如何演譯華仁的自由精神

寫於2002年5月23日

由說粗口談起

常常聽到華仁仔說,我有發表言論的自由、我有講話的自由、有更甚說我有講粗口的自由。我想在這討論一下,究竟這是否就是我們常掛在口邊華仁的自由精神呢?

作為自由社會的一份子,我認為以下原則可應用在大部份事情上。
1.人有自由去選擇自己認為要做的事。
2.當行使自由時,不可侵犯其他人的自由。
3.世上無人有義務為其他人提供資源。

以說粗口的問題為例,我相信以上原則同樣適用。
1. 人有自由去選擇講粗口或不講粗口。要是你自己一個人在被窩中說粗口或只和其他喜歡說粗口的人一起說粗口,我相信沒有人會對你叫停。
2. 每個人都有選擇去聽粗口或不去聽粗口的自由。如我選擇不聽粗口,說粗口的人有沒有尊重不想聽粗口的人的權利呢!雖然你可以說他不是你說粗口的對象,但正如噪音一樣,人們說粗口的時候,其他人也可能會聽到。你認為製造噪音的人的自由應被尊重還是要求寧靜的人的自由應被重呢?從中如何才可取得平衡呢?如雙方面都不能離開事發地點,你認為應要求製造噪音者停止製造噪音,還是應要求要寧靜的人停止收聽呢?
3. 回到現實的問題,說粗口可能影響你得到資源的分配。資源包括有形和無形的.假設收聽者並不喜歡粗口,如你對師長說粗口,你會得你師長的尊重說你粗口說得真流利嗎?如你對朋友說粗口,你會得到朋友的友誼嗎?如你對你的老闆說粗口,你老闆會因你說粗口流利而加你人工嗎?如你對你媽媽說粗口,你媽媽會否因此而多給你一點零用錢?我想對年青人來說說粗口最大的好處是可證明說粗口者自我的存在,可是因此而失去的實在太多了。固此,社會上大多數人都不會粗口不離口,因為普通人都明白胡亂說粗口的代價是不必要的。如你認為確立自我是一個無可替代的原因,這是你的個人選擇。

當然,你偶然仍可在社會上遇到有人用粗口辭彙,除確立自我以外的原因當然有很多。如,習慣,群体認同,缺乏辭彙,無知,朋輩影響,突出自我,情緒發洩等等。

主觀上,基於說粗口者與其他人的自由和利益,我當然希望同學們不要在不適當的場合胡亂使用粗言穢語。

有同學說,他有說粗口的自由,要是別人不愛聽,可把耳掩上。排除技術上掩耳是否可完全分隔粗口的聲波,在邏輯上為什?要聽粗口者掩耳呢?如以同一邏輯,可否要說粗口者掩著咀說粗口呢?同學是否會在下次講粗口時運用這邏輯,一邊掩著咀一邊說粗口呢?

又有人說,我有真理,你不能阻止我說話。真理?世上有誰擁有真理呢?歷史上又有多少戰爭是由所謂擁有真理的人所發起的呢?我相信世上沒人擁有絕對的真理,但我又相信真理越辯越明。

希望大家要在討論時要沉著氣,不要說什麼真理在我手,人多就是真理,罵人強辭奪理等說話。只要大家拿出論據,慢慢討論,最後是會得出結果的。

跟據我所說自由的第一個原則,如果你想打別人,你有自由這樣做。但如果再跟據第二個原則推論下去,你想打的人便有自由不被你打,而你不能侵犯他的自由。根據上述推論-你有打人的自由,但你卻不能打人。這豈不是有矛盾存在嗎?

這就是自由的平衡了。當然我們大多數人都希望得到絕對的自由。有人說由於封建文化的原固,中國人不需要絕對的自由。實際上包括極權君主在內,中國人都渴望得到自由。分別是在極權國家,只有君主擁有絕對的自由,而這種自由是建基於犧牲大多數人自由的基礎上。

你願意生活在這種只有少數人享有絕對自由,而大多數人連基本自由都得不到保障的地方嗎?

有人說法例或校規的存在限制了個人自由的行使,實際上剛好相反。在三權分立的民主國家,由於法例的訂立是透過公民的參與,雖然實際上是透過各式各樣的代議制度進行,訂立的法例主要是為了保障公民的自由。在極權國家,法例的訂立只是為了當權者的自由和當權者的統治需要。這就是民主法治和帝皇之治的分別了。

如果你希望生活在自由的國度裡,我們需要每一個人積極參與立法的過程,而在法例確立後,盡力維護法治。

試想想,以以上的例子來說,如果你想打別人,你有自由這樣做,但被你打的人也會起來保護自已不被打。要是你有絕對的權力這還好,一拳就打死了你要打的人,又一拳一拳打死所有來抓你的警察,但我想知道你有興趣在這種只有極少數人擁有絕對權力的地方居住嗎?

以色列和巴勒斯坦就是活生生的例子。以色列希望有絕對的生存自由,同樣巴勒斯坦亦希望有絕對的生存自由。即使以色列擁有美國歷年來數以百億計的軍事及經濟援助,你相信以色列能殺盡每個巴勒斯坦人嗎?同樣巴勒斯坦人可以殺盡每個以色列人嗎?要是每個人都要求絕對的自由,戰爭只會連延不絕。

在此,我想你已能明白我對第一點及第二點原則的論據,當然你可以辯說人需要和平嗎?這個可以容後討論。

最近,有同學跟我說了一個很有趣的例子。在十一月時,有一個老師徵詢一群學生需不需要開風扇,有大半班學生因怕冷而反對開風扇,只有小數學生要求開風扇,結果老師決定開風扇,原因是他尊重那小部份同學的決定。

那同學問,為了那小部份想開風扇的學生而開風扇,老師有沒有侵犯到其他學生不想吹風扇的自由呢?人數多寡是不是決定自由的平衡的主要因素呢?又老師在班中是不是我所謂的”極權”角色呢?

在這個問題上,你猜想是那位老師感到熱想開風扇而希望得到同學的肯首,還是真正希望知悉同學門的意願而為同學們開風扇呢?

老實說,相比同學們來講,老師整天在校舍內走來走去,又在課室內站上一整天,體力的消耗當然比較大,容易感到熱,是很正常的。問題是為什麼老師不直接說出前因後果,要求同學體諒而開風扇呢?我猜想可能有以下幾個原因:

1.老師不好意思對學生提出個人要求。
2.由於老師在授課中而不想離題,因此並沒有交代整件事的前因後果。
3.傳統不平等的師生觀念影響,老師作出了一個傾向自已的決定。
4.老師估計可能有極少數學生不會體諒老師而製造尷尬。

我相信大部份華仁仔都會體諒老師的辛勞,但以你在華仁的經驗,你估計有沒有可能有些學生怎樣也不體諒老師呢?機會率又是幾多呢?

除此之外,你們有為開關風扇的問題上訂立規則嗎?大多數人又為什麼不願意站出來堅持?這亦反影立法的重要性。當一個群體沒有成文法,又沒有人願意犧牲來維顧法治精神,自由就可能被少數擁有權力和資源的人所把持。實際上,這跟我提出自由的原則的第三個原則-”世上無人有義務為其他人提供資源”是有關聯的。這個容我以後再分析。

至於人數多寡是不是決定自由的平衡的主要因素呢?我相信這只是其中一個因素,而並不是最主要的因素。

你看曾在中國,印尼和其他很多國家的事就會明白。人們叫這暴民民主。文革時,誰人有罪不是由法院裁決的,而是由情緒高漲的群眾決定。你看製造了多少枉死冤獄。在印尼97年的暴亂中,又有幾多人的財物和生命是由群眾奪去的呢?

