contents 03 04 06 10 14 16 17 18 19 20 22 24 26 28 30 32
Editor’s Note PASS-ed Events Cultural Trip 2017 Humans of HKPASS What’s On The Blog? 誰 謫仙記 News, Ads and Friends 善 The Imaginery Iceberg Imperfections Theme: Start of Something New New Year, New Me? Note To Self Gaining Momentum in the Fight Against Alzheimer’s 讓指尖重拾對書頁的悸動
EDITOR’s Note Hi Readers! The highlight of this month would undoubtedly be our Cultural Trip to Ljubljana, Slovenia, which left us all energised and ready for the Lent Term. This issue’s Humans of HKPASS column features interviews of myself, Arthur Wong (Events Officer), and two sub-committee members of the publications division: Colette Wong and Lorraine Tang. Read the interviews to know more about us on a personal level! This issue’s theme is “Start of Something New”. There are many high quality pieces (as usual), and I am sure that there is some thing for everyone. Happy reading! Jennifer Lau
Publications Officer 2017-18
PASS-ed Events January At the beginning of the Lent Term, our capable Events Officer Arthur Wong brought us all to the beautiful capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. The three day trip (January 20 - 22) was filled with fun and laughters! Read on for a recap of the trip written by Arthur himself.
Cultural Trip 2018 I have always liked the idea of traveling – I mean, who doesn’t? You get to go to places where hardly anyone knows you, and you spend a crazy few days without worrying about the rent that you need to pay, the marriage that is falling apart, or the huge debt that you need to repay. In short, we travel in order to escape from reality. I believe, on the contrary, that we travel not to escape from reality, but to re-anchor ourselves in life. I hold the view that there is no intrinsic meaning of life, i.e. life has no meaning a priori: Jean-Paul Sartre says that we are “thrown into the world”, where we are “left alone”, and its consequence is that from time to time we lose track of ourselves. In daily life, we are carried away by mundane duties left for us to fulfil, and we study/work non-stop in order to satisfy our material/mental needs. So I travel – to clear my mind and search for inner peace. I wanted to organise the annual cultural trip the moment when I wanted to encourage other students to appreciate travelling. Of course, I was also excited over the thought of organising a trip for forty people of similar age. I bought the air tickets, booked the hotel, came up with a travel itinerary, and get set – here we go! We spent our first day wandering around the city of Ljubljana, trying to take a glimpse of the capital of Slovenia, while trying to immerse ourselves in this foreign culture. We firstly visited the Central Market and the Open Kitchen Market to taste the traditional food, and then we went all the way up to the top of the Ljubljana castle to enjoy a stunning scenery of the city. When we were at the castle, we had a friendly chat with a local citizen, who turned out to have previously spent four months in Hong Kong just a few years ago! We had a nice time discussing the best and the worst of the two cities.
The view from the castle
Conversing with locals
Bled Cream Cake
On the second day, I planned a day trip to Bled, which was famous for the impeccable scenery of the majestic Lake Bled. It was a lovely day as we walked around the lake while basked in the soothing sunlight. We were also able to visit the Vintgar Gorge, although it took us one and a half hour to walk there from the town and it was officially closed, but we sneaked in and had a spectacular walk in the gorge. We ended the day by tasting the traditional cream cake from Bled â€“ what a guilty pleasure!
Committee members and year 2 members
On the last day, we visited the artsy neighbourhood of Metelkova in order to take a look at a different side of Ljubljana, and then paid another visit to the city centre. This time we were more familiar with this little city and we didn't even need our map to arrive at where we wanted to be! We then took a stroll along the river before we picked up our luggage at the hotel and left for the airport.
