"Being compassionate requires one to detach from any hierarchical or status barriers and fully be with the other without comparison."
“I’ve been helping out at MLH for almost 2 years. MLH stands for ‘Morning, Light and Hope’, and we work to empower and educate children and young people through creative mindfulness-based workshops like theatre and dance classes. I take care of the operations and assist with the events and activities. My background was in the corporate world and I never planned to work for an NGO, but I always knew that I had a great connection with kids. I think it’s so important to connect with children with compassion; and to do that you need to think like a kid again to understand what they need and feel. Being compassionate requires one to detach from any hierarchical or status barriers and fully be with the other without comparison. Back in the corporate environment it was a lot about comparing with others – flashy brands, glamour and materialistic things, but I now realise that those things don’t bring happiness – human connection and kindness do.” 「我喺晨曦呢度做咗義工差唔多兩年了。『晨曦』有清晨、陽光同埋希望嘅意思，我哋希望透過創意靜心活動，好似戲劇同舞蹈班咁，去鼓勵同教育小朋友同埋年青人。我會幫手處理機構嘅日常運作同埋搞活動。我以前喺商界大機構工作，從來冇諗過加入慈善機構，但係我一直知道自己同小朋友好有緣。同小朋友相處，我覺得最緊要係用同理心同佢哋溝通。要明白佢哋需要啲咩同埋有咩感受，自己都要變返個細路先。用同理心去關懷一個人，首先要放低自己任何嘅階級或者身份地位，唔作任何比較，完全代入對方嘅處境。以前喺商業世界，好多嘢都會攞嚟同人比較，用咩名牌呀、奢侈品同埋物質嘢，但係而家我發現呢啲嘢並唔會令我快樂，反而，人與人之間嘅連繫同埋慈善嘅心會令我開心啲。」
“I live alone and I live simply. For a period of my life I was so helpless, lost and depressed. My husband passed away 10 years ago and I felt so completely lonely. I didn’t have a faith back then but remembered my husband telling me that he really resonated with Buddhist teachings. So after he had gone, I was searching for answers and started to explore this faith myself. Through this journey, I made a lot of friends and also learned the importance of compassion and letting go; I learned that things cannot be forced and that if they are meant to be, they will be. I am also learning to think more from the perspective of others, which is something that I can practise often at MLH. I found happiness through living simply. I also find happiness through interacting with kids and youngsters as they have such simple, pure hearts and are so authentic. I love their positive energy. Despite being in my sixties with no children of my own, I can relate to kids so easily. The teenagers teach me the latest trends and slang around town, that way I stay young too!”
“Prior to retiring a couple of years ago, I worked for 3 decades at a big corporation doing administrative work. I was lucky to have had great colleagues and they were like family to me, but I still think that being around kids is a lot more fun and exciting than being around adults! Young people in Hong Kong are subject to so much pressure and stress from all fronts – family, school and the environment. What they need most at this time is mental and emotional support, and to have a safe haven to rest and recalibrate. Through our mindfulness activities, we hope to provide them with a space to feel calm, relax and reflect – away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The most satisfying part of my work now is seeing young people grow and flourish. When I’m off work, I love to go walking in nature with a group of friends. I also love to play video games and watch cartoons – just like a kid!”