In this city, every child’s fate appears to become inevitably intertwined with the phrase “winning at the starting line”. We take pride in being competitive and getting ahead of others.
In this sense, I must have lost at the “starting line”. My parents never forced me into attending any “interest classes” for the sake of building up my portfolio. In lieu of a packed schedule, I had the luxury to discover my interests through enjoying the folly of childhood, which I could not be more grateful towards my parents for. When I reflect upon it now, I finally understand my parents were trying to teach me to have a balanced life, not one is too busy with academics that they cannot spare time for people around him/her and time to have fun.
I still vividly recall my mother’s words to me when I first entered the gates of Diocesan in primary two, “Just tell us if you find the pressure too overwhelming. It’s okay.” Although competition definitely exists, the Diocesan education has been valuable in shaping my life.
To me, “Daily Giving Service” is not just a school motto to recite, but also a guiding principle that I hold dear to my heart. Through each act of giving, I gradually came to realise that as a secondary school student, there was so much more than just memorizing textbook paragraphs. We can contribute and impart actual change and improvements in others’ lives, rather than just being aware of societal needs. For instance, a service project member told me that her view on the mentally challenged had changed through their interactions. She used to think of them as incapable and strange, but now she deems them “loveable and helpful”. These experiences, as well as the exposures I got from discussing current affairs during debates and summits, helped me to see past the labels of “minority” or “disadvantaged”. Regardless of our social standing and background, we are all capable of giving back to society in our own unique ways. However, these changes can only be achieved when we are willing to step out of our bubbles and to reach out to each other.
Perhaps, those who compare our lives to a race and worry about “starting lines” are too narrow-minded. Looking back at the past 17 years, the ventures I treasure the most are seldom materialised in the form of a certificate or trophy. After all, beyond the running tracks, the world out there awaits us to explore the full spectrum of human interactions and experiences within it. Drawing strength from these treasured memories, I would continue to give daily service so that I can always look back at my service with pride and no regrets.