The artsy neighbourhood of Metelkova For most of the trips I have been to in these two years, I liked to do it in a free-spirited way, i.e. not fixing my schedule but visiting whatever I felt like I wanted to when I actually arrived at the city. However, as the organiser of the trip, I can no longer be that â€œirresponsibleâ€? this time, i.e. I had to make sure that everyone was here when we left; I had to confirm everything: that the schedule, the restaurant, and the itinerary was alright before the trip. That is to say, I was loaded with more responsibilities, but at the same time I was also able to experience the act of travelling from another perspective. You were beautiful Ljubljana. Nasvidenje! Arthur Wong Events Officer 2017-18
Humans of H Jennifer Lau (Year 2 LLB)
Art is a reflection of a person. Scrolling through Jennifer’s Instagram feed, I feel that the vibrant colours truly reflect her dynamic character. Allow me to introduce our Publications Officer, Jennifer. It was indeed a bit awkward at the beginning of our interview, as Jennifer is in charge of not only this section (Humans of HKPASS), but the entire PASS-On journal. Jennifer recalled the hard times she faced at the beginning of last summer, after she was elected. Creating a publication every month is a strenuous task. It requires inspiration to write, so as to design and typeset. Moreover, Jennifer said that it is especially tough when people around imposed a lot of comments and opinions on her works, which may not align with her own at times. Sweets are the fruits of labour, not until December that Jennifer realized she had already finished half of the PASS-ONs in her tenure. “This might sound really cliché, but PASS-ON really gives me a sense of achievement.”
“He that travels far knows much.” Jennifer mentioned that, apart from photography and cooking, traveling is one of her favorite hobbies. Indeed, traveling is a decent getaway from our hectic university life. She was genuinely impressed by how diverse human beings as a whole is. Traveling makes one modest. Only by traveling that we realize how small we are in this world. She recalled seeing black sand beaches in Iceland. “things that seem so bizarre to us are actually norms for the locals.” The difference in background and upbringing, so as the environment we live in shapes our values and perception towards this majestic world. Traveling also allows exposure to new people. During the Cultural Trip in Slovenia, Jennifer and her friends had a conversation with a journalist they met on the way to a castle. It was interesting to talk to people with different cultural backgrounds. “Many Hong Kong people tend to be more book-smart; foreigners appear to be more knowledgeable regarding worldly affairs.” Jennifer continued that it is through traveling that she can become know more about the world and experience different cultures.
“The wind is rising, we must try to live!” Our interview came to an end with Jennifer’s favorite quote. It is extracted (and translated) from a lengthy French poem. It means that people can get caught up in terrible times, and when that happens, sometimes the best they can do is to try to live their lives and survive and enjoy every moment of it. Jennifer said that even though her life is occupied by work and academics, she would still spare some time to do things that she truly enjoys. Lorraine Tang
HKPASS Arthur Wong
(Year 2 Philosophy and Economics) Calm, quiet and sophisticated. This was my first impression of our Events Officer Arthur Wong. I could still vividly recall the night when Arthur, a few other sub-committee members and I were sitting at the same table during HKPASS’s sub-committee dinner gathering. The thought “he must think we’re crazy” kept running through my head as our table gathered a few of our noisiest sub-committee members, where we kept bantering and rambling on about everything. (sorry Arthur!) However, as you get to know him, you will realise that Arthur himself has a good sense of humour and is very talkative. Arthur’s hobbies include reading, writing and playing sports (handball). He is generally quiet, but is definitely more energetic in front of his closer friends. Arthur initially joined HKPASS as he wanted to maintain the bond with his hometown and he was committed in learning about the public affairs in Hong Kong.
“LSE is filled with opportunities, I did a lot of things that I have never done before” Arthur is not particular outgoing as he stated how he disliked social events. However, he mentioned how coming to the LSE had made him do things he had never done before, such as Chinese debating and performing in a drama production. When asked about his performance in the Chinese Society Variety Show, he admitted that he was quite nervous and thought he could do better. Personally, I really liked his delivery and thought the story was really heart-warming, especially during the scene where he confessed to his childhood crush (sadly, he got rejected).
“Stressful, but rewarding”
Graphics from freepik
When asked about a superpower that he had always wanted to possess, Arthur chose ‘space travelling’ – no doubt since he is the Events Officer and is really passionate about travelling. Arthur thought that organising the Cultural Trip was tough, but the process was really fun. Having to plan a trip for 30 people, he admitted, was quite stressful. He had never been to Slovenia before so he was quite satisfied that everything went quite smoothly and everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly during the trip.
