Hong Kong Christian Service

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Issue 002
2014 July

Do you hear the voice of others?

Sensitive social issues are getting more and more, those with opposite opinions refuse to give in to the others, a recent example was that an organisation was attacked as "hijacking the International Day for Families" and holding "suspected anti-LGBT movement" while encouraging family and parents participating/ to participate in family activities and promoting the building of a family of man and woman; at the other end, social welfare organisations that offer services and activities for LGBT was criticised and parents were dissuaded from participating in activities organised by these organisations. Even for good friends, when it comes to difference in values when sensitive issues are concerned, would easily end up in arguments hence spoiling the relationship, not to mention disputable sensitive issues that concerns human rights, ethics, politics, resources allocation, as Hong Kong is now intertwined with conflicting opinions and strong emotions.

From the bright side, people who are willing to show their opinions in such a passionate way, reflects how much they care, which is more positive than following blindly or just turning a blind eye. However, the antagonistic emotion that aroused is full of destructive and negative energy, which divert people’s attention to the heated emotion instead of the reason behind, and those who are involved are easily stirred and fell into such an irrational trap.

Then, how can we move on? How to achieve real democracy while respecting the differences?

The most important quality is to listen whole-heartedly in order to communicate in a positive way, which is also one of the qualities of democracy:

  1. To learn to share with a peaceful, rational and sincere heart or to advocate what we believe and uphold, there is no need to be intimidated or hostile towards other people’s opinions, leave some space for people to understand you and let them have the free will and wisdom to choose.
  2. To learn to respect, accept those with different opinions, we should listen to them, without any conspiracy theory, not to discredit others’ opinions, there is no need to affirm ourselves by attacking others.
  3. To learn to analyse in depth, evaluate objectively with an open mind and perspective even the standpoints are different, to accommodate the differences in our values without any prejudices or bully, it is not necessary to burnt ourselves out by being antagonistic.
  4. To learn to share and exchange in a rational and sensible way, real communication is two-way, there are room for dialogue, real communication helps building up consensus. Even with conflicting values, we can still draw the line of respect.
  5. What is more important is to be aware of our reaction and feelings, we have to manage our emotions, and not to attack others by language or bodily violence.

An ideal civil society must be able to accommodate differences, to have peaceful co-existence, benefiting ourselves without harming the rights of other people, defending the rights without infringing on them and learning how to listen is definitely advantageous to the well-being of Hong Kong.

While we query people in power that they did not hear the voices of their people, are we making the same mistake? Do you hear other people’s voices?

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