Aung San Suu Kyi’s Speech
One of my favourite dicta is that people should not be categorized as good or evil, wise or stupid. It would be much more sensible to divide them simply into learners and non-learners. In between the two extremes would be a broad spectrum graded on the degree to which individuals are capable of correct assessment and understanding of the learning material at their disposal. Here of course I’m giving a very broad definition to learning. It would involve much more than what could be acquired from any one institution or from any one formal teacher. It would mean a process of gaining such knowledge and experience as would help us to cope with the challenges that life throws at us and to find ways of enhancing our own existence, as well as that of as great a portion as possible of all the other occupants of our planet. To put it in another way, the highest form of learning would be that which makes us caring and responsible citizens of this world, and equips us with the intellectual means necessary to translate our concerns into specific deeds. Surely such a view of learning is in harmony with the idea of education as conceived in the motto of Hong Kong University – Wisdom and Virtue. One hundred years of furnishing the world with young people who have been provided with the capacity to think independently, to express those thoughts cogently, and to use them for the betterment of our world is an achievement of which this University can be justly proud. The hopes of its founding fathers have been more than realized. At the foundation laying ceremony Sir Frederick Lugard hoped that the graduates of The University of Hong Kong would exert an influence which will be immeasurable in the future among the 400 millions of China’s population. Little could he have envisaged such an institution as this one of today, internationally renowned and one that attracts students from all over the world, who will one day exert an ever-widening influence on the...
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