Humans of H “Do not always follow the trend; be yourself, do what you what and explore the world”
I was deeply inspired after reading Arthur’s blog – 活得比別人不同的勇毅, where he wrote about how we are living in a world where everyone has to stick to the status quo due to social pressure. He believed that we should be ourselves and strive to do what we are passionate about rather than molding ourselves in meeting the society’s expectations.
(Year 1 Government and Economics ) If you ask me, Lorraine is definitely one of the most edgy people at the LSE. She is always in style and has a strong sense of fashion. People who don’t know her very well will say that Lorraine is very cool, but as you get to know her you will realise she is a very kind and cheerful person. She joined HKPASS as she was interested in Politics and was hoping to find a sense of belonging by meeting more people from Hong Kong. She is passionate about drawing, photography and design. As one of the designers of our PASS-On journal, I can glad testify that Lorraine’s editing skills are on point. She is also very sporty as she plays basketball and goes to the gym quite often.
The mystery is finally unveiled For those of you who are wondering, Lorraine highlighted her hair turquoise as she wanted to add that ‘extra flavour’ in her every day wear, which consists of mostly black as she is not a fan of vibrant colours. Lorraine gives people a sense of mystery with her dark wear. When asked about her secret obsession, Lorraine said she loves sleeping and cats (which I can relate to).
Fruitful, vibrant and interesting Coming to the LSE, Lorraine felt overwhelmed with emotions. From cheerleading to variety show, she has thoroughly enjoyed her life at the LSE and is grateful for the countless opportunities. She mentioned that writing and drawing enables her to express her emotions. As for her future plans, Lorraine has thought of studying up to postgraduate level. She also mentioned about taking a gap year and doing what she has always wanted to do such as travelling around, volunteering and exploring the world. Chelsea Lam
Colette Wong (Year 1 LLB)
May I proudly present one of the two Person In Charges (PIC) of our LSE Forum, my PO buddy, Colette, an extravagant young lady with lots of whimsies. We can find Colette’s trace almost everywhere: from blogs and articles in PASS-ON, to cheerleading, to the drama in Variety Show, or even dance, and now LSE Forum — she is literally everywhere. I am truly amazed by her capability of taking care of so many things simultaneously. I asked her, “aren’t you tired?” “Yeah, I am, but at least I’m working on stuff I actually like.” She replied gracefully with a beam on her face.
“Why did you join the LSE Forum as a PIC?” Colette responded almost instantaneously, “because I like debating.” Well, indeed, this is a very simple, straightforward yet motivational reason behind her being elected. She has been debating (in Chinese) for 6 years. As an experienced debater, Colette aspires to promote Chinese debate in the UK, as well as the language itself. Moreover, Colette says debating aligns with her personality so well, because she considers herself as a sarcastic (and a little bit cocky) person, which further boosts her passion in debating. She recalled the times back in secondary school, saying she actually gained a lot from debating. For instance, she made a couple of staunch friends. She also enjoyed the sense of achievement after overcoming obstacles or finding out solutions of some thought-provoking issues. This time, not as a participant, but as an organizer, Colette encounters lots of difficulties during the preparation. She said that she had a hard time coming up with motions. As mentioned above, she was committed to various activities and events. Having to keep up with her academics and balance each and every activity, time management is key. Being asked about her method of stress-relief, she said she likes to listen to Joker Xue’s music. The lyrics and the melodies of his songs are beautifully written. Colette even finds some of the lyrics rather relatable. To conclude, Colette would like to share one of her favorite lyrics from the Joker’s newest single:
Graphics from freepik
「可總是有人來不及證明 就已被看膩」 《孤狸》
Whatâ€™s On the Blog? Blog posts are continuously uploaded to our website here are some of this monthâ€™s highlights.
