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Date: 27th Dec, 2015

#1000Speak: Compassion towards Global Issues

Topic of #1000Speak in December: Compassion

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The spotlights of grand world stage shine every day, capturing indispensable actors of each sovereign state. International Relations, I used to figure out, simply equates to power politics. It falls more or less on the distribution of power under polarity, and in general, is zero-sum for material power and extending sphere of influence. Just like playing a thrilling chess game, every action, related to national defense and in hope to enhance relative gains, needs to be carefully considered without knowing others’ intentions. Under anarchy, countries exert themselves to maximize self-help behaviour, secure national interest and ensure survival. The powerful ones would offensively seek to conquer the world and become the hegemon. The second most powerful state, however, aired its grievance towards the contemporary order and would seek to challenge it as illustrated in Power Transition Theory. While the others would be defensive-seeking and opt for the balance of power. In face of China’s rise, its enormous draw on the South China Sea alarmed America. Hence America, for one thing, upholds its claim freedom of navigation towards the ocean; for another, endeavours to prevent China’s dominance over such crucial trade route by strengthening its alliances with Japan, South Korea and the Philippines. To consolidate its bargaining edge, America, for instance, has excluded China from Trans-Pacific Partnership, and also dominated the IMF and World Bank. Due to such exclusion, it is apparent to see that China has set up AIIB and implemented BRICS Development Bank to counter the West’s Bretton Wood system, as well as Shanghai Cooperation Organization against NATO, rendering the situation more complex.

Yet the more I got inspired from the studies and world news in these months, the more I concern about the looming injustices and sufferings of others in the population level, rather than just international security in the system level. Seldom did I realize I would end up in Politics not merely for my fascination towards power balancing or offensive-defensive strategies, but also for the purpose of compassion for the others far in the Global Village right now. Despite the prevalence of power politics in this field to some extent, it was heart-rending that lines of exploited workers and child labour in sweatshops, all contained their toil, blood and hardship, have been overworked, underpaid and are scarified to the safety measures, in hope of keeping an attractively low price in global production chains for multinational companies. The unfair trade practices, meanwhile, keep extracting smallholder farmers’ hard-earned profits and bereaving them with fewer bargaining tools, leaving them unable to cover the production costs. Girl brides, who are deprived of their fundamental rights to safety and education, are disempowered, dependent on their husband’s family and even succumbed to sexual violence. More, the transnational crimes like drug trafficking in Mexico and Southeast Asia also become rampant, involving powerful drug lords, ethnic armed forces and leaders of unprincipled corporations, despite countries’ abuse-riddled war on drugs. At the same time, flocks of migrants from Africa and Middle East, escaping from hunger, destitution and civil wars as if an unprecedented exodus, got drowned in the choppy Mediterranean Sea during their perilous journey to the European continent. Decades of continual clashes between Serbs and Albanians in Serbia and Kosovo, the discriminated Romas in the Balkans, and armed confrontations between Kachin and Shan State in Myanmar all aggravated the plight of minorities or ethnical conflicts. When we are exchanging wonderful gifts, embracing with their dear ones, having a banquet and dancing in a frenzy of joy near to the colourful trees in this Christmas holiday, don’t ever forget there are myriads of us who are being embroiled in hopelessness, brutal wars and impoverishment. After having a fair glance of the entire background, it brings no greater desire than expressing my sincere thoughts towards people who suffer due to political turmoil and also my lingering wishes for better human security. Instead of just regarding International Relations as a power battle for countries to triumph over the others, it is also time for me to perceive the globe with a pair of provident eyes, and consider the well-being of people-to-people relations in  compassion. With warm spark of sympathy, I will continue putting myself into the shoes of those unfortunate, and not let the voice of humanity to be engulfed by the tide of melancholy, immorality or deception. ♦

Pingback to A Year of Compassion #1000Speak


Date: 13th Sept, 2015

Daily Prompt: Struggles and Endurance of Baby Boomers

In response to “Generation XYZ” in WordPress’s Daily Prompt:

Think about the generation immediately younger or older than you. What do you understand least about them — and what can you learn from them?