所以,我認為自由的平衡主要是透過理性的討論而制訂的,這亦是華仁的傳統。但是理性的討論建基於理性的參與者,而足夠理性的參與者是要透過教育才能產生的。我所指的教育不是一般香港人以學位來量度的教育,而是從反醒中成長的教育,這亦是華仁的傳統中所強調的。人們常說香港是一個經濟城巿,只要經濟繁榮,有財富就行了。問題是你說說有繁榮就有繁榮,有財富就有財富的嗎?我深信真正的教育,真正受教育的公民才是自由和繁榮的守護者。

不要老是跟從或反對人家跟你說的意見,先想一想再決定。隨著你對事物了解的程度,你的立場是有可能修改的。

其實從第一個及第二個原則,我們已可總結出在和平的基礎上,我們究竟可享有何等程度的自由。

第三個原則只是用來幫助我們考慮如何作自由的選擇。正如經濟學上說所有選擇都有成本,包括機會成本,自由選擇亦不例外。

正如有同學所說,老師教導學生只是為了承擔作為老師的義務嗎?試問如果有一天獨裁說,明天起所有教師不准出糧,包括收取家長的資助,你說有多少老師會自願留下來教導學生呢?答案是有的,但肯定是極少數。要留下來當然也是他們的自由選擇,那為什麼他們要留下來呢?在華仁的歷史中,我們曾擁有很多這樣的老師,他們就是歷來在華仁服務的耶穌會神父。

他們從來沒收取過任何個人的收入,所有收入都是由修會分配的,從中他們只支取最基本的生活津貼。相反,在香港經濟未起飛前,他們透過他們的關係,將務捐回來的金錢,支持著華仁的運作和發展。為什麼在缺乏個人利益的情況下有人會作出這樣的選擇呢?我認為這才是真正的自由選擇。

他們真的是完全沒有原因而這樣做嗎?如果他們真的完全沒有動機,在完全沒有原因下而作出這樣的犧牲,他們一定是精神有問題。但從他們的學識和修養,他們又不像精神有問題。

既然他們的動機不是我們一般人所說的外在動機,他們的動機一定是內在的。心理學叫內在動機(internal motive)。實際顯示,內在動機在推動人的行為上是遠較外在動機強。我想信亦是這個原固,華仁的傳統十分強調自由選擇,因為只有透過自由的選擇,內在動機才能成為你行為的原動力,令你成為一個真正成功的人。

那神父們的內在動機又是什麼呢?這是一個非常複雜的問題,有時間以後再談。

現在多人認識華仁,只是因為有極少數的華仁仔成為了社會上的知名的人仕,而忽略了華仁真正成功的原因。

對真正明白自由的人來說,自由是華仁能給你最寶貴的禮物。對不懂真正自由的人,他們將要為自由的選擇付出高昂而可怕的代價。

簡單來說自由就好像一個巨型的鎚,如你懂得如何使用它,它能為你做很多東西。但如你不懂得如何運用而胡亂揮舞它,你很可能打傷或打死你自己和其他人。

一般學校都因為害怕學生無能力揮動這個鎚而打傷自己和其他人,通常都會把這個鎚收藏起來。但當學生畢業要離開學校的時候,問題就來了。在從來都沒有學習如何用鎚的情況下,他們突然多了一個巨鎚,你說會出現什麼情況?又有一些同學因為從來都沒有見過這個鎚,永遠都未能意認到這個鎚的存在。

華仁是一個在你還是初中生的時候就嘗試教導你用這個巨鎚的地方,當然你偶然仍然會打傷自己,但當時有很多用鎚高手在此,因此你能慢慢從他們的身上學會如何運用這個鎚。

但現在的問題是還有幾多個用鎚高手在此呢?

因此我提出了第三個原則來幫助大家來學習如何動用自由:(原則三:世上無人有義務為其他人提供資源。)

舉例來說,學生有選擇努力讀書和不努力讀書的自由嗎?以我個人立場來說當然有。問題是如你運用了你的自由去選擇不讀書,後果會是怎樣,你有考慮清楚嗎?很多人在嘗試過不努力讀書的苦果後就怨說為什麼其他人不幫我,為什麼其他人都歧視我。

正如我前文所說,所有選擇都有成本。老師教導學生也有成本。假設要達到同一個教育效果,教導一個努力讀書的同學的成本當然較教導一個不努力讀書的同學的成本為低,在低成本高回報的前題下,老師當然傾向將資源分予努力學習的同學。當然,對那些邊際成本不高的同學,我相信大部份老師都願意付出多一點氣力,盡力去教導他們的。但對那些邊際教育成本十分高的同學,作為一個普通人,你會很願意做一些吃力不討好的事嗎?

在自由的基礎上,你自己都不幹的事,你怎能期望另一個普通人去為你而做呢?

所以我希望大家認清現實,在作出自由選擇的時候要考慮清礎,因為只有你能為你的選擇負責。當然如有其他人願意供給你額外資源,這亦是他們的自由選擇。當問題出現的時候,被自己的鎚打得痛的時候,千萬別苛求別人為你承擔後果,因為這樣你永遠也不會學懂如何使用你手中的巨鎚。難道這是你所希望的嗎?

跟著,又有個同學跟我說了另一個例子。某一科的老師因A學生在他教授的科目成績特別出眾,老師便對A學生有所偏愛,而A學生因此亦特別愛在這個老師的堂上滋事(這點是跟我說的同學問過A同學的)。

有一天,在這位老師的堂上,A學生又如常地滋事,那位老師竟然”理會”A學生而去罵其他沒有玩的同學(當然有極小部份陪那位學生滋事),A同學又再次發出無謂的聲音,不知是那位老師”故意聽錯”還是怎樣的,那位老師立時罰了坐在A同學不遠但甚麼也沒有做過的同學企,此舉當然惹起全班不滿。

當時便有學生站出來反對,他說”有冇搞錯”,A學生搞事你又唔罰,剩係罰唔搞事果。此時,那位老師要脅那位提出反對的求學生要見他家長,在受要脅下那位學生只好忍氣吞聲,以”無聲抗議”(睡覺)來反對那位老師。這件事尚未結束,那位老師對全班學生講了半堂道理,說明責任不在他而在學生(包捉沒有滋事的學生),在講道理的同時,A學生又不停滋事,結果兩堂就浪費了。

同學問,
1. 這種課堂算不算我所謂的”極權社會”?
2. 他們的而且確遵守上堂的規則,對不遵守規則而老師又不理的學生,他們可怎辨?
3. 他們已經向老師投訴而又不受理(不能帶出一個理性的討論),他們如何才能為他們聽書的自由爭取到平衡?

我的論點是建基於人與人相處需要和平這點上。如那同學所說的屬實,他們已進入了戰爭狀態而白白浪費了兩堂。當戰爭已發動了,並不是短期可以容易解決的。因其中已牽涉到權力,沖突及情緒等問題。以巴問題就是最好的例子。只任何一個人不願意和解就很難和解的了。

問題是如果各不相讓,戰爭狀態繼續維持下去,最後受害的人會是誰呢?最有可能的是學生白白浪費了學習的時間,正如這幾天的情一樣。當然有人可以說為了公義,為了一口氣,這場仗一定要打下去,即使浪費了全班全年的學習時間也在所不可惜。如果全班同意,這是你們的自由選擇,但記住要付出代價。

或者你們可放棄堅持,完全跟從老師的指示,跟風扇事件的處理方法一樣。

除此之外,有其他兩全其美的辨法嗎?既要保住學習的時間,又要保住公義原則。我認為有一個可行但不容易的方法,最困難的是要得到全班的共識。首先,在班房內將話事權完完全全交給了那位老師,忍辱負重,先保住全班的學習時間,但要沖動的年輕人沉得住氣忍辱負重,談何容易。在離開班房後,以車輪戰方式要求該老師作理性的討論,當然跟據同學所說在課堂中並未能引發理性的討論,一兩次的要求多不會成功的。但同學們的優勢是你們在三十多位學生,每天派出兩位代表要求討論,持之以恒,在兩三個月內,我想信你們一定有機會坐下來討論的。透過無數次的理性討論,我相信最後會達到自由的平衡點的。

最大的問題是你們有可能達到共識而實行這計劃嗎?你們願意為學習和公義付出嗎?