誰愛你 誰惜你 誰保護你 誰塑造你 誰憐你 誰懂你 誰牽著你 誰擁抱你 誰許諾了誰，誰背棄了誰， 誰在空曠的雲霧中眺望著誰。 誰會為誰等待至天荒地老， 誰會為誰守候至白髮蒼蒼。 誰在每一個黑夜凝視著誰至每一個白晝， 誰耗費了一生與誰熬過每一個關口。 誰還有多少未贖回的夙孽， 誰還有多少未完成的誓願。 誰為誰守望成一座永恆的碑， 誰為誰凝結成一滴萬年的淚。 誰為誰把滄海守到桑田， 誰為誰把青春耗成落花。 一輪明月，床前照了誰 一地白霜，遊子思了誰 一把蓬門，盤飧迎了誰 一杯濁酒，相逢醉了誰 一遶白水，天涯送了誰 一點靈犀，春釀暖了誰 一葉孤帆，煙波別了誰 一枝紅豆，相思予了誰 一眼回首，闌珊尋了誰 一街黃花，愁緒苦了誰 一尊還酹，多情笑了誰 一腔壯懷，天闕負了誰 一夕昭雪，漁翁遣了誰 一聲橫笛，深情付了誰 一場消黯，凝眸憶了誰 一世浮生，現實逝了誰 誰與誰誰棄誰誰忘誰誰等誰誰愛誰 誰的心依舊誰的心難留誰的心背叛誰的心傷透 到底誰是誰的誰，這些俗世的定位沒有誰對誰錯。 只要記得誰永遠不離不棄，誰跟你風雨同舟， 誰 就是你最重要的誰。
Marcus Liang 30 January 2018
News, Ads and Friends Mark Zuckerberg recently announced changes to the Facebook algorithm. Soon, you will be seeing more posts of your friends and your family. The advertisements, news and those puppy videos that used to swamp your news feed will be condemned to the past (mostly). This is part of Zuckerberg’s goal of increasing your ‘meaningful interactions’ while using his social media platform. In addition, he plans to implement more stringent filters to remove the so-called ‘fake news’. It has previously been found that 45 per cent of all Americans get their news from Facebook. Facebook now has over two billion users. Many publishers and companies are eager to capture its audience through advertisements on the platform. With this stark change, many publishers want more details on what it means for their business, hoping they will be exempted as trustworthy media or that their content will be seen as promoting meaningful engagement. There is greater implication to his moves than meets the eye. As David Chavern, the president and chief executive of the News Media Alliance, which represents about 2,000 publishers in North America, puts it “this change does highlight, however, the power of Facebook to decide (and alter) the kinds of information that people are exposed to. It is an incredible power that carries incredible responsibilities.” In response, Zuckerberg admits in a post that he ‘expects the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down,” he wrote in a post. “But if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.”
Write a comment...
The Imaginery Iceberg Last month I went to Iceland with a couple of my closest friends, and upon returning from the blistering cold of Reykjavik I emailed my high school english teacher detailing my travels, sending him some photos of the sceneries I witnessed, the company I was with, followed with a gentle (self-)reassurance that I wasn’t wasting away in England studying something that has become quite a bore recently. His reply was almost an uncanny and timely reminder of a simpler time when reading was less of a chore but a hobby; he recommended a poem that I should read which bears parallels with the Icelandic landscape, Elizabeth Bishop’s quite fittingly titled ‘the Imaginary Iceberg’. Fully aware that he knows I’m not the biggest aficionado of beautiful descriptive poems about nature, I half-expected a philosophical twist. And if you’re googling the poem. You must read it, but you also must treat it for a while before you go look it up on the world wide web for a translation in rudimentary english. Treat yourself with that genuine unspoilt poetic experience. The poem details the choice between an Iceberg and a Ship that ‘we’ (the first-person inclusive narrative) have; that ‘we’d rather have the iceberg than the ship’, ‘rather own this breathing plain of snow’ even if it means ‘the end of travel’. In fact, Bishop writes of a sailor who would ‘give his eyes’ for the winter landscape, electing to ‘ignore’ his ship. ‘its glassy pinnacles correct elliptic in the sky’ she writes. ‘the wits of these white peaks spar with the sun’ ‘the iceberg cuts its facets from within/like jewellery from a grave’/ before the sailor, and ‘we’, say goodbye to the iceberg and reach a ‘warmer sky’. Truly heavy stuff juxtaposed with the bewitching landscape.
