Take these yourself.’ The cleaner said ‘Thank you! Thank you…’ We felt so cheerful that we helped a person. Nothing is happier than helping another person in need.
I have come to learn that it is important to stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. When dealing with bullies, silence and inaction make us accessories to the crime. Please step in to protect those vulnerable people. Moreover, we should always strive to be kind and respectful to others.
If more people lend a helping hand to others, the world will be more beautiful and kind.
2C30 Yau Ka Lok
We are All Equal
Growing up was really tough and cheerless for me. I was born with an extremely
rare condition, causing my growth to be much slower than regular people. When I was 6 years old, I looked like a 2-year-old kid. Therefore, I always had low self-esteem.
After my parents knew about this, they always treated me badly and kept teasing about my height. Luckily, my grandma always had my back. She always helped me and I adored her. Unfortunately, she passed away when I was 8. After that, my parents were even meaner to me. They always talked to me rudely like “Listen up! You are not getting any food. You are already as small as an ant. Go be useful for once and get us some water!” I was furious. But there was nothing I could do. I could only cry in the corner every single night. I was discriminated by everyone.
However, things got even worse as a teenager especially when I became a secondary school student. On my first day at school, my teacher asked us to introduce ourselves. As I stood up, everyone thought they saw a kid and started laughing. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. After class, I ran to the toilet and started crying. Being like this was definitely hard for me to make friends. When I tried to talk to others, they just ignored me and I could hear them talking about how short I was. Everyone at school always made fun of me by calling me nicknames and playing pranks on me.
When I was 15, I was at the cafeteria when the bullies walked over and started
picking on me. But they went too far. I gave one of them a really hard slap and
we fought. After that, we were called to the principal and the principal suspended
me for a week. I tried to explain but he didn’t care. I was beyond furious. After
school, I went to get ice cream to calm myself. While I was waiting, a lady
behind me tried to ask me something, but I just took my anger out on her and shouted,
“If you are here to make fun of me, you can just go!” “Woah! Calm down!” Then I
looked up and saw her. “Oh no I am sorry! I didn’t mean that.” I replied. Luckily, she smiled and said “Don’t worry dear! It is not a big deal! But what happened? You seem upset and angry.” I was hesitant to tell her, but eventually I told her about my misfortune. “I am sorry dear. Maybe we can talk about this?” I agreed and while we were talking, she was so sweet! Moreover, she told me she was a social worker who assists children with family or school problems.
One day, when I was in the mall, the bullies noticed me and they dragged me to the stairs. The bullies pinned me on the wall and the one whom I slapped earlier started shouting at me, “You freak! How dare you slap me?” They started attacking me. I was completely helpless until someone walked in. I was shocked to see that it was the lady I met before. She saw me confronting the bullies and she recorded the whole situation and called the police. After that, the bullies were arrested. The lady helped me up and consoled me, “Are you alright?” “I… I am fine…” I replied weakly. “Listen. Don’t feel ashamed of yourself. You are perfect the way you are!” Hearing this, I teared up and hugged her.
After that, I decided to make a video about how I was discriminated and bullied by everyone. Luckily, the video went viral and I realized not a lot of people are mean
actually. Everyone in my school started being kind to me. Even my parents changed
and it was awesome! Apart from focusing on my study, I joined a charity and gave talks to help prevent bullying.
Everyone is unique and special. We shouldn’t pick on someone just because they are different. Instead of feeling ashamed, we should appreciate ourselves as unique individuals. Remember, you are perfect the way you are.
2C11 Tam Tsz Ching
When I was young, I lived in a happy family. I have a sister and I always played with her. My father started his own small business. My mum was a bit special. She has been blind since she was born. At that time, my sister and I were naughty. We loved to play tricks on our classmates. Our teacher did not like us a lot because we usually did not hand in our homework or pay attention in class.