Hong Kong in 1940s, once blanketed by the bleak pictures of weary people and ramshackle buildings in early years, was envisioned a better future after Japan’s unconditional surrender. The baby boomers, who are the offspring of those hopeful locals, were born and raised in the two decades after the war turmoil. However diverse their background might be, being Hong Kong’s vital pillars at that time, the majority of them were and still are highly-motivated, and industriously worked hard from a harsh, crowded environment.

Amid 1950s and 60s, despite without flying bullets and trampling tanks, the living conditions were cramped in general especially living in each sprawling squatter with large groups of families on the hillside, from crying toddlers, married couples and lethargic elderly. Most of the residents could only use primitive stoves and kerosene fuel for cooking; oil lamps for lighting at night, as well as corrugated iron and scrap wood for roof sealing. While the narrow corridor was filled with hand-washed clothes for cooling and also the desperate ones who were rushing to communal sanitary and washing facilities. Yet unfortunately, the bursting fire in Shek Kip Mei ruined hundreds of wooden huts into ashes, and the sweeping typhoons Mary and Wanda toppled surrounding trees and sparked citizens’ utmost fear. In the meantime, long queues on the streets appeared as people were lining up, placing buckets to collect scarce water in time of severe drought in 1960s. All those natural disasters, aimed at testing people’s social cohension, though helped polish the images of Hong Kongers as a cementing bond that would together rise to a rash of obstacles.

Luckily free from China’s large-scale political turmoil and powered by impressive quantity of light industries, Hong Kong’s economy quickly prospered and was gaining recognition all over the world. With vibrant manufacturing label “Made in Hong Kong”, plastic flowers, clothing, toys and dolls, as well as watches and clocks were all in vogue when exporting to other parts of the globe. Behind such glorious scenes of economic prosperity, myriads of baby boomers were burying their head to keep focus, then using pins, needles and sewing machines in dexterity, and afterwards toiling over their final products by own rough hands day-by-day, year-by-year. Dedicated and persevered, though with blood and sweat, they still regarded their factory as their “second home”, and were proud of being one of the devoted labour forces that helped transform the city from a colonial entrepot to a world-renowned industry hub. It was also a flourishing decade when a distinctive sense of belonging, attachment and identity recognition were formed. Opportunities were knocking on their way, and so did everywhere in Hong Kong. Only by working hard could you embark on anything from scratch and gradually climb up to the socio-economic ladder.

The more the baby boomers shared their extraordinary past stories and life struggles as a breadwinner and, the more I realise how tenacious they were in bygone days. As a post-90s in Hong Kong, how fortunate we are with cozy living environment, brand new clothes and cutting-edged technology bought from the hard-earned gold by our parents born in baby boom era. Instead of moaning and groaning for more self-indulging entertainment, after all, let’s not forget everything is not for granted. Without the contributions made by the generation of our parents, Hong Kong would not have created an economic miracle enviably supported by the soaring lines in the annual report since 1960s. ♦


Date: 27th July, 2015

Daily Prompt: From Imaginative Creator to the Pioneer of Truth Discovery

In response to “Futures Past” in WordPress’s Daily Prompt:

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? How close or far are you from that vision?

During a language lesson in primary school, a composition was waiting for us to complete in class, with topic “What is your dream job?”

Beyond a doubt, I started “I want to be a writer…”

Books were and always are my best companions. Those novels do grip me to follow thrilling adventures of the protagonists that might not have happened in this real world. As a passionate reader, how much I hope I could delve into the colourful world of vivid imagination and create my own one to be filled in the libraries or book fairs. Without realising the slipping of time, love, loss and many others can be accomplished within a couple of days. What about waving a magic wand with the wizards against hideous monsters, dancing with the charming prince in a magnificent castle, or hunting precious treasure in an unknown planet? Just like Roald Dahl and J.K.Rowling, wouldn’t I be joyful, during the creation of children and teens literature, to bring afterglow sparkles of delight to the others and add colour to their leisure time?

