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1 March 2017

1 March 2017
I was standing at the crossroad outside school for a few mornings, in the hope to stop students from jaywalking shortly before the 7:55 bell. That seems to be useful because once students walked past me, they ran very quickly to the school gate in the attempt to beat the bell. More often than not, these students were still stopped by the discipline teachers at the gate. But the next scene baffled me: once being booked, the latecomers walked upstairs slowly.  Hmmm … the students don’t want to be late for school, but don’t mind being late for class. I don’t understand this mentality, but I don’t think you can call it generation gap, just yet.
Shortly before Chinese New Year, I had a gathering with graduates from a few years back.  They are now 26, 27 and have started work for a few years.  A conscientious girl said she did not know how to make sense of her life: she firmly believed that at 27, she should have “achieved” something but she didn’t want to work too hard for it.  I asked why she didn’t want to work hard toward it, she responded: “because I want work-life balance”.  I was dumbfounded for two seconds and I said: but work is a part of life.  She nodded unwillingly.
We have compartmentalized our thinking: “work is boring, play is good, so when I am not playing, I am not happy”.  But if we have chosen a task we enjoy doing, we will want it to be productive, we can find fun and joy in it.  Likewise, many of us like travelling, but I am not sure individual flight attendants or tour guides share the same sentiment on every trip.
We run faster to catch up, but if we wake up earlier and start earlier, we don’t have to run to beat the school bell, or beat deadlines, at all.  School is a part of life; have fun.
Anson Yang