When I was in Primary four, my father became bankrupt. He felt frustrated and started drinking alcohol and smoking. He hit my mother when he got drunk and he felt angry. After a few months, some people came in front of our door and shouted, “If you do not pay back our money, we will splash red paint on you and your family! Also, we will pay you a visit every day until your debt is settled!” After that incident, I knew something bad would happen in the future. One day after my sister and I went back home, we felt shocked because we saw people splashing red paint outside our home. The gangsters saw us and said in a threatening tone, “Remember to remind your dad to give us back the money!”
After that, my father ran away and never came back home. Then, my mother told me and my sister, “You should be good and responsible. Do not be like your father. Even though I cannot see you, I know that you two will be good people.” At that time, I knew that I should not let my mother down and I must take care of my sister and my mum.
From that day onwards, I went to school on time and handed in all my homework. When I was having lesson, I always paid attention. After school, I found my class teacher. “Can you help me with my homework?” I asked. The teacher replied, “Sure! But first, may I ask you a question?” I said, “Okay.” The teacher asked, “Why have you changed so much lately?” I answered, “My father ran away and my mum told us we need to be good people.”
Soon, there was a financial crisis. A lot of people became unemployed or even homeless. The financial crisis also made our family poorer. We did not have enough food to eat. One day at school, I saw my teacher and she asked me, “Today is very cold! Why are you wearing so little?” I replied, “My mum cannot go to work because she is blind. Our family does not have enough money to buy clothes.” Next, the teacher introduced some non-governmental organizations to us, such as St. James’ Settlement, Po Leung Kuk and Tung Wah Group of Hospitals for us to get some food and second-hand clothes. At that time, I felt grateful to my teacher and the charities.
My class teacher inspired me to help others, so I have been a volunteer for a few years. When I have time, I visit some poor orphans, the elderly who live alone and the homeless. Also, I donate some food, second-hand clothes and money to those in need. Recently, I have joined some non-governmental organizations to do volunteer work. I hope that I can spread love in our city.
5A Wong Kai Hei
Walking hand in hand below the Lion Rock
I remember it was a chilly day in Sham Shui Po. Gale outside, strong breeze, wind was screaming like a tiger, appalling. It was a squall, no.8 typhoon was hanging right now. However, as a naughty and rebellious teenager, I went out with my friends like it was a normal day as usual to experience the ghastly weather, the coming storm, and nippy cold wind. We indulged in eating, drinking and being merry, forgetting about our surroundings, forgetting about the danger, forgetting about anything, just having fun under this treacherous weather.
We were sauntering under a pedestrian bridge. Everything was fine until we passed an area with a multitude of street sleepers. Filthy, reeking, nauseating. “What is this smell? Smelly as a garbage heap!” I reckoned. I scrutinized along the side with that malodorous smell – a bunch of street sleepers. They looked pitiful, melancholy and frigid. They were wearing ragged clothes, none with a jacket, a shawl or an intact piece of clothing. Thin smelly cardboards were their shelter, full of pale faces and trembling bodies. It was horrendous here; the ‘residents’ looked mournful; had no food, no beds, no facilities, like living in a ruin.
We kept chatting and turned a blind eye to this scene, walking straight away like we saw nothing. Abruptly, a hoarse sound came from the front. “Everyone, let’s eat!” A tiny old man in a raincoat with a beaming face yelled while pushing a trolley stacked with bento boxes. His face was seemingly familiar to me. I peered at his silhouette, his eyes, his nose, his lips. Wasn’t that Mr Ming, the nosy neighbour who had argued with me owing to the rowdy noise coming from my apartment in the wee hours that one time I had friends over? I avoided him at all cost after that. Why was he here?
I stopped to see what he was doing while my friends disappeared showing no interest. My nosy neighbour walked with a splendid smile, looked friendly and affable, like an angel. He distributed a bento box to each of the street sleepers, then a jacket or quilt. “Are you cold? You must be genuinely exhausted because of the typhoon. This is the only thing I can do for you, sorry.” The air was full with compassion. I was shocked and speechless, not quite able to believe my eyes. Wasn’t he just a nosy poor old man? I was trying to hide my guilty feelings – of what worth was I who just indulged in pleasure-seeking?