However, contrast to protagonists who were living happily ever after in fairytales, the more I grow up, the more I recognise this contemporary world is inevitably scourged with inequality. Instead of wandering about ideal fantasies and imagining an out-of-the-world utopia, I wish to be the one, also grabbing an ink pen, but of concrete discovery of truth for people from all walks of life. There lies an unremitting goal to me, a goal that I am able to explore the field of journalism, make use of this profession and political knowledge, to cultivate an inquiring mind and acute insight of the international situations. In China, the long-standing household registration system (hukou) plays a significant role in denying rural children’s education, as well as aggravating China’s wealth gap. The barbarity of ISIS, including rampant rape and contempt marriage of women as well as beheading soldiers and civilians, is despised with grave alarm. In the other side of the globe, equally heart-wrenching is the migrants especially the Rohingyas from Myanmar are sailing, albeit endlessly deferred, to relatively-rich Thailand and Malaysia for a living. Yet from first to last, my wishes for better human security and world peace under sweeping tide of globalisation never waver. It is time to stand up, to decisively bring the above savage acts or institutional unfairness to the limelight and urge for humanitarian assistance that can rescue those weeping souls out of political ordeals.  After all, conniving at those innocent lives and depriving their basic rights, or letting them hopelessly suffer or get drowned are a moral disgrace.

Nothing can be more rewarding than devoting one’s heart, under intense time race from dawn till dusk, to unveil the latest news and write extraordinary articles that can long-endure. Transforming from blank papers to diversified content is what a successful journalist does to intrigue readers. Here they are, striving their best to edit their informative writings even at the last minute of assigned deadline, in rain or shine. Perhaps you might see my name on the cover and be reading my feature articles in the future too. Who knows?


Date: 23rd July, 2015

#1000Speak: Accepting Myself as an Introvert

July’s topic of #1000Speak Compaign: Acceptance

“Speak up. You are too quiet. Don’t be so shy.” My class teacher told me.

And in the last day of schooling, the remark of my report card was more or less like that: “There are rooms for improvement. She should be more sociable.”

These comments have uncomfortably plagued me during my entire primary and secondary school life. If you knew me few years ago in class, you would probably realize I was the reticent one who shut her mouth and keep myself to myself. In the past, I was so on edge, as if butterflies in my stomach, in any form of public gatherings. When I drummed up courage to speak for a while, it triggered great response when my schoolmates exclaimed with surprise that I finally said something. While amidst the interactions with large groups of new acquaintances, my anxiousness kept overwhelming me, which in turn, my tongue-tied words were mixed up as if something went wrong. To escape these embarrassing scenarios, how much I would like to immediately crawl back into my protective shell to seek self-comfort. Throughout those years, I have been struggling to search for my own inner voice, and to have faith to express myself well. How weird people must have thought of me. Being an introvert only makes me feel like shouldering bulky burden.

“The introvert is pressured daily, almost from the moment of awakening, to respond and conform to the outer world.” ― Marti Olsen Laney, the Introvert Advantage: How Quiet People Can Thrive in an Extrovert World

Since childhood, I have been encouraged to overcome my bashfulness, to take part in multifarious social activities, and to extend own interpersonal circles. In this extrovert-oriented world, the most popular social kings/queens are usually the outgoing ones with wry sense of humour. Whereas, being quiet or craving solitude is stereotyped as being socially incompetent, lethargic and even alienated as an antisocial nerd. To get rid of those negative connotations of meekness, in these recent years, I try hard to be lively by hanging out with talkative friends, fancying and laughing like a clown as they do. Only by not pretending a sensitively shy person would I not be condemned into loneliness. Only by opening the conversation with them would I fit in the circles and not be thrown into the abyss of oblivion. Yet no matter how I pretend to be an extrovert, it just drains me while guessing what the others thought and not being myself. It leaves me feeling odd of not behaving naturally, and leaves me no rooms for recharging my batteries in tranquility. Lying on my bed at night with exhaustion, I am not happy as expected, but experiencing much emptiness.