g The question that I immediately had was (in my head expletives were used): why would one give his eyes for a landscape which would then rob him of the ability to witness it in the first place? And there has to be a ‘deeper’ figurative meaning for the Iceberg and the Ship, surely it can’t be literal? The latter was easier to decipher, given the title. I’m pretty sure (words I can never use in essays) the Iceberg represents our imagination, while the ship represents its antithesis — reality. The beautiful landscape derived from the Iceberg perhaps representing the limitless potential of our imagination, hopes and dreams; while the ship, and Bishop’s focus on its utility to travel, perhaps connote how our realities are grounded on practicality and real-world concerns. And once this dichotomy is established, the solution to our first dilemma is apparent — its implication that we should be willing to give up the vision of reality in order to treasure the vision of imagination/ in another reading, it perhaps teaches us that we must be ready to risk our own destruction (the end of travel), instead of settling with safe and uninspired predictability. The most comforting part of this poem, was how Bishop assumes that ‘we’ would choose the iceberg over the ship right from the start — that every sailor would eventually opt for their imagination rather than the grounded reality. The opening gives me confidence that the passion I had for what I’m doing would eventually prevail against more tempting, reality-grounding options. But as Keats’ Ode on Melancholy preaches, there isn’t any happiness without links to melancholy. The ending of the poem, where the sailor reaches a ‘warmer sky’ with his boat in tact, perhaps suggests that we are bound to resort to pragmatic societal constructions sooner or later. Or maybe its implication is that we take the middle of the road. maybe. Or maybe we don’t even have a choice! I don’t know. — But isn’t that the beauty of life? p.s apologies for the sketchy prosaic writing it’s been a while. Limichi Okamoto
Imperfections No one is good at everything, and being aware of your strengths and weaknesses is never a bad thing; it allows you to implement your skills to your utmost ability in a team, but also to know when someone else may be better suited to a task than yourself, or when to ask for assistance.
For example, if I was really pleased to have run 5km in half an hour (perhaps it used to take me 45 minutes) and then heard someone saying that they were so slow because they’d taken 23 minutes instead of their usual 20, I wouldn’t feel better about myself.
However, I think that many of us tend to feel that by acknowledging our strengths and saying that you’re able to take on a task alone, or by admitting that you’re actually not too bad at something, you are running the risk of coming across as arrogant. In reality, this is not the case. Modesty is something we all strive for but many of us overcorrect in fear of stepping too close to the line. We downplay our strengths and exaggerate our faults. This lowers not only our self-esteem but also that of those around us.
Obviously, achievements should be on a personal level rather than relative to others, but it’s still necessary to be aware of those around you before claiming you’re awful at a subject when the person next to you may consider it to be a real strength of theirs, but just scored lower than you on a test.
You should feel comfortable admitting to your strengths rather than feeling obliged to shy away from them. It’s easy for me to say all this but we all get it wrong sometimes, lots of us struggle with accepting compliments and so by instinct try to deflect them because we feel awkward or genuinely don’t feel we’re worthy of them and that’s normal.
If you find this to be your instinct, then maybe first try thinking about the effect your words could have on someone else’s self-esteem, because there’s no point all of us thinking we’re bad at everything just because there’s someone better who says they’re ‘not that good’.
Another area to address is that we often feel that we can’t celebrate our talents unless there is no one else comparable. For example, if someone was noted to be sporty, you’d often hear a reply such as ‘no I’m not, she’s way sportier than I am’. Even if ‘she’ is an Olympic athlete, that’s no reason to say you can’t be defined as sporty, it shouldn’t all have to be relative to someone else otherwise only the most athletic person in the world would have the right to be renowned as sporty.
This is all easier said than done and by no means am I the perfect example but you should be able to take pride in your talents and should never be embarrassed at a lack of expertise either. Try new things, don’t be afraid to fail, and have faith in your abilities!