Feeling burdened and yet puzzled, I slowly walked away to join my friends in a restaurant nearby which was still operating in this extreme weather. We ordered food and kept chatting about where we would go after our meal. Suddenly, a familiar figure stepped in with ease. “Boss, you went to that gruesome place again? You are really one of the tenderest people I have ever seen in the world! Who is willing to go to that grimy place every day?” Responding with just a smile, he disappeared into the kitchen behind the counter.
After a while, he was standing right next to me. He looked at me with a doubtful face. “Hi, kids! Sorry for that incident. I may have gone overboard scolding you guys,” he said. I mumbled, “It is okay…” I was silent for a few seconds trying to look for words to say. “Actually, I just saw you under that pedestrian bridge…And…” “Oh, yes. Nothing much I can do to help, but I do what I can. Those people all have their stories. But we are all the same below the Lion Rock, aren’t we?” That was it and he walked away. My eyes couldn’t help following this mighty figure before he disappeared again.
Weeks passed. It was another day with torrential rain – black rainstorm. Uncle Ming was, as usual, giving out free lunch boxes to the street sleepers somewhere around the neighbourhood. I was nipping my nose standing still watching. After a few seconds, it was like the smell was gone but I felt a surge of something in my heart. I quickly walked towards Uncle Ming. “Can I help out?” He recognised me, feeling a bit surprised. “Of course. Come on.”
My life turned around because of Uncle Ming, the tiny mighty man. Now, I go to different community centers to help different needy people every weekend, for instance, elderly, orphans, the disabled, and of course the street sleepers. I feel blessed when I see my assistance brings even just a smile. I believe I am doing a good deed. It is true most of us only care about ourselves, yet there are still some willing to sacrifice themselves to help others without asking for any returns. Sometimes, we just need to give a tiny hand to them, which already means a lot.
Sadly, social problems are omnipresent in a metropolitan city but it is also our responsibility to make a concerted effort to maintain a harmonious society. Don’t only talk about “good deeds”, actions are the most indispensable.
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “somewhere along the way, we must learn that there is nothing greater than to do something for others.”
5A Fung Tsz Kiu
A Kindness Diary
It was a crowded, hectic morning with the blazing sun hanging low in the sky. It was the day of the finals of my singing competition. I quickened my pace to make sure I would not be late. I walked across the street, circulated through the crowd, and finally arrived at the bus stop.
“More parents live in fear as the recent abduction of kids on Sunny Street….” I was reading this online while I was lining up for the bus. “Wait…Sunny Street?! Isn’t it the street behind?” I pondered.
After a split second, the bus ground to a halt. The queue was immediately broken and the passengers rushed to board the bus. When I almost got on the bus, someone bumped into me all of a sudden.
It was a small, defenceless girl with dishevelled hair and dark brown skin. She was sobbing aloud but no one seemed to be accompanying her. “What can I help you with?” I knelt down and asked. She gazed at me in perplexity, with her beady little eyes. “Grandma…where…” She said with a strong accent and a shaky voice. It seemed that she could barely speak English or Cantonese. But it wasn’t hard to know that she lost her grandma.
It was such an agonizing dilemma. There were twenty minutes left till the competition started and the bus was about to leave. Meanwhile, a vulnerable girl had lost her grandma, standing alone only with sorrow and agitation left. Should I go ahead to my singing competition or help this girl?
In a flash, the news I read about child abduction suddenly popped up in my mind. I couldn’t help thinking what if I left this girl alone and she then would be abducted? I would have never forgiven myself if anything happened to her and thereupon I decided to help the girl.
I patted her on the back to pacify her mood but she still couldn’t stop weeping. I asked the girl if she knew the phone number of her grandma with hand gestures to make sure she could understand. She shook her head and cried her eyes out even more loudly.
I glanced around but there was nobody else that I could get help from. I felt like my heartbeat was pounding loudly in my mind. What if I couldn’t find her parents but also lost my chance to win the competition? But then, she slowly stopped shedding tears, grabbed my hands and walked towards a bakery across the street.
“Sorry to bother you. Have you seen any old lady who was with this kid before? We are looking for her.” “Oh. You mean that weird, dirty Black woman? She came to pick up a birthday cake half an hour ago.” The cashier said with a detested tone. I was a bit in shock but I also knew that the most important thing was to first find the girl’s grandma.