“Oh yes, I’m the great pretender/ Pretending that I’m doing well/ My need is such I pretend too much/ I’m lonely but no one can tell

Oh yes, I’m the great pretender/ Just laughing and gay like a clown/ I seem to be what I’m not you see” ― The Platters, the Great Pretender

That was exactly the moment when I discovered how meaningless to please the whims of people around me. It is high time to accept who I am and appreciate the subtle beauty of every part of myself, including my quietness, seriousness and introspective nature.  Instead of throwing fancy parties, it is admittedly more delightful for me to rejoice one-on-one yet in-depth conversations. Though I might not be good at telling hilarious jokes or debating with flowery words, this personality of introversion does enable me to be a good voice listener, keep one’s promises and lend my sympathetic ears to my friends in face of dilemmas.  Despite not being quick-witted, I often think twice and look before I leap.  Self-acceptance makes being in solitary more pleasurable when embracing self-companionship, achieving inner peace, actualizing own talents and discovering new pastimes. Without such consistent focus in wake of external stimuli and surrounding distractions, I would not have devoted myself into thorough years of reading, running and blogging. After all, treasure the merits of your personality, but not awkwardly erasing them, is the golden gateway for personal enhancements in this inescapably fast-changing environment. ♦

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 


Date: 21st May, 2015

#1000Speak: Blossoming Penpals’ Connections

“I count myself in nothing so happy as in a soul remembering my good friends.” – William Shakespeare

Myriads of people just hurried past us in our lives and vanished to the crowd like an instantly flash.  To be frank, making acquaintance with someone from huge sea of faces in all over the globe is just like searching a needle in a haystack, let alone cement long-distance friendship for years.  It is formidably difficult, if not impossible, to find someone in the other part of the globe sharing common grounds with you.  However, never does this seemingly “once in a blue moon” probability put a damper on my desire for processing regular cultural exchanges with penpals of different nationalities.  Just like the four-decade connections between my mom and her American penpal in New York, they have been writing letters since their adolescence and keeping in touch through social networking site even up to now.  Nothing is impossible.

For me, the impressive tales of my friendship with penpals from Turkey, Finland and Germany, and also the others, embarked after our email address exchange.  Just click a “sent” button, our email will be sent to the others in the twinkling of our eyes regardless of time limits.   Often does our time go by with the descriptive content of our school lives, leisurely pastimes, personal opinions and world views.  Those well-written paragraphs are, from the bottom of their heart, as if gentle flows sparkling with genuine kindness and heartfelt delight again and again, even from miles away.  For our interactions to be more frequent and appearance to be seen, fun-filled cultural exchanges by web camera, under the assistance of powerpoints during our specific topic discussion for hours, are more than fruitful.  Much to my surprise, once in face of a fixed spot, I couldn’t even stop bursting into tears of reassure after their encouragement.  Without realizing the slipping time, I even wrote for a thousand words in front of the screen and gradually unveiled my sheer emotions and opened windows of my inner feelings.  In my study room there still hangs dazzling views of their postcards, smiling photos, introductory books, fascinating calendars and self-recorded CDs.  Had it not been for our regular discussions about both of our countries/regions’ history, festivals and even current affairs in a nutshell, I wouldn’t have gained much eye-opening insights while at the same time, steadily walking into each other’s lives.  How can I ever forget them for spicing up our days in these years?

Gratitude, like friendship, lives and rejoices in my heart; Friendship, like a tree, lies not in how tall it could be, but how deep the roots have grown.  Holding together tight, my life has been colourfully enriched by their presence and tireless affection and our gorgeous moments.  Nothing and no one can pull a brick wall in front of us for sure.  Out of sight physically would not be synonymous to they are completely out of my mind.  We will soon rise to all geographical obstacles, and join hands strolling in the flowery paths or watching the bright full moon.  The thousand miles of distance apart will never separate my love for them.  I am certain that, by continual resolution, sincerity and endeavour, our long-distance friendship will endure the test of time and blossom for months and for years.♦ 

finland gift
My birthday gift from Finland in 2015
postcard
Some gifts until 2014

Date: 20th April 2015

#1000Speak: My Panaceas for Nurturing Mental Health

From now on, I would like to take part in this #1000Speak for Compassion each month as my support to this meaningful worldwide campaign. This month’s topic is Nurturing. Already beset with group projects and term paper, I still wish to spare some time in sharing my panaceas towards nurturing mental health especially under such learning stress.

