On sympathise with others’ feelings
Dear friends in Hong Kong, I can feel your fear. Because we, as human beings, have sympathy, the ability to understand other’s feelings and suffering. In the past, we enjoyed the freedom of speech and we could express our different views on the media. But now, this is the darkest moment in Hong Kong with all the restrictions.
Recently, Apple Daily is forced to close down, because the government could not tolerate different kind of opinions. Key opinion leaders, who have an opposite view from the constitution, start to give up and stop speaking up. It is the feeling of helplessness, the analysis of the political environment and the suggestions they gave that could not stop the situation from getting worse day after day.
More importantly, it is the fear that suppresses us, because anyone could get into trouble from violating the national security law. You do not necessarily speak up or write anything wrong, the police just need to prove you have the intention to harm the safety of the country, then they could take you to jail without justice. To make matter worse, anything could be proof, including your WhatsApp message against the government.
This is what the dictatorship wants with no opposition voice. They want you to feel the fear, so you stop expressing your view. But at the same time, you know what the dictator is fear about? Yes, it is your idea. Your writing in articles, your speech in public speaking, even your T-shirt colour in black, this is the most powerful weapon that the dictator is most fear about.
Your idea is more powerful than a tank or gun, that can be spread and change the world. I am not strong enough to fight in a war, nor get any sort of equipment to fight back. Hong Kong is becoming a police state now with the change of government officials. But this is a war that we need to fight. A war to protect our values and beliefs. We have fear in front of the dictator, but we also have sympathy for those Hong Kongers, who are brave to fight in prison.
We sympathize with those Hong Kongers who got into jail. Unfortunately, there are no easy and quick solutions to all the problems now. An article or a speech could advocate enlightenment in a short period and offer temporary solutions to our suffering.
Many books and YouTube videos on the Internet offer enlightenment and knowledge that could help us. We could not use a local view in Hong Kong to analyse the situation. Instead, we must use an international point of view, with the horizon of history and fully understand the nature of the communist party, which did not change under the surface. Theirs seek of power, the cultural revolution, the wrong decisions made by a dictator causing millions of innocent people dies from hunger, the destruction of traditional Confucius and moral system etc, all these are real, no matter how the political power tried to re-write history.
Reading book can be therapeutic. The lesson we learnt from history, the struggles to fight for democracy, and the advice from old philosopher, all these have a psychological and cognitive therapy component inherent in them. They help us to face the uncertainty in front of us and the political instability foreseeable soon, which affects all of our lives.
Thoughts and beliefs are real forces of the survival of Hong Kongers. They are automatic ways of reacting to the news and government policy that violates our belief system. That is why freedom of speech is important, to keep every mind listening to different opinions and constructive thoughts. The dictator can suppress our voice, but he could not change our belief system. Humans make decisions according to our predominant beliefs and interpret our experiences. You could not force people and violate Hong Kongers core beliefs in democracy, freedom and justice. The stronger the force, the stronger the opposition. It is barbaric to put peaceful protesters in jail, and our sympathy for them help us overcome our fear to fight tyranny.
You do not need any higher education degree to be sympathetic. You do not need to read a lot of books to understand the ethical choice to make. What was happening in Yuen Long for the cooperation between gangsters and police and the unnecessary force by the police against the protesters, these are unethical.
Blue and yellow are different political views, but black and white are about consciousness, your ability to differentiate what is right and what is wrong. I can feel the pain of peaceful protesters who got beaten by the gangers and policemen. It is a critical moment in history, and I urge everyone in the world to have the awareness of the situation.
As Hong Konger, we have the responsibility to communicate our ideas using the power of words. We need to keep telling the truth, such that children in the next generation could understand what kind of evil things the dictator did to us. No matter how the dictator tried to brainwash everyone to believe the greatness of the dictator, we shall never forget the truth and all the unethical things he did to earn power.
We shall use our words to keep a record and express our ideas, with the hope that someone in the future could read and understand. Therefore, reading books is our responsibility as an intellectual, not just for the seek of knowledge, but also a social responsibility to understand what is happening in our society.
Even though a lot of writers is facing pressure from national security law, your idea in an article is like a little fire that could spread around, helping others to be brave and overcome our fear. Your good structure article with a clear message and motivational speech could inspire all the Hong Kongers who are feeling helpless. Your personal story, no matter it is trivial or not, could also make an impact. Human beings have sympathy so that they want to listen, give attention and try to understand. Do not underestimate the power of words, which is our last hope to fight this war.
Originally published at http://victorleungtw.com on June 27, 2021.