I asked the cashier to check the ordering records for a contact number. He was a bit reluctant but still helped. Lucky enough, they found it and I called that number without any hesitation but there was something different from my expectation.
It was a young woman picking up the phone. “Did you find my daughter?!” A lady exclaimed. Because of her strong accent, I quickly realized that the lady was her mother.
Soon after, a couple dashed into the bakery and hugged the little girl tightly. At that point in time, I was really relieved like a weight off my shoulders. I could never forget the beaming smile of the girl when she finally saw her parents.
“Her grandma seems to be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. I guess that’s why she forgot to bring her home and left her alone.” The girl’s father explained with fluent Cantonese. “We were really worried if she was abducted. Thank you so much for your help.”
‘Could you guys just get away as soon as possible? Your peculiar African looks and fishy smell will scare off my other customers!” the cashier suddenly snapped at the parents. “Wait…But we aren’t African. We are Pakistani!” “I don’t care if you are from Africa or Pakistan. You guys should just go back to your stupid country!” The racist cashier bellowed.
I was totally stunned and infuriated when I heard what he said, not to mention how wronged and insulted the family would feel. I was deeply aggrieved about how unfair this family was being treated and thus I had no choice but to stand up for them.
“Sir. Aren’t your words a bit discourteous? We should never belittle someone just because of their race. Just because someone has darker skin tone and speaks a different language doesn’t mean that you have the right to disrespect them! They haven’t done anything disrespectful or hurtful to you, have they? Maybe you don’t realize the impact of your words! I guess you owe this innocent family a sincere apology.” I said with all the bravery I had in my entire life.
At the moment that I thought I definitely would be chided, the cashier guy walked towards in front of the couple and bowed slightly to apologize. It was like a load off my mind. “I’m sorry for what I’ve said …” He lost his words. “It’s alright.” The father was still calm.
Eventually, that Pakistani family headed off. Before they left, the father turned to me and said, “Thank you wholeheartedly for what you’ve done for us!” That is when I knew I had no regret for what I had done today.
Though I lost my chance of winning the competition, what I was rewarded with was a sense of gratification. People tend to think that helping others is an act of sacrifice. In fact, helping people isn’t about how much you will gain, but the difference you make in others’ lives. Kindness is contagious and we should always help each other with heart and soul.
5A Chu Nga Man
A Fiery Heart Deep Inside
A bright beam of light shone on the street and a new day started. On a warm and sunny Monday morning in Central, swarms of white-collar workers in neat suits carrying suitcases were trotting down the street as usual. On a street with a large crowd, an old scavenger wearing grubby work clothes was sweeping without haste. Soon after she squatted on a corner of the street and brushed off the dust on her clothes, feeling out of space.
“It’s breakfast time, come and have a delectable breakfast!” Practically all breakfast shops were opened. The aroma of the food soon filled the street. The old lady swallowed hard and her stomach was rumbling like a long-starved lion, longing for something to eat. She rummaged her bag, looking for her money. “One, two, three…” She kept the money in her hands and counted but found that there was only twenty dollars. “Alas! there will be no money for dinner if I buy breakfast. Forget it! Just wait for dinner.” She shook her head and sighed deeply. She picked up her water bottle near her and gulped down some water to fill up her empty stomach.