這就是為何教育非常重要。實際上,從歷史的高點來看,世界從沒有比現在更和平的時間,其中一個原因我認為就是由於有更多的人受了教育。

50年前,世界是活在二次大戰後的陰影,東西方冷戰的威脅中。

100年前,中國仍然活在帝制中,平民的生命根本得不到任何人權的保障。

200年前,美國才剛獨立,不再是英國的殖民地。

250年前,(1789)世界上第一個非帝制國家法國才出現。

1000年及以前,基本上全世界的政府都符合軍政府的定義。

你說世界是進步中還是退步中呢?為什麼要對世界失去信心呢?當然我對世界亦有很多不滿,但這並不影響我對未來的信心。我身邊的朋友常怨說今天年輕人這樣那樣,但我對年輕人的未來都充滿信心的。There is an old saying: You can’t teach an old dogs new tricks。世界的希望根本就是放在年輕人身上。

最近有一個調查說香港的年輕人多以歌星明星作為偶像,而中國大陸的年輕人則多以偉人和政治人物作為偶像。我身邊有很多朋友都為此對年青人的未來非常擔心。我說這是一個好現像,我希望中個大陸的年輕人都會有一天以歌星明星作偶像。如你在大部份已發展國家做同一調查,我相信結果會同香港差不多.

看事物不要只看表面,為什麼香港和其他的已發展國家的年輕人會作出這樣選擇,而大陸的年輕人會作另類的選擇呢?你認為香港的社會制度比較好,還是大陸的社會制度比較好呢?當然,無社會制度是完美的,我們仍有很多有待改善的地方。如果有一天大陸的年輕人跟我們的年輕人會作出同一的選擇,我相信中國的經濟,政治,自由發展已到了一個很成熟的地步,難到這不是值得高興嗎?

香港現在的問題主要是泡沬經濟和泡沬經濟爆破及社會權力轉移而形成的,很不幸地這兩件事同時在香港發生。

第一個問題亦曾在世界其他很多地方發生過,包括美國,英國及荷蘭等地方.它們不是已從困難中恢復了過來嗎?我相信香港也能克服這個困難,但要多久呢?在美國這個社會結構有高度彈性的地方,在每一個經濟泡沬爆破後,大約需要十年時間調整.在亞洲這個文化傳統比較強的地方,日本用了十五年時間仍然未見到隧道的盡頭.我認為香港的文化是界乎兩者之間,大約需要十五到二十年時間去調整.現在的中學生在十五年後將踏入他們的黃金歲月,同學們應好好用這些時間充實自己,迎接轉形後的社會。

老實講,第二個問題才是我最擔心的.究竟會是香港幫助大陸向世界接軌,還是大陸的政治文化會同化香港呢?香港人不要看扁自己,要是沒有香港的貢獻,大陸也不會有今天成就.話須說回來,如沒有中國大陸的政治動亂,香港亦不可能在五十年代及六十年代吸收了大陸大部份的資本,而發展出今天的資本主義制度.不要天真的以為,香港的成功只是靠著香港人的努力和英國人的政治制度.你看不到五十年代前英人治下一百年的香港始終都是只一個小漁港嗎?

最後,我相信自由的三個原則是保持社會穩定和發展的基礎.

有人說中國人只要有個好皇帝就行了,假設每個皇帝在位二十年,在五千年中華歷史中應約有二百五十個皇帝,你能數出多少個好皇帝呢?即使好皇帝出現了,好皇帝會死去嗎?當好皇帝死去後,權力的真空又由誰來填補呢?中國就這樣掉進不知不覺的治亂循環中間。

又為什麼以中國民族的聰明材智,五千年都未能跳出這個循環呢?我認為其中一個很重要的原因是當權者都喜用愚民政策或抓緊教育,培養出一些自以為成功而不會反醒的人材,從而確保了帝皇的統治.所以懂得自由真正意義的公民才是社會的守護者.

又假設從中國文化五千年的初始我們已有一個穩定的發展環境,每年百分之二,而不是現在大陸所說什麼保七保八,你知道中國會是什麼光景嗎?

1.025000 = 1001979439000000000000000000000000000000000000000

我相信我們早已衝出了太陽系了,亦是這個原固,美國才能在短短的兩百年,由一個寄人籬下的殖民地,變成全世界第一的超級強國.這就是為什麼華盛頓及傑弗遜等美國開國元勳能夠名留青史,這亦是我非常佩服他們智慧的原因.

只要應用我所說的三個原則,牛步向前,每年都有一個小進步已很了不起了.不要相信什麼突然增值,速成班,它們都和泡沬經濟一樣,有著你看不到但非常可怕的後遺症。

你願意華仁成為”超級強校”嗎?

你相信奇蹟嗎?

聖經說,五餅二魚,死人復活,你有見過嗎?沒見過?我也沒見過。

我廿多歲的時候,疼愛我的外婆患了骨癌,瑪麗醫院診斷說她只餘下三個月的壽命。由於骨癌的關係,她只能每天卧牀,承受著痛不欲生的折磨。當家人已作好了最壞打算的時候,我們遇到了一位不收分文,一生贈醫施藥的老中醫-胡炳良醫師。他用了一些很奇怪、我想也沒有想過的方法治好了我外婆的病。我親眼見過給他治癒的癌症病人,不計其數。

這老中醫自己是做紙品生意的。無論是他的生意,或是他的醫術,都可給他帶來充裕的物質生活。可是,他郤將全部的收入,用於贈醫施藥,自己及家人只住在黃竹坑一間不到二百尺的公屋單位裡。人家問他,為甚麽不留一些錢,為家人及子女改善生活?他回答說:「要做我的妻子及孩子,就是要過這樣的生活。」在遇上他後,我才真正明白聖經所說愛人如己的道理。也真正明白,耶穌、聖依納爵及耶穌會眾神父為我立的榜樣。這老中醫雖然不是宗教上的奇蹟,卻是人性上的奇蹟。

在教學上,我從不對學生說“勤力些”,也不叱責他們懶惰。我只會要求他們付出一個合理的時限,同時要求他們專心。

“勤力”是師長對學生最簡單的指導。一小時做不到,勤力些用兩小時。兩小時做不到,勤力些用三小時。要是仍然做不到,就是學生不夠勤力,責任全在學生。

我不是說“勤力”完全沒用,但學生的時間畢竟有限,尤其對落後的同學,低效的“勤力”只會浪費他們僅有的時間。

教學上的突破,對我來說從不陌生。十多年前,我將花了七、八年時間編寫的化學科教材,放在網上供其他學校的老師及同學下載。香港大學教育學院也曾推介這套教材給受訓的老師使用。每年我都收到其他學校老師的感謝電郵,也有一些同學說自修完教材後能在高考考獲優良的成績。

然而,我用同一套教材教導華仁的學生,班中竟有數人不及格。我想,除了教材和教學法外,定有更深層次的原因。從此,我將我的備課時間,大多用在學習效率的研究上,而不再集中在化學科。

我的另類做法,曾幫助一個華仁仔在報名限期後,考進了牛津大學;三個月,令一個華仁仔在SAT中多考一百分;七個月,將華仁高考化學科的優良率提升一倍;十八個月,幫一個會考只有4A的華仁仔在高考中同樣考獲4A而進入醫學院。

現在,我期望的,不是教學上的奇蹟,而是人性上的奇蹟。

後記:
我個人從來都未遇過奇蹟,直至2016年中。我參加了一個由慈幼會江神父舉辦的聖體降福禮儀,當時是我人生第一次遇見江神父,他連我叫甚麼名字也不知道。在禮儀中,他吩咐參加者,一個跟一個每人跪在聖體面前祈禱大約三分鐘,然後會轉告他從耶穌接收到的啟示。
禮儀後,有一個時段,大家可自由分享。很多參加者都有分享江神父告知的啟示,但大多都很一般性,如神很愛你、你要寬恕自己等。
然而,他告訴我的郤很特別,「我不知道你在做什麼,但耶穌被你所做的事觸動。」

My email dialogue with the school supervisor

After reading my email dialogue with the school supervisor in the last 4 months, I hope you will understand why I am so worrying about the future of Wahyanites and have to bring the case to the appeal of the public in order to steer the course of the school to ease the suffering of the Wahyanites.