Health, no matter physical or mental ones, is a priceless godsend that anything cannot replace. Though in face of assignments’ deadlines this month, in no way would I like to devote all my time into those endless papers at the expense of my psychological well-being. After all, don’t live to work, but work to live even in such stressful time. Striking a balance between study, personal time and rest is also equally crucial for me to rise to upcoming challenges.

Soft music and Chit-chats

Close your eyes for a while, take a short break and unwind your mind. Find a disc and put your earphones on. Loosen up with gentle melodies ranging from Chopin’s classical nocturnes to Kenny G’s saxophone music (all are my cups of tea). For further exploring the musical world under the dazzle of various notes, why not simply search some music scores and play an instrument during the leisure time? Just let music vibrant.

At times, brief chit-chat could also spice your day up while burdening with heavy workload. It is not until this year do I truly realize the magnet of it. I could still vividly remember how delightful I was, after hourly struggle for an impressive conclusion, when suddenly inspired by the conversation. Pleasant talks with friends about school life, personal pastimes and current affairs are surely pure joys after a day of monotonous work.

Sunshine and Work-outs

Instead of having a sedentary lifestyle all day long, I actually get hooked on outdoor activities and enjoy being under the warm sunshine. As a running enthusiast, I am fortunate to live near to a park despite the surrounding residential buildings. It is always an enticement to get tanned and run on the soft emerald lawns, inhale the fresh air and watching the sun gradually drown into the far end of horizon. The stimulation of endorphins secretion, through regular physical activities, helps muster up the rush of good-feeling, which in turn, relieve stress and lift mood. Fading anxious thoughts into an oblivion at that particular hour, how carefree when I am able to feel refreshed and put a bright smile on my sweaty face under those serene evenings.

Look for the bright side and Have faith

Cultivating an optimistic attitude comes as vital when in face of uncertain future. Most of my schoolmates, including myself, are patiently anticipating for the offers release after two bittersweet learning years. New possibilities might be knocking at our doors in these upcoming weeks, who knows? It is not necessary to shoulder the bygone faults and blame the luck once we have already striven my best and left no regrets. Look for the bright side. Always stay hopeful and keep looking forward. Don’t let the faith extinguish. Wherever I would be in several months later, I will always be honing my diverse skills and better equipping myself with multi-faceted activities. Led by own achievable goals and cherish every opportunity. It is my conviction that I would achieve what I expected for if I leap at each valuable chance. Nothing is impossible.

To be frank, hectic study schedules sometimes just got on my nerves. Yet with suitable personal time and rest, I would rather be a vigorous learner who is having a good time management than the one with pale complexion and puffy eyes. We are still in our golden early twenties and have a long way to walk on. Take good care and don’t push yourself in an extreme exhaustion. ♦

Pingback to Nurturing – 20 Writing Prompts for April

 


Date: 22nd March, 2015

Topic: Time Machine

Doraemon, which is a popular Japanese cartoon featuring the adventures of a robot cat Doraemon and his friends, has always been my favourite TV entertainment since my childhood.  Longing for his time machine, how much I would like to cross the”tunnel” of space time, travel to the bygone past and the unknown future.  Thrilled about this idea, I am ready for the discovery.  The below would be my confirmation of three destinations under my assigned time.

1492  Italy

Gone were the gloomy days of Black Death, but a refreshing era of vivid creation and novel ideas.  In the wake of the tormenting catastrophe, Renaissance, literally means “rebirth”, was first embarked in Italy.  Under enviable spotlights of the European civilization, Italy became the cradle of culture at that time where sublime masterpieces of fine art, polyphonic music and magnificent architecture flourished.  Michelangelo’s “Pietà” and Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” laid a rosy cornerstone for further aesthetic enhancements, to name but a few.

1492 was exactly the year when Columbus discovered the “New World”, which was the turning point of shaping people’s universal view, and their knowledge towards geography emerged.  The steady decline of the feudal system, the bloom of commerce, sciences and medicine, as well as the invention of such potentially powerful innovations as printing and compass all marked the transition from medieval to early modern era in Europe.  How much I would like to immerse myself in such thrive of fundamental development.