Out of the blue, someone stood in front of the old lady. “Miss, do you need help?” A gentle voice greeted the old lady’s ears. It was a young girl wearing a suit like everyone else. The lady shook her head, and did not want others to know her predicament.“ I think you need help, just let me know and I’ll do my best to help you.” The girl smiled. “I’m just a little bit tired but it’s alright…” The lady answered perfunctorily. Looking at the old lady’s haggard face, the girl immediately ran to the nearby convenience store and bought a drink for the old lady. “Here you are. This is hot cocoa, hope you enjoy it!” She gasped. The girl’s behavior was as sweet as the hot cocoa in her hands, making the old lady feel warm. “It’s sweet, thank you and what can I call you?” ”Just call me Emily,” she answered. “Don’t you despise me? I am so filthy,” the old lady doubted. “Of course not, your occupation as a street cleaner doesn’t make you any less worthy. You are worthy just the way you are. All souls are beautiful. You have contributed a lot to Hong Kong – a very clean Hong Kong. Actually, you have my many thanks!” The old lady was so touched that tears welled up in her eyes because this was the first time she heard someone respect her profession. “I think you must be starving too. Let me give you something.” Emily added. She took out a lunch box from her backpack and gave it to the old lady. “What’s this?” The old lady opened it, and an aroma wafted through her nose. “Beef, rice, lettuce and soup! Are you sure you want to give it to me? What about you?” She asked surprisingly.” Oh, that’s alright. It’s homemade, try it! Smells good, doesn’t it?” Emily answered. “Yes, it’s great. Thank you. I owe you, Emily!” The old lady really appreciated it. “Nope, you don’t owe me anything.” She was beaming with the most beautiful smile.
“You are so nice. Do you work around here?” “Yes, I am a receptionist in a firm. You may see me every morning,” Emily answered. “You must have a decent salary. Rich people like you simply ignore me.” “I’m not rich! I also come from a poor family. My mother has also been a scavenger so I know how you feel. She always tells me that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Whenever I see someone in need, I try my best to help that person. This is my motto.”
“This society needs a kind person like you. Oh, I am so sorry for taking so much of your time. You’re going to be late.” The old lady frowned. “That’s alright! There is still plenty of time.” She squatted down and stealthily put 100 dollars into the old lady’s bag. She then stood up and waved to the old lady.” Bye, have a good day! Thank you for your hard work.” Then she headed off for her office.
The old lady was grinning from ear to ear. She pigged out on all the succulent meat, delicious vegetables, and soon polished it all off. She became more optimistic and kept telling herself that everyone has their own value. She was ecstatic like her heart was full of honey. Her happiness was not only from satiety, but also from the kindness of others.
On such a difficult day, Emily was like a star to light up her day and make life better and easier. The old lady might have only met Emily once, but she left a handprint on the old lady’s heart, a handprint of love. Kindness is always passed down from person to person. Good people like Emily always do good deeds and this is the key to a harmonious society.
5ATang Tsz Tung
A Simple Act
When I was a Secondary 3 student, I had a life education lesson explaining the problem of homelessness in Hong Kong that wrapped up with a message that as a Hong Kong citizen, we should contribute to society through helping them the best way we can. The homeless people want to be cared about and most of them are waiting for public housing, with some facing family separation, some physical illness and lack of money. After the lesson, there was a volunteer activity to visit the homeless sending our love and support to them. Having been impressed, my friend, Natalie, and I decided to attend the event in order to show our care for them and develop a closer rapport with this disadvantaged minority in our community.
The day of the visit saw a drizzle. Walking on the street, almost all pedestrians were holding an umbrella. Some parents were busy shielding their children from the rain with the umbrella too. Our volunteer team handled supplies with one hand while holding umbrellas with the other. Clumsily, we were hit by raindrops, our face, clothes, handbags were no exception. I didn’t care much about all that but couldn’t help thinking, “this must be bad for our homeless friends? It’s raining pitchforks now!” I was worrying whether their living place had sufficient protection. As we strived to protect the supplies from the rain for about 20 minutes, the sky was getting brighter with wisps of sunshine. We heaved a sigh of relief. The homeless could get a chance to dry off.
At last we were in Tung Chau Street Park where there were plenty of homeless people gathered with their personal belongings like Mong Kok’s Ladies Market stalls lining up neatly. Most of them were skinny and elderly, both female and male with ragged clothes holding paper fans to cool themselves off. Our volunteer team was divided into a few groups to send materials to the homeless people and chit chat with them in order to get more understanding about their lives.