All emails are about the educational direction of the school and none of them is about personal affairs. What kind of Business Ethics do I advocate ?

Remark : The dialogue has been edited to correct some typos and mask some names mentioned in the dialogue.

**********

Incidence : After the School Management Committee meeting of 21 September 2010, a meeting was arranged with the school supervisor to discuss the future arrangement of the Vocablearning Program. The meeting was adjourned on the day and scheduled to continue on 21st October 2010 to discuss how the Vocablearning Program can be carried on on a voluntary and well-informed basis.

**********

Subject: Final figure
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2011 11:30:23 +0000

Dear Stephen,

This is the final figure that I can come up with from all the data that is accessible to me. If you have any data/factors that I don’t know and would like to have them included in the calculation, please send them to me by next Wednesday so that I can include them in the calculation before the discussion of the next Friday (21 Oct).

Paul

**********

Incidence : On 13 October 2010, the school issued a circular to all students without informing me that the school decided to abandon the Vocablearning Program as a regular assessment required by the school. The participation rate of the students dropped by over 2/3 overnight and the hope of closing the performance gap vanished.

Reference: Circular From the School
Why didn’t I enjoy an annual remuneration of over $800,000?

**********

Sent: Friday, October 14, 2011 9:22 PM

Dear Stephen,

I decided to give up my role as a teacher and change my role to a reporter. I designed a leaflet to be disseminated to all stakeholders starting from 25th October. If you cannot provide any evidence to prove that my calculation is subject to serious fault, this version would be close to final.

Paul

**********

Sent : Fri 14/10/2011 21:35

Dear Paul,

What has made you decided to change your role? And why October 25? In what way do you anticipate would this help our students?

Peace,

Stephen

**********

Sent: Friday, October 14, 2011 9:43 PM

Only a teacher needs to consider your question. A report doesn’t.

Paul

**********

Sent : Fri 14/10/2011 21:55

Then can you at least tell me whom am I going to meet next Friday? Would that change the original objective of our meeting?
By the way, I am in Beijing today and this weekend. Just in case you are trying to call me.

Peace,

Stephen

**********

Sent : Fri 14/10/2011 23:46

As long as you and XXXXXXX are available, I am glad to meet you two as scheduled.

Paul

**********

Sent : Sat 15/10/2011 10:40

Sure. We have scheduled 4 p.m. next Friday. Let’s decide on the venue later. Do you have any preference?

Peace,

Stephen

**********

Data Verification

Incidence : On 16th October 2011, I received a call from a former colleague who is in charge of the academic committee and examination records of the school. He said the principal asked him to validate the figures I mentioned in the previous email to the school supervisor. I gave him all the raw data based on which my calculation was done.
On 19th October 2011, I met the colleague in person to double check with him whether he could find any serious fault in my calculation. His only reservation on my calculation was that he was not very sure that the university admission only depends on academic performance.
As the former assistant principal of the school, I know that university admission almost solely depends on academic result unless you have a very significant contribution in other area e.g. olympic medal. All recommendations written for the principal recommendation scheme have never succeeded.

**********

Sent : Tue 18/10/2011 06:32

Dear Stephen and XXXXXXX,

The following is a passage that I am going to post up on my website to explain what I am going to do :

Many people wondered why I resigned from the position of Assistant Principal of Wah Yan College Hong Kong and paid an opportunity cost of about HK15,000,000 to do this vocablearning project instead of lingering in my orginal position until retirement. The following figure explained everything.

“Figure of Performance gap figure”

As an old boy of the school, I have great difficulties in accepting the drastic decline in academic performance of the school in recent years. If the cause of decline was solely due to the decline of the quality of students admitted by the school, probably nothing significant could be done. However, the performance gap as shown in the figure could hardly be explained by this factor.

The presence of the gap implies an annual financial loss of at least HK$38,000,000 to graduates of Wah Yan in term of tertiary education subsidy from the government. If we also consider the earning premium for univserity graduates, the total loss can be as high as $200m per year, let alone the loss in potential and talent of the young men.

With all these years of struggling within the system, I found that it was almost impossible to turn the tide inside the school despite working 7 days a week and sleeping occasionally on the floor of my Assistant Principal room at night.

Eventually, I found this vocablearning project a possible way to break the impasse. For the evidence why the project was deemed to be feasible, please refer to the documents presented to the school management committee of the school on 21st Sept 2010 as attached.

However, the project was still politically infeasible in the school. In order to move the scheme forward, I made a radical move of resigning from my original position. The after-effect of my resignation eventually broke the impasse.

The data gathered in the last year of implementation confirmed by prediction. The project is capable to close the performance gap significantly in 6 to 7-year time.

In spite of the facts that the preliminary result of the project was very promising and I am willing to forfeit the copyright of the project to the school, the management of the school notified the students that the school decided to stop the project as a 10 min. daily assignment without notifying me. Once the students got notified the decision, the participation rate of the students dropped by 2/3 overnight and the hope of closing the performance gap vanished immediately.

“Figure of adrupt drop in participation rate”

If not all wahyanites can be helped to perform up to their normal level, they at least deserve the right to know the situation so that they can make the best possible decision for themselves.

Lastly, a simple arithmetics explained my decision – Is 200,000,000 greater than 15,000,000 / 18 ?

See you both on Friday.

Paul

Reference : Why didn’t I enjoy an annual remuneration of over $800,000?

**********

Incidence : On 21st October 2011, I met the school supervisor in person. The only mistake that he could find in my calculation was that the school had only 90 students in Form 6 but the average Form 5 enrollment was 146.8. Even with all the Form 6 students admitted to university, the admission rate would only be 61% and could not reach my calculation of 75.5%.
For me, if the school has an admission rate close to 60%, I wouldn’t bother to do all the researches that I have done in order to revert the downward trend of the school.
To cater his query, I changed the title of the figure from “Average admission rate of other boy schools with similar intake” to “Average admission rate of other boys’ schools with similar intake upon implementation of HK Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (projected)” before publication because the admission bottleneck will disappear after the implementation of HKDSEE.

**********

Sent : 29/10//2011 9:10
CC : Stephen Chow

XXXXXXX,

Thank a lot for having dinner with me last time.

Yesterday, I attended a parent meeting of my daughter’s school and was presented with this slide (as attached).

Even though XXX is not a top-notch school in the territory (though a good one), Mrs XXXXX XX (the principal) told all the parents that she expected a 75% university admission rate in the first year of HKDSE examination. For the validity of the claim, you can verify this with her when you meet Mrs XXXXX XX personally next time.