Start of... Something New
The coming of the new year is like the cleansing of a palette. New expectations are formed, new targets are set, and some people even take the opportunity to make personal transformations. What does the new year mean to us? Our first article “New Year, New Me?” attempts to dissect the mentality behind New Year’s Resolutions, and argues that imposing time limits on meeting personal development goals are both useless and impractical. So, how should we go about achieving our New Year’s Resolutions? The writer of “Note To Self” dedicates her piece to any one having a tough time. The article is sprinkled with a healthy dose of pertinent quotes while offering useful recommendations such as holding yourself accountable to clear goals and being open to receiving constructive criticisms. It is undisputed that technology is developing at monstrous speed, especially in the arena of medical treatment. Recently, a positively received animation film Coco involved the portrayal of Mamá Coco, an elderly figure with Alzheimer’s. It was undoubtedly heart wrenching when Mamá Coco began to forget her family, including her own daughter. In reality, not all hope is lost. “Gaining Momentum in the Fight Against Alzheimer’s” lays out the new discoveries made by scientists, which will hopefully aid the development of a cure for the degenerative illness. Do you remember the last time you read a book in its entirety? The development of technology and social media means that we are spending a lot more time on the internet and social media applications than reading books in the 21st century. The writer of the final article encourages us to discover the joy of reading - “讓指尖重拾對書頁的悸動”
New Year, New Me? It is the start of 2018 and my friends keep complaining how they have failed their resolutions. At the end of 2017, they promised to hit the gym, have a healthier diet, improve their ﬁtness, improve their attendance rate and sleep earlier. Weeks in and they have made excuses not to go to the gym, managed to skip all their classes and their cheat day becomes a cheat week. It’s time we forget about the idea that a new year transforms us into someone completely diﬀerent, because the truth is, the only thing that really changes is the date. It’s time we turn our focus away from the calendar, and stop with the time limits altogether. It sounds silly to give yourself a time limit to change. It adds to the pressure to start right away and make instant decisions. The ‘new year, new me’ pressure means we blame ourselves for making it, and make ourselves feel guilty. This, in turn, only puts us oﬀ from achieving our targets in the long-run. Most of us have thought ‘What’s the point?’ when breaking one so early on. Let’s stop thinking about our new year’s resolutions, and focus on improving ourselves in the long-run, not just when the date on the calendar ﬁts. Knowing that you are not forcing yourself to complete all your goals by a certain date will also give you conﬁdence that if you have accidentally missed your target one day, or fall into your old routine, you can always start again the next day – rather than giving up and then beginning all over again next year. Instead of talking about ‘New year, new me’, let’s put our focus on just the ‘new me’. This tells us all about gradually and patiently achieving our targets – and no timescale can be put on that. Chelsea Lam
The Start of So Gaining Momentum in the F It feels impossible to understand Alzheimer’s from our stance. After all, people are the creations of their experiences and this torment, is something neither you nor I have gone through. How do the patients feel? What about their family? It is undoubted that every patient’s encounter varies and their families’ shifts accordingly. Nonetheless, in order to instil some human context into a seemingly distant issue, I have selected an extract from a woman detailing her experiences caring for her mother, who had Alzheimer’s. Geraldine Perriam, from Dunbartonshire, Scotland:
“My late mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. She had been caring for my father, who had vascular dementia. My father needed 24-hour care and was eventually moved to a specialist nursing home. The care was exemplary but my mother was bereft and visited him daily, often more than once. They were, to the end of my father’s life, like the
twenty-something courting couple they’d been during the war. Although my mother did become anxious at times, Alzheimer’s seemed to lessen her inhibitions. She shared hurtful things from her past with us, as well as a mellow philosophy of life. She had always been a devoted reader of crime fiction and was herself a Miss Marple, observing, missing nothing. She didn’t completely lose this with Alzheimer’s. She would say something absolutely spot-on and then look at us as if to say, “You know I’m right.” When my sister and I would visit, she’d dissect events from the past with stunning accuracy, commenting on things she’d obviously thought at the time but had been too polite to say. Unfortunately, she slipped into unconsciousness and, shortly afterwards, died. Some of the staff from her care home came to the funeral. They told us they had loved her.
omething New: Fight Against Alzheimer’s I’d never have got to know my mother the way I did had she not had Alzheimer’s. We were very fortunate in that she knew who we were and showed us love.” With an ageing population and a lack of any substantial treatments, Alzheimer’s is the only cause of death in the world’s top 10 that is becoming more prevalent over time. According to the article “Scientists discover new optimism in fight against Alzheimer’s”: The best known biological process is the amyloid pathway. This starts with amyloid precursor protein, which is present in all healthy cells. In the patients’ brains, the enzymes cut this protein into fragments called amyloid beta, which then accumulate into the sticky insoluble “amyloid plaques”. This is the onset of of Alzheimer’s.
