Next Stop, Hong Kong! (revised)

Another 3 days and 27 years to go! While these numbers seem different and it seems I have a different agenda this time around. I will be making a fifth return trip into Hong Kong and my perception has changed dramatically.

Years ago Hong Kong was once a strange but picturesque city.  Just recently it has turned “black and white”. As the days grow near, there seems to be no compromise in sight for the people of Hong Kong. Uncanny as it may be and by the looks and sounds of the press, it reminds me of my second grade classroom three years ago. Described using only one word, indocile (not willing to receive teaching, or discipline, – unruly)

Literally just days before boarding the plane, I can’t help to wonder when this will all end. As the press and governments continue their debates on who is right they have different stories to their stakeholders. Only for the need of autonomy for the people and greed of the corporations, it continues. Democracy and sovereignty itself is at war with their borders. “The whole world will have democracy” says Martin Lee, former Chairman of the BAR in Hong Kong.

The streets of Hong Kong today remind me of my kids years ago. Playing and arguing over who will be first  in line for lunch when the bell rings. This is not new however for the Chinese. It happens everyday. One reason is because they must save face or lose everything! It’s that simple. Period. Secondly there seems to be no order or manners in third tier cities (rural parts) due to urbanization in the 1970’s.

We watch as these bullies on the playground stomp over each other. The peoples demands are simple, freedom of speech, press, and their autonomy to be able to choose an elected official. That’s everything to the people. However, it’s nothing for those who never had it in the past.

Once you had something it’s hard to let go. Letting go can be hard because it means letting go of aspects of your past – aspects of you. It also means letting go of your expectations of how things should have been. Letting go hints of being wrong or allowing someone else to be right (when you know that what they did was wrong).

I get it. Both sides need to be heard. The bullies and their victims have rights. Some are right and some are wrong. They stand and defend their positions in line. I get it. But I’m getting off the next stop. I don’t have time to argue. I’m going to teach English in Shenzhen, China. Thus the job of the teacher is to lead by example of how others are to communicate effectively so this never happens again.

Over one hundred years ago, the British and Chinese went to war. The outcome was the birth of Hong Kong, a ninety-nine year lease on a new life. An island of people who choose to be separate, but one day come together as one. Choice or no choice it was written to be. That day has come and now people want to govern their land. Set a new policy for democracy under “rule of law”. Impossible. So let’s all get off the bus together and make peace. Let’s go back to school. Please! We all have another bus to catch.

See everyone in China!