If XXX can get 75%, I think for XXXXXXXX XXXXXXX, a school that I taught before, 90% is a very conservative estimation.

If you have the figure for any schools with similar reputation in the territory, please let me know. I hope that it would be much lower than 75% just like us so that we can feel better.

Paul

**********

Sent : Web 30/11/2011 21:22
Subject : Voluntary vocablearning exercise as a well-informed choice

Dear Stephen,

In the last 4 weeks, I disseminated about 550 copies each of the attached leaflets at the footbridge of Wah Yan every school day. Most of the students received my messages about the situation. For the other stakeholders who haven’t been informed yet, I will inform them by other means later.

I hope you can also spend some time to scan through the attachment to understand what messages I am conveying to all stakeholders of Wah Yan. Unlike someone who tells lies and makes baseless claim so habitually, all my postulations, even the hypothetical ones, are all supported by substantial evidences. Please accept the fact that the academic performance gap of Wah Yan is real and we owe all Wahyanites a much better learning environment.

As the only hope to close the performance gap without a total reengineering of Wah Yan, I will not give up my fellow Wahyanites, at least in the next 10 years. Being a reporter is only something I need to do to fulfill my role as a teacher. This is only a step of enlightenment required.

For an organization without an effective self-correcting mechanism, similar to a patient irresponsive to any medicine, a non-invasive treatment is simply not possible.

Perhaps, it is the time to sit down and discuss how the vocablearning project can be carried on as a voluntary and well-informed choice for the wahyanites. Could we have an appointment to discuss the issue as discussed before ?

Attachement : Leaflet To stakeholders, University Admission Rate of XXX, Why did I Pay $15,000,000 ?

Paul

**********

Sent : Wed 07/12/2011 08:19
Subject : Re : Voluntary vocablearning exerrcise as a well-informed choice

Dear Paul,

Good morning. Your messages are received and noted. I will bring up your case for discussion in our next SMC meeting. And you will be informed of the decision thereafter. You have a nice day.

Peace,

Fr. Chow
Stephen Chow, S.J.
Snail Mail: Ricci Hall, 93 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good. (Rom 12:21)

**********

Sent : Sat 24/11/2011 14:38
Subject : Re : Voluntary vocablearning exercise as a well-informed choice

Dear Paul,

The SMC has recently met and we have re-visited our instructions to the school administration regarding your Vocablearning project. The board is satisfied that the administration has carried out the instructions accordingly.
We wish you success in your future endeavors. Most of all, we wish you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas and a healthy 2012! Have an enjoyable vacation.

Peace,
Fr. Chow

Stephen Chow, S.J.
Snail Mail: Ricci Hall, 93 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good. (Rom 12:21)

**********

Sent : Sun 25/12/2011 00:09
Subject : Re : Voluntary vocablearning exercise as a well-informed choice

Dear Stephen,

Thanks a lot for your reply.

Whatever I did when I was in the position of AP or what I am doing as a resigned AP who paid an opportunity cost of $15,000,000, the intention of my endeavor is to close the performance gap so that we can save those unlucky families from the suffering entailed from the gap. I also hope that our sense of comfort or achievement is based on real accomplishment rather than lies, ignorance or blind faith.

Moreover, I would also like to thank you for your blessing on my endeavor so that I can close the performance gap as soon as I could. If you have any further advice on my endeavor, I am always available to meet you in person to discuss what adjustment is desirable so that we can all act for the best interest of the wahyanites.

Yours truly,

Paul

**********

Sent : Thu 05/01/2012 11:57
Subject : Any room for negotiation ?

Dear Stephen,

I only want to save the Wahyanites. Is there any room for negotiation ?

Paul

**********

Sent : Sat 07/01/2012 03:29
Subject : Any room for negotiation ?

Dear Stephen,

I only want to save the Wahyanites. Is there any room for negotiation ?

Could you foresee how this power struggle will end ? Besides the $15,000,000 potential income, I have little else to give in.

Paul

**********

Sent : Sat 07/01/2012 22:44
Subject : FW: Any room for negotiation?

Dear Stephen,

I think as the chairman of the SMC , you are ready be the only one to be responsible for the fate of Wah Yan and the Wahyanites.

Paul

From: Tam Siu Ping George [mailto:sptam@wahyan.edu.hk]
Sent: Saturday, January 07, 2012 5:05 PM
To: Paul Yip
Subject: Re: Any room for negotiation ?

Dear Paul,

There is no power struggling for me at all as the issue has  been handled directly by the SMC since your meeting with the managers in September. The administration is following the instructions from the SMC. Thank you!

God Bless
George

On Sat, Jan 7, 2012 at 3:27 AM, Paul Yip <paulyipkh@hotmail.com> wrote:

Dear Mr Tam,

I only want to save the Wahyanites. Is there any room for negotiation ?

Could you foresee how this power struggle will end ? Besides the $15,000,000 potential income, I have nothing else to give in.

Paul

**********

Sent : Sun 08/01/2012 07:45
Subject : Re: Any room for negotiation ?

Dear Paul,

Good morning. The decision made by the SMC is a collective decision after discussion. It is not one that Mr. Tam or I can just ignore or overrule by our own will. You were once a school manager and you should know the way of proceeding. 

Have a restful Sunday.

Peace,
Fr. Chow

Stephen Chow, S.J.
Snail Mail: Ricci Hall, 93 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong

Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good. (Rom 12:21)

**********

Sent : Sun 08/01/2012 22:18
Subject : Any room for negotiation ?

Dear Stephen,

This is exactly what I know. My experience was that the human dynamic in SMC made any rational discussions impossible. The discussion is actually dominated by one or two very influential members. That is why in democratic country, parliament debate must be conducted publicly to avoid this kind of human dynamic.

I can recall that when I was in the position of the school manager, I raised query on the record on the minutes on what Mr. Tam said and refused to approve the minutes. My query was simply ignored and the meeting continued without approving the minutes of the previous meeting.

In another occasion, I queried the sustainability of the budget. I asked XX XX, an experienced banker, for his opinion. He was simply dumbfounded. Anyhow, the budget was passed without a voting disregarding my objection.

In the past, the two assistant principals, who were the ones knowing the daily operation of the school best (even better than the principal), were the official members of SMC. If they have the gut, they can bring the more realistic information to the SMC.

In the newly formed SMC, their roles were abandoned and SMC is operating in blindness. Could you ask yourself how much time you have spent each week to understand the actual daily operation of the school ? I spent at least 100 hours a week. Do you really understand the real situation ?

No matter what is going to happen in the future, as long as you are the chairman of the SMC, I hope you can fully aware of this human dynamic as everybody will tend to say something that you like to hear disregarding the validity. This is why I requested a public hearing to decide the fate of the Vocablearning project.

Recently, I have made a new website for what I am going to do in order to save the unlucky Wahyanites. I just want to confirm that there is really no room for negotiation before proceeding.

You may ignore all the articles on the site but I sincerely hope that you can read at least this one http://www.savingthewahyanites.net/?page_id=509 and also the attachment.

I have never deceived anybody on purpose. When you first became the supervisor of the school, you once gave me a false hope that I could pin my hope on you to save the Wahyanites.

Now, I get the answer to the question I asked you more than 10 years ago at WYK. “Why me ? Answer : Sorry! Because it is you.” My decision has already been made more than 10 years ago.

Attachment : 當總裁後再聽不到肺腑之言

Paul

**********

Sent : Mon 09/01/2012 03:00
Subject : Re: Any room for negotiation ?

Dear Stehpen,

Disregarding what the decision was, as a good leader, one must has certain ability to foresee the future.

Have you ever foreseen how this power struggle will end eventually ? Or it will not end and protract forever.