However, the development in researching Alzheimer’s has been slow. Research has concentrated almost solely on amyloid. Yet, the medicines created to clear plaques from the brain have consistently failed. This called for an immediate shift in research focus and there has been a breakthrough recently. Professors at the University of Cambridge cultured cells from one hundred different people. The scientists then observed these cells’ biochemistry and behaviour. This enabled the scientists to clear differences between them and healthy neurons - a comparison that gives clues to the fundamental processes involved in dementia. Marcus Liang
尤記得幾年以前，手執一本看過幾千萬遍的金庸武俠小說 ，卻被身邊的母親揶揄，小說並不是文字的全部，要真正 開拓新的中文世界，或是擴闊對世界的視野，小說並不足 為據。於是，十八歲的仲冬，我的目光在圖書館內不停搜 索，為了尋回曾經對書本的一份執著，為了回味書本給我 帶來過的最初悸動。然則，在圖書館中尋覓無果的我回家 之際，卻在信箱裏發現由母親寄來的一本薄薄的書冊 ── 《讀者文摘》。而正正就是這一本毫不起眼的雜誌，教曉 了我原來文字的組曲即使沒有高潮迭起的章節，就算平凡 也可以鏗鏘悅耳。 由生活的瑣碎小事、生命中勵志故事的啟發到對現代社會 的人物寫真，一一在百多頁的假粉紙上呈現，供人細賞； 由有關身體健康、待人接物的冷知識，到一段段真實的笑 料和趣談，月月在井然有序的編輯下成書，任君選擇。就 是如此南轅北轍的內容在編者悉心的安排下，在讀者心中 形成不同的碰撞，譜成一章又一章的交響樂，煽動著我們 的惻隱、鼓舞著我們的寂寥。相信即使多年以後，讀來新 鮮感依舊不乏，因為文字魔力歷久不衰。 一個中學剛畢業的女孩如何對人事得到深刻理解，一個瀝 青工人如何在八成皮膚灼傷下仍頑抗死神；在外海獨自求 生的經歷，克服肢體殘障然後展開美滿人生的路程...... 雖則 全書由不同作者的作品結合而成，但每一篇都絲絲入扣， 編排並不見得雜亂無章。思度著為何看似風牛馬不相及的 寫作風格和各異的內容描述也能如此觸動人心，才發現原 來把篇章連在一起的並不是內容，而是字行間所有作者一 致流露的、對文字的無限喜愛。在未有互聯網的年代，是 人對文字的鍾情、對文字的著魔、對文字的執著，才能令 一個又一個感人至深的故事由手稿開始，流傳至今、流芳 百世。 讀畢此書的此刻，我方驀然驚醒，終於明白到「足不出戶 能知天下事」的真正意思及尋覓到䓢中無窮的趣味。 在越趨城市化的世界，處處映入眼簾的是高科技的電子產 品，路上不乏低頭按動著電話的行人。科技日新月異的， 彷彿只有互聯網才可令我們知道天下事。然而，習慣了機 不離手的我們，好像忘記了沒有互聯網的時候我們曾經如 何的珍惜過手中的每一卷；在城市中以逸待勞的我們，似 乎甚少有機會去發掘香港以外，幾十年前已經上演的一幕 幕驚心動魄、熱淚盈眶。上一次實在的翻開書頁的時候， 又是多久之前的事呢？ 寫成這一篇的時候剛剛踏入了新的一年。也是時候在這新 的開始，讓指尖重新找回書頁的感覺，讓乾澀的眼睛離開 冷酷的電子屏幕，重新感受那一字一句意味深長、鏗鏘有 力的文字述說。
The ďŹ rst step towards change is awareness. - Nathaniel Branden
LSESU HKPASS is a politically neutral society and any views expressed belong entirely to the author themselves.