2047  Hong Kong

On the wall, there hang breath-taking travel photos of a woman in her fifties.  In her “WordPress” blog are her records of delightful and distressing moments starting from 19 year-old.  In contrast to her counterparts who are raising their children well, she has climbed up to the sunbathed hilltops and reached invisible valleys, and been tightening the bonds of companionships and living life to the fullest.  So, would I become that envisioned woman who would also be relishing in such an independently free and fruitful life at that time?

Born and bred in Hong Kong, I have always been taking pride in our sound and stable environment, laissez-faire capitalism, transparent legal system,  as well as freedom of speech and demonstration which are different from the Mainland China’s.  Under the implementation of “One Country Two Systems”, nevertheless, such core values and our own way of life might only be maintained until 2047.  Then what would be the next?    However misty the future would be, it really falls on us to sharpen the competitiveness and preserve the uniqueness of our homeland right now, instead of being passively marginalized into China’s system.  After all, actions speak louder than words.

2100  America

At the dawn of the 22nd century, what would history comment on the overall trend of the past century?  Under China’s unprecedented roar to the international platform, would America still be the global hegemon?  Would the world order shift?  Meanwhile, let us not forget the sweeping power of globalization with proliferating flow of labour, capital and information.  The thrive of multinational companies and the influence of global media, as well as the prevalence of international institutions might even endure the test of time.

We will never know how astonishingly fast the future evolves.  With indispensable cutting-edged technology, maybe the story plots in the fantasies will come into reality.  Robots would be doing all weary housework and dreary standardized production work for us.  Our future pillars would be studying online with electronic textbooks on one hand and the Wikipedia on the other.  We would be riding in a driverless car or a time machine just like Doraemon’s would be invented in the future.  So isn’t it enticing to witness such revolutionary scientific milestone begins and leaps a great forward? ♦

 

If you are also invited to utilize Doraemon’s time machine, what would be your choices and why?  It would be nice to hear your comments.

 

Pingback to “Fly on the Wall” in WordPress’s Daily Prompt:

(If you could be a “fly on the wall” anywhere and at any time in history, where and when would you choose?)


Date: 7th March, 2015

Daily Prompt: Much Obliged

In response to “Teacher’s Pet” in WordPress’s Daily Prompt:

Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse.  How is your life different today because of him or her?

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”   ― William Arthur Ward

A set of glinting candles, bringing warmth to the surrounding people, keep beaming in chilly weather.  By the same token,  an inspiring teacher is just like those candles illuminating your soul and guiding you to the right track of learning process and optimistic life outlook.  In my entire learning years, I am sincerely endowed to have met two enlightening teachers who left an indeliable mark in my heart.

Those invigorating cards in my study room just stir up my blooming thoughts to Alky, who was a social worker in my secondary school, but I always regard her as my valuable mentor and an amicable confidant.  Throughout my entire secondary school life, I felt really at ease to pour my heart out to her about my leisurely pastimes, glee and sorrow, as well as innermost thoughts.  What a bliss when there is someone reliable to be my voice listener, someone whom I can count on in face of a tight spot and remind me the blessings I have already had.  It was also the time when my interest towards the field of Social Sciences first sparked.  Starting with her basic introduction of Psychology since Form Four, I steadily grasped a fair picture of Maslow’s and Erik Erikson’s theories, and even “ABC model” and Seligman’s Positive Psychology, to name but a few.  With her sustained back-up and our continual connection even in nowadays, she has been infusing me as to meaningful life facts, encouraging me to remain self-assured and strive for the best however choppy the future might be.

If Alky’s uplifting support is like a soul panacea, then Mr Chan’s wordings would certainly be aesthetic crafts for enhancing ideas flow.  Each time while completing an essay or writing a blog post, myriads of Mr Chan’s diversifying vocab choices would promptly spring up in my mind.   Always did the time go by in a brink of our eyes during his fast-paced yet fruitful lessons.  Varying my beneath of vocab choices and sentence structures, he never faltered in giving us advice on our writing styles in various types of articles, and even having our writings marked within a week.  Impressed by the wisdom gained from learning, I finally realize how colourfully broad an English world can be with suitable phrases beautifully collaborated.  Here, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to him, without him my language proficiency would not have sharpened much and I would not have figured out how fun-filled writing actually is.