(As I have all kinds of hard evidence to support what I am postulating and Mr. Tam has none, I cannot find another more appropriate term other than “power struggle” to describe the situation. I am sorry for my incapacity).

Paul

**********

Sent : Tue 10/01/2012 01:06
Subject : Re: Any room for negotiation ?

Dear Stephen,

I suppose you have read the last email, the link and the attachment.

Try to put your feet into my shoes for just one time which you have never done to me. After reading the article I asked you to read, how do you feel ?

If you still don’t quite understanding what is going on, you better ask XX XXXX XXX in private why he refused to attend the SMC meeting when he was the Assistant Principal and the real reason of his resignation.

Whenever I have disagreement with you in any topics, you never even bother to try to find something to persuade me that you are right. I can only see absolute authority, denial and evasion. Considering the evaporation of over 10 million dollars in Jesuit Education Fund going hand-in-hand with 60% below par in university admission rate together with all other sufferings that the students endured in the last 15 years. Could you provide me a plausible explanation how the happening of all these are based on sound judgments of SMC ?

In my perception, you only keep throwing out slogans which have never been materialized – namely Accountability to stakeholders, Fifth disciplines, High university admission rate, Group Decision, System Thinking, Mission and Vision, Fighting spirit, Positive Thinking. Whenever one doesn’t work / even has never been fully implemented, you simply throw out another slogan without looking at the reason of why the last one fails or not completed. I am not the same as you. I don’t believe in lip service. I truly believe that the Vocablearning Project will work and I will push it forward to the utmost in order to save the Wahyanites.

From all these, I can hardly persuade myself that the decisions of SMC are even right in half of the time. Is the top priority of SMC absolute authority or the students ? If you believe that authority is always right, why did you show up in the demonstration at Central against the legislation of Article 23? What were you thinking at that moment ?

For me, I understand that freedom of speech and press are the only non-violent means to rein in the abuse of power by authority. That was why I was at Central. As a layman who judges right and wrong, just and unjust mainly by evidence, I can hardly see any difference between the current Jesuit Administration and an incompetent theocracy. If you know history, I think you can recognize how much suffering an incompetent monarchy can bring to its people ? An evil intention is simply not necessary.

If you are incompetent in saving our beloved Wahyanites, let me pay the price to do the job.

One more thing, I wonder you have any knowledge in the cause heart attack, cancer and severe chronic muscle pain. The causes of onset are not only genetic or pathological. They are also highly stress related. I have never heard of any school with 2 servicing teachers passed away in 3 years, 2 teachers suffering from cancer and 2 with chronic muscle pain so severe that they need to attend medical treatment regularly.

The mental health of many teachers have already been tortured to their limit. XXXX XX, one of the most amenable and responsible teachers I admired most 15 years ago became a flinching teacher I can hardly recognize in these few years. Please read his blog to understand his change more : http://laosao.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/怒不可遏/ & http://laosao.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/入鄉隨俗/ .

I also need to save my colleagues by giving them a school of more teachable students so that they can enjoy their teaching more.

Good luck,

Paul

**********

Sent : Tue 10/01/2012 12:27
Subject : Re: Any room for negotiation ?

Dear Stehpen,

Besides the 100 hours/week I spent in WY, I brought a scooter 10 years ago so that I can pay irregular family visits to different families to help them to solve some intricate problem about their son and pay more visits to HKU library to find what I need to solve the problem I encountered. Have you ever pay any family visit to any family in trouble to understand their real difficulty ?

Furthermore, your position simply disallows you to hear the truth. Even the position of assistant principal disallows me to hear the truth. In an XXX function held in the XXX school hall where you were one of the guests. I met the wife of Mr XXXXX XX (the former chairman of PTA) as her daughter is also studying in XXX. She asked me whether I have resigned from the position of AP. After getting my confirmation, she told me that she is going to send his son abroad and commented that WY was not running well. XXXXXX simply acknowledged the comment besides his wife with a sad face. I know her many years but she has never expressed any discontent about the school when I was a staff member of WY. You will never see XXXXXX expressing such a feeling or saying something similar in SMC, SMC is just a totally different game which makes almost everybody a white liar.

Unlucky, because of your current position, you may never near the truth from any current SMC members. But if you really want to find out their true opinions, I have some ex-SMC member recommended for you. They have no direct connection of interest with the school anymore, they may be more willing to tell you the truth – XXXXXX XX, XXXXX XXXX and XX XX but you must make appointment with them in private and in secret.

When I presented my statistical analysis to XX to seek for his comment, XX told me that he knew that our students were underperforming but didn’t realize that they were underperforming by that much. Perhaps, I know the situation even better than some colleagues who are handling the raw data first hand. Regarding your doubt on my conclusion of my statistical analysis, I have a book for you – How to Lie With Statistic (as attached). I think you need to read this before listening to any statistical reports from Mr. Tam in the future. On another hand, if all statistics are lies, I wonder on what basis your PhD degree was earned from Harvard.

When I told XXXX XXX that according to my mini-survey, there was only about 20% of the students knowing how to sing the school song from the beginning till the end. As the music panel chairman, he could hardly agree with my postulation. However, after he had done his own survey whose result agreed with my postulation, he promised me that he would include the school song in every music examination to make sure every wahyanite will be able to sing the school song solo. Even after my departure, I know that the exam paper of F1 of this Dec is still following this directive.

Perhaps, I am the one in Wah Yan who knows the overall picture best, better than everybody.

When I was distributing the leaflets to the students at the footbridge of WY in October, one parent of a Form 1 boy and one parent of a Form 2 boy whose sons both were using the Vocablearning program regularly approached me and asked me the same question : “Why didn’t the school put the interest of the students first and use your program to greatly enhance the learning efficiency and English standard of the students ?”.

My answer to them was : “Don’t be too naïve, monarchy never put the interest of its people first”. They both offered me that they are willing to take the lead to garner the support of the parents in order to channel the view of the parents to the school so that my project can be moved forward. I turned down their offer simply because I know that no matter what is going to happen, if I disappear the conflict will disappear soon. If any parents are involved, the power struggle may go on forever. Moreover, I also don’t want them to take the blame that may come afterwards. I am ready to take the blame because the campaign is a well-thought decision to me, I don’t know whether they have mulled the issue over thorough enough.

Some of my Wah Yan classmates also advised me to enlist the support of more people for my campaign but I simply don’t want anybody else get involved, though I know that this may not be a very wise political decision for my Project and myself.

Last time when you commented why I read so many books and what the benefit was, I suppose high reading ability is an asset rather than a liability as long as you can read fast, absorb the material well and evaluate the reading critically. If you ask the public, I think 99.99% of the educated population will agree with me. Your 0.01% mentality may be the core reason why I found so difficult to communicate with you. As an education institute, does the school advocate reading ? Or you are actually an advocate of obscurantism ?

No matter how dreadful you are about reading, as a Jesuit, there are 4 books that you must read 徐光啟與利瑪竇, 清代宮廷中的外國人, Thomas F.Ryan SJ From Cork to China and Windsor Castle 1889-1971 , Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and Beyond.

They are history books about how the Ignatian Mission advanced and relapsed in China, though the real lesson that we have learnt from history is that human does not learn from history. So, history simply repeats itself. Anyhow, the essence is simple. Whenever the missionary action is in line with the Ricci principle, the Ignatian Mission advanced. Whenever the missionary action deviates from the Ricci principle, the Igantian Mission relapsed.

Then what is Ricci principle ?

Because Chinese is a very pragmatic race with a very old culture, it is very difficult to ask Chinese to believe in what has no apparent application and what is different to their original belief. You can only earn their trust by presenting them with something really work in daily life and don’t challenge their original belief before you can really earn their trust. Therefore, whatever message you are trying to convey, the message must be logical and workable at the very beginning and the pace must be very modest. A scientific approach is the best approach for the missionary.