Natalie and I approached a man with disheveled silver hair sitting on a small folding chair. He didn’t pay attention to the environment around him. “Today’s weather is cloudy …” The sound came from the antique radio next to the man. “Excuse me? sorry to interrupt you. We are volunteers from a TKO school, how’s your day?” The man didn’t say anything. Standing up, he walked towards the sundries and tremblingly picked up a photo frame covered with dust. He wiped the frame with his palm. A blurred photo of a woman was shown and I was attracted by her bright smile believing that woman was the man’s wife. The man kept staring at it, muttering, “It’s been a long time since we last saw her…” Life must be very tough for the elderly facing separation. “Here are some supplies for you, please take it!” He thanked us and returned to the photo. “A few years ago, when my wife passed away, I was unemployed. And it was difficult to find a long-term job. My health hasn’t been good. I can’t afford to rent a subdivided flat. So, I decided to stay here until my life ends.” We two girls became very sad. We patiently listened to his story. Natalie and I learnt more about the life of those homeless people. We were also told that they always needed to be aware whether the cleaners would remove their personal belongings. They are always on the move.
Hong Kong is a prosperous city but there are still lots of citizens living in poverty. They need our help; they need others to care about them. Just a simple act will make a difference. Let’s take action!
5A Ng Pui Chi
Dedication is Priceless
It was a cloudy, cold, normal day in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, a young man, Chris, was annoyed like the weather in Tuen Mun. He was a college student, living alone in a dormitory room. “Why, I can’t believe it!” he shrieked. There, on his rapid antigen test was two lines. He felt embarrassed as he had done his best to not catch Covid-19. Thankfully, he lived alone in the domicile, so there was no risk of infecting any roomates. Feeling ashamed, he didn’t tell anyone about his condition, even his parents. He didn’t want them to worry unnecessarily.
Chris sent an email to his university informing them that he was infected. Meanwhile, community isolation centers were filled up. Therefore, Chris had to stay in his room until he recovered. The food, daily necessities were running out day by day. Chris could not control feeling nauseous and dizzy. Suddenly, he came up with an idea – finding help on the internet. He typed a message on Instagram which was the app his parents did not use. “I live alone in Tuen Mun and I was infected earlier. I’m staying at home to self-isolate but my daily supplies will soon run out. Please help!” After posting the message, numerous netizens gave Chris replies soon. “You’re not alone! I was infected earlier too.” “Giving you a hug!” This kind of consolation gave Chris a bit of mental support.
“Ding-dong. Ding-dong.” Chris was puzzled by the doorbell while he was dragging his weak and heavy body to the door. He twisted the door knob, opening the door and scanning around the outside. He saw a carton box on the floor with a slip of paper on the top. He bent over and picked up the sheet. “To Chris, we are your neighbors. We saw that post yesterday so we decided to provide some supplies to you. We all hope you can get over it! Let us know if you need more help!” Chris was stunned, feeling a gust of warmth in his heart. He did not expect his neighbors would be so kind giving some daily supplies to him. “We do not have any blood relationship. We are not even close but they still offered a helping hand.” Chris thought. He took the carbon box inside. Six cans of luncheon meat, some cup noodles, sliced lemons and boxes of tissues were taken out one by one. Tears were forming in his eyes. He had read lots of stories or news about kindness but had never felt it so deeply likely this very moment. Chris was mad at the moment of knowing he was infected. Now he realized it was ‘a blessing in disguise’. He still remembered some infected patients could not get any assistance so he knew he was extremely lucky.
A week had gone, and Chris recovered. During the quarantine, he was sick, relying on supplies provided freely by his neighbors. Unexpectedly, the days were full of feelings of gratitude, which had never been experienced. The hard time was over. Now, Chris looked outside. It was a beautiful bright day like his feelings.
Chris could start his online courses again. Everything was on the right track. Besides, Chris sent a post on Instagram, “To my neighbors and netizens, thank you so much for your kindness: sweet messages; food supplies and daily necessities. Because of you, I was able to reach full recovery. Now I must lend a hand to people in need to spread the spirit. I hope we all stay healthy.”
The pandemic is isolating us. Yes, sadly. Yet with loving kindness being kindled, we are being drawn close together. It is this virtuous circle making our society more peaceful and loving. Please believe that we can have a better tomorrow.