Nothing can be more rewarding than raising the future pillars up and witnessing them thrive with provident goals.  Nothing can be more meaningful than engaging in this lifelong commitment to inculcate and impact the prospective leaders by heart.   Even up to now, I still stride in my own life path with their teaching at all times.  They have magically made a difference, just like those candles brightening up my way.  Much obliged. ♦

 


Date: 28th Sept 2014

ABT5: Books of this Moment

ABT5, stands for “Anastasia’s & Bauhinia’s top 5“.  After brief discussions, I, along with my friend Anastasia (the blogger of “Read & Survive“), have made up our mind to share five of our most favourites in this column of ABT5.  Recently, book challenge has been sweeping in social networking sites, luring millions of netizens to recommend their most impacting books.  And of course, being frequent users in a virtual world, we have also been gladly involved in this interesting challenge.  So here we are, listing each of our top 5 books to all of you.

My choices:

1. Speeches that Changed the World by Simon Montefiore (2010 version) –

After flicking over the first page of this book, you would be turning back the time to a century ago and following the step of those adroit politicians, incorporating Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King and Ronald Reagan. There, they signposted relentless will to express their opinions prominently, in a vigorous voice that presumably stunned you.  Their quick wit and endowed eloquent, with emotionally-connected phrases, enable you to be immersed in their ardour of public presentation.  With lofty and laudable praise, this book is certainly a second-to-none marvel to be grabbed and an invaluable treasure to be kept in your shelves.

2. Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu –

I have been wondering the underlying reasons why numerous people are rejoicing at extravagance in some countries, whereas some are toiling in a penury in another side of the globe.  To my sheer relish, this book serves as a groundbreaking backdrop for understanding the dilemma of nations’ development polarization.  Whether a country prospers or is succumbed to poverty lies not in geography, culture or pure ignorance of policies, but the variations of inter-wined economic and political institutions.  With the combination of solid arguments, concise language and ample examples from middle age history to contemporary political environment, all these cutting-edges lifted it to be at the top of my must-glimpse reading agenda.

3. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom –

“Have you ever really had a teacher? One who saw you as a raw but precious thing, a jewel that, with wisdom, could be polished to a proud shine?” – Mitch Albom

A heart-warming reunion after 17 years, in-depth mentoring lessons of a beloved college professor to a student, rekindled their unique relationship.  Morrie Schwartz’s guiding hands and fruitful content, embedded with his life meaning of love, family, aging and death, brought a lump to my throat.  Inspired by the acumen gained from him, I am utterly moved by his genuine kindness and optimistic life outlook all the way even in the face of terminal-illness.  After all, it is such a beautifully-written book that tugs at your heartstrings, and sparkles afterglow.

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.” – Morrie Schwartz

4. Catch Me if You Can by Frank Abagnale –

Based on a hair-raising, thrilling yet true adventure of Frank, I am certain everyone would be intrigued by this plot which seemingly could not have happened in reality.  Attempting to get away with the inspection of FBI fraud agent, he had been masquerading to be a Pan Am pilot, a doctor, an attorney and many others without a professional licence.  Living in a lap of lavish, stealing and squandering millions in the age of early twenties, partying and being admired by beautiful ladies, this daring protagonist’s autobiography would definitely seduce you to be entangled in his fast-paced escapes and its gripping climax, and towards to the epilogue.

5. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith –

This renowned masterpiece about Classical Liberalism was written as a reflection during the start of Industrial Revolution.  It acquaints us with division of labour, money utilization, free market and exchange that are still widely influential in laissez-faire capitalist countries nowadays.  Plus, the appropriate role of government is also emphasized so as to achieve a perfect state of liberty.  Being a fundamental collection with a broad analytical perspective, it is highly recommended to those readers who are interested in the academic fields of Economics and Political Science.

Enclosed is the weblink of Anastasia’s choices, with “A Million Little Piece”, “Les Miserables”, “His Dark Materials”, Paulo Coelho’s books as well as “Little Prince” being her most favourite books.  For more details, please visit: https://wordpress.com/read/post/id/63799013/720/

So readers, have you also participated in the Book challenge in any social networking site?  And what are your top 5 books so far?  Feel free to comment and share yours! 🙂 ♦

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Words by a post-90s in Hong Kong

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