If you have difficulties in reading so many pages, the followings are the pages I recommend.

徐光啟與利瑪竇 Pg 21-22, 35-36, 53, 59, 61, 63, 77, 79, 81, 83, 110

清代宮廷中的外國人Pg 7, 48, 60, 76, 126

Thomas F.Ryan SJ From Cork to China and Windsor Castle 1889-1971 (My comment : A great man in the history of the missionary in Hong Kong who attracted the attention of Thomas J. Morrissey, S.J. to come from Ireland to write a memoir for him 39 years after his death. When he was the supervisor of the missionary, he was ousted by his four consulters because he was considered too ambiguous, secular and empathetic to the poor. The prime site of WYK was obtained solely because of his contribution to the secular society and his good working relationship with the government.) Pg 9, 15, 22, 34, 64, 66, 69, 72, 77, 79, 81, 83, 86, 92, 94, 99, 101

Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and Beyond, by Thomas J. Morrissey, S.J. Pg 90, 181, 350, 393, 481

Your limited knowledge base and narrow perspective disallow you to be a competent supervisor. Your incompetency will only make many people suffer and the Ignatian Mission stagnant. You must overcome your incompetency as soon as you can.

True Peace can only be found in Justice, not in lip service or muffling. Perhaps in God as well, if you can make everybody believe in your God. But such a fundamentalist approach will surely bring war before it can bring peace. If you have any doubt in the concept of Justice, I have two books for you, the first one is a masterpiece by John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, the most influential academic writing in 70s by Harvard University Press. Another is a popular reading, Justice, What’s the Right Thing To do by Michael J. Sandel, a Professor Government at Harvard University. If you can’t find the books in library, I can lend you my copy or I can scan them and sent them to you in pdf files.

The teaching of Catholicism appeals to me because it helps me to believe that we are all images of God and the relationship among all of us is actually brotherhood. This gives me a good reason to love everybody. No matter who has hurt me deliberately or unintentionally, I always consider him my brother and do not consider anybody my enemy. However, in Wah Yan, at the moment, I can only agree with XXXX’s observation : “We are all equal but some are more equal than the others.”

(If you have no memory about what I claimed to be spoken by you, it is okay. I give generous allowance to any person with a medical history of epilepsy. My youngest son was also suspected to have epilepsy when he was a toddler. I have spent considerable time trying to understand the disorder. It definitely has impact on memory.)

Good Luck,

Paul Yip
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. (Author Unknown, some said spoken by Emund Burke)

Attachment : 徐光啟與利瑪竇, 清代宮廷中的外國人, Thomas F.Ryan SJ From Cork to China and Windsor Castle 1889-1971, How to Lie With Statistics

**********

Sent : Wed 11/10/2012 20:29
Subject : Fw : Any room for negotiation ?

Dear Stephen,

The time is running out. I still want to work out a win-win arrangement for the wahyanites before the whole power struggle runs out of control of anybody.

Is there really no room for comprimise ?

Good luck,

Paul
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. (Author Unknown, some said spoken by Emund Burke)

**********

Sent : Thu 12/01/2012 16:30
Subject : Re: Any room for compromise?

Dear Paul,

I have suggested this song to you in the past. It is a great song that I often turn to when I feel frustrated. Let me share it with you here. I pray for peace in your heart.

Peace,
Stephen

常言道鬥爭緊握了拳頭
拳頭若放開可擁抱四週
靜默放心裡笑容隨左右
前途在你手你找到沒有
常言道強闖少不免逆流
人柔弱似水卻可以載舟
命運會刻意鍛練你身手
但勤勞是你的最佳老朋友
*得失只一念 風景不轉心境轉
煩惱來自偏執一切也依戀
風吹草動 命途亂了我不亂
交出了平常心再隨緣 *
Repeat *
la-la-la … la-la-la …
萬物有天意我們有雙手
來而復去的看一看便�
la-la-la … la-la-la …
自在放心裡往事留背後
無為是最高你聽過沒有
自在放心裡往事留背後
淨雲後曙光看一看便透

Stephen Chow, S.J.
Snail Mail: Ricci Hall, 93 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good. (Rom 12:21)

**********

Sent : Thu 12/01/2012 19:01
Subject : 21-Day Hunger Strike

Dear Stephen,

Regarding the suffering of the students, parents and my poor colleagues, my determination to change Wah Yan is resolute but how to change Wah Yan is always discussable. If you consider what I have done in the last ten years after the meeting with you at WYK, I think you will not doubt my determination. Do you still remember “純如鴿子,機警如蛇” ? Stubbornness or evasion is not the answer.

From Jesuits in Hong Kong, South China and Beyond, by Thomas J. Morrissey, S.J. pg 481

The Visit of Fr. Pedro Arrupe (1971)

Jesuit morale was lifted considerably by the arrival on 18 April of the Jesuit General, Pedro Arrupe, accompanied by F. Herber Dargan. In his addresses and sermon he stressed the importance of prayer, and that Jesuits should have “a personal love for the personal Christ”, should enjoy an “internal freedom” and hence be open to the Spirit, and seek the magis, the greater glory of God in their service. They must be modern men, “always open, absolutely ready to change”. “This”, he acknowledged, “gives rise to questions and problems for many people and these have to be faced squarely”. In accordance with Vatican II and the 31st General Congregation, the Society had a desire to adapt itself to the modern world in order to bring the Christian message to it.

“We have something to sell, very important, and that is Christ, that is faith.
But we have to know the market … then try to adapt … and this means a
great change in many things, external structures, community life, in personal
attitudes to people, to works, the criteria of selecting ministries.”

This raises the problem, “how far can we adapt?” and this had led to “divided opinions in the Society”. “We should be ready”, Arrupe insisted, “to change all accidentals if it is necessary, but we cannot change one jot of essentials” because then “we would be no more the Society of Jesus.”

The General made a plea for sincerity, and openness in squarely presenting any question or problem, and not keeping such matters inside, unmanifested. He was very conscious that there was a body of Spanish Jesuits, self-styled jesuitas de la fidelidad, who believed he was misleading the Society and had sent criticisms of him to the Vatican Secretariat of State. Arrupe’s own sincerity, openness, and obvious goodness, and what his successor called his ‘radical optimism’, easily won over the vast majority of Jesuits, who regarded him with reverence and affection.

After reading the book “The power of now” you gave me at my resignation, I think the book is talking something similar to “空性emptiness” in Buddhism. If I was a monk with no family to take care of or a school supervisor with no students and staff to take care of, I could concentrate all my effort in my own well-being and self-transcend to “emptiness”. Unfortunately, I have already been brainwashed by the compassion advocated by Catholicism and I have difficulties in abandoning my little brothers all in a sudden.

Perhaps, after the 21 Day Hunger Strike if my heart is totally dead, I will try to forget all the catholic teaching I received and convert myself to a Buddhist. As a Buddhist, I can try to convince myself that there are no innocent people in the world. The suffering of the seems-to-be innocent is actually the result of the crimes they committed in their previous lives. When I got totally convinced, I think I would be able to transcend to the level that the song, a song based on Buddhist belief, described. But have you ever considered to release your fist first for the sake of the Wahyanites ?

At the moment, I will go on the 21-Day Hunger Strike as planned 6 months ago. To match the date of the Hunger Strike, the propaganda has to be started latest by next Monday.

As a 21-Day Hunger Strike is a novel thing in Hong Kong, I think all the local media and perhaps a no. of international media will come to cover the story. They will have 21 days to understand the story thoroughly.

I wonder when any School Managers or opponents of the Vocablearning Project is interviewed by the media, their answers to the scenario would be very different from what they have ever said. The human dynamic in a public hearing is just totally different from the human dynamic in a secretive Broad room in which more than 80% of the Broad members were appointed by the Chairman of the Board.

Try to consult somebody you trust but haven’t been consulted by you yet , I hope he will be able to give you a new perspective about the incidence.

Be peace with you as well,

Paul

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. (Author Unknown, some said spoken by Emund Burke)

**********

Sent : Sun 15/01/2012 02:50
Subject : Just a typical Moral Development Question

Dear Stephen,

If you were the production manager of the 三鹿集团股份有限公司 and very sure that they were selling tainted milk which is harmful to babies, would your choice be the same as mine ?

Paul

**********

Sent : Mon 16/01/2012 02:49
Subject : Costia Concordia ran aground

Dear Stephen,

Recently, the captain of the Concordia ran the cruise around and cost the lives of eight and a ship worth HK$4.4 billion. Do you think that he did so deliberately ? Just negligence and a position of power would be enough.

I understand that even a 21 day Hunger Strike may not be able to change the mind of the current administration. History tells me that a persistent political watch dog may be what Wah Yan needs to steer the course of the school back to the right track so that the Wahyanites of the future do not need to suffer from what the current students are suffering.

Paul
(I don’t have any evil intention. If you can point out any of my ignorance or negligence, please let me know.)

**********

Incidence : In the period from 16 Jan 2011 – 20 Jan 2011, I found a mediator to try to arrange a meeting / a telephone dialogue with the school supervisor as a last-ditch effort to avoid the escalation of power struggle. The school supervisor informed me through the mediator that he would not meet me in person / talk to me through the telephone.

**********

What kind of Business Ethics do I advocate ?

Reviewing the economic crises ever happened in history, say the recent US sub-prime mortgage or EU debt crises, most of them originated from greed and lies.

Greed is so ingrained in human nature and probably we have no way to eradicate it. On another hand, we can debunk lies if people are more knowledgeable and information is more transparent.

US sub-prime mortgage crisis originated from a lie that the finanical industry can control the risk of the high risk sub-prime mortgage market by using financial derivatives e.g Credit Default Swap.

EU debt crisis originated from a lie that many EU countries monkey about their debt figures in order to reap the benefit of joining Euro.

To avoid these kinds of crises, transparency and freedom of press are what we need and that’s why I advocate the Business Ethics adopted by Warren Buffet – Newspaper Test.

All my decisions and speeches including private conversation were made as if there was a hostile newspaper reporter standing next to me. I simply don’t have any personal decisions or speeches that I don’t want to be reported by anybody.

If everybody can adopt this strict standard of Business Ethics, most crises will not happen at all.

Do I love Wah Yan ?

In traditional church teaching, Jesus loves us so much that he is willing to sacrifice his life for us.

I am not as great as Jesus. I am not ready to sacrifice my life for anybody.

I only love Wah Yan to an extent that I am willing to sacrifice half of my personal wealth and put my personal health at risk by going through a 21-day Hunger Strike.

I love both Wah Yan and Wahyanites.

But if I must make a mutually exclusive choice between the two, I choose Wahyanites.

Wah Yan is only a nominal entity, my sweet memory, the sweet memory of many alumni and contribution to the society in the past. Wahyanites are images of God, my little brothers. They are here to learn how to be competent good men; they are not here to be ruined – a term used by a graduate when he grumbled to me.

I could not allow anybody taking advantage of current Wahyanites and Wahyanites of the future using the goodwill of Wah Yan.

The best way to give a fair valuation of the goodwill of Wah Yan is to allow everybody, including the public, to understand the real situation of Wah Yan so that everybody can make an unbiased valuation.

Ingratitude towards their great men is the mark of strong people.  – Winston Churchchill

Why am I fighting alone ?

When I was distributing the Leaflets To stakeholders at the footbridge of WY in October 2011, one parent of a Form 1 boy and one parent of a Form 2 boy whose sons both were using the Vocablearning program regularly approached me and asked me the same question : “Why didn’t the school put the interest of the students first and use your program to greatly enhance the learning efficiency and English standard of the students ?”.

My answer to them was : “Don’t be too naïve, monarchy never puts the interest of its people first”. They both offered me that they were willing to take the lead to garner the support of the parents in order to channel the view of the parents to the school so that my project can be moved forward. (Note : According to a survey conducted by the school, the number of parents opting the vocablearning project as compulsory outnumbered the number of parents opting the project as voluntary.) I turned down their offer simply because I know that no matter what is going to happen, if I disappear the conflict will disappear soon. If any parents are involved, the power struggle may go on forever. Moreover, I also don’t want them to take the blame that may come afterwards. I am ready to take the blame because the campaign is a well-thought decision to me. I don’t know whether they have mulled the issue over thorough enough.

Some of my Wah Yan classmates advised me to enlist the support of more people for my campaign but I simply don’t want anybody else get involved, though I know that this may not be a very wise political decision for my Project and myself.

Academic problem ought to be tackled academically; political problem can only be solved politically.

The university admission rate of the school was declining consistently in the last 6 years.

Including the students admitted through the early admission scheme

Besides the drastic drop in 2010, the university admission rate of the school was declining consistently in the last 6 years. The fact was presented to the School Management Committee on 21 Sept 2011 as supporting evidence to request the committee to reconsider the need of keeping the Vocablearning Project as a means to revert the downward trend.

The downward trend is observed despite the moderate improvement in ALevel Passing Rate and Credit Rate in the same period of time. Considering the fact that the % of residents in relevant age group offered with a UGC-funded program by the government increased from 18.7% to 19.2% in the same period, even if the relative performance of the students was not improving, the later factor alone should attribute an increase in admission rate by at least 2.6% instead of a decrease of 6.9% observed.

The only plausible explanation to this phenomenon is the presence of Grade Inflation in these years, otherwise improvement in grades should go hand-in-hand with improvement in admission rate.

In 1985, the year I took the HKCEE, the school got 141 As (with Syllabus B English for EMI schools) by 4 classes in HKCEE. In 2010, the school got 158 As (without Syllabus B English) by also 4 classes.

In another prestigious school that I taught before, the no. of As they got in HKCEE doubled in the same period of time.

 

Reference : Key Statistics On UGC-funded Institutions
Presentation Slides Presented To SMC

Who else do I need to save ?

Do you know that the causes of onset of heart attack, cancer and severe chronic muscle pain are not only genetic or pathological, they are also stress related?

I have never heard of any schools other than WYCHK with 2 servicing teachers passed away in 3 years in their 30s and 40s, 2 teachers suffering from cancer and 2 with chronic muscle pain so severe that they need to attend medical treatment regularly.

Several teachers also retired early. This is also very rare in any Grand School.

The mental health of many teachers have already been tortured to their limits.  To avoid the repeating of tragedy, I also need to save my colleagues by giving them a school of more teachable students using the Vocablearning Project so that they can enjoy their teaching more.

What does Catholicism mean to me ?

The teaching of Catholicism appeals to me because it helps me to believe that we are all images of God and the relationship among all of us is actually brotherhood. This gives me a good reason to love everybody. I believe that human can only have peace if we can truly love each other and forgive each other in all aspects. No matter who has offended me deliberately or unintentionally, I only consider him a mischievous brother and never deem anybody an enemy.

Love is not only a lip service. We have to understand the need and suffering of others if we really love them. I hope we can all spend some time to understand the need and suffering of our neighbours to serve as a basis of mutual understanding. Through this, we can move a step closer to peace.

The Starfish Story

Original Story by: Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.

Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the sea. The surf is up and the tide is going out.  If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf.  Then, smiling at the man, he said… “ I made a difference for that one.”