You have a role in the world
It is a moment of truth, this world is chaotic, dangerous, exciting, evolutional, and opportune. You are chosen to change the world but the challenge would crash you before you could achieve your goal. Fortunately, there is a superman inside you to lead the way. Many people went through a similar journey to a successful life.
Charles Dickens quoted in A Tale of Two Cities "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair."
Dickens loved reading since he was a little boy but did not receive a formal education. His father was locked up due to the failure to repay the debt when Dickens was 12 years old. For 2 years, he worked in a factory 10 hours a day to support his family. Upon his father's release, they moved to Camden Town and Dickens attended Welling House Academy for 2 years.
Soon after that, he joined his cousin to become a freelance reporter at age 16. He wrote articles for London lawyers to circulate within their common circle. When Dickens was 20 years old, he worked as a political journalist in reporting on Parliamentary debates. He gained public attention at age 24 with a serial publication of The Pickwick Papers. His passion for editorial and writing strived him to write many famous novels in the era of Queen Victoria.
About the same time, a young Naturalist, Charles Darwin freshly graduated from College joined the voyage of the Beagle - vessel HMS Beagle to explore the coastline of South America.
Young Darwin conducted the routine work to produce accurate nautical charts showing navigational and sea depth information for the navy and commerce. Young Darwin was curious, energetic, patient, and self-motivated. He convinced the captain to allow him to spend most of that time on land investigating geology, making natural history collections, and collecting botanical specimens. Darwin kept careful notes of his observations and theoretical speculations. In cliffs near Punta Alta of Argentina, he made a major find of fossil bones of huge extinct mammals, indicating recent extinction with no sign of climate change or catastrophe. He observed several types of the mockingbird. Although they belonged to the same family they looked different from island to island. All the discoveries raised the question to Darwin and he was so desperate for answers. Despite his findings made young Darwin a celebrity, his theory was not accepted by the scientist circle.
Darwin did not stop working on his belief, the Theory of Natural Selection and Evolution. He went on a long literature battle with his peer and his career went ups and downs. At the lowest point of his life, being in financial hardship, poor health, and the death of his baby son, he struggled to stay strong. In 1859, 23 years after the voyage of Beagle, with help from his friends, Darwin published "On the Origin of Species" laying out these 2 theories proved unexpectedly popular and well accepted by the scientific world. Darwin is one of the important scientists in human history.
About Century later, a boy was born to an unmarried couple. They could hardly raise a child due to financial hardship so this one-month-old baby was adopted by a couple, Clara and Paul Jobs. Clara and Paul named this baby boy Steve. Steve Jobs was never a straight-A student but Paul promised Steve college education. Steve Jobs went to Reed College for 6 months but didn't like most of the subjects. He did not want to waste his parents' hard-earned money so he turned into an underground student dropping in some creative classes while at night sleeping on the floor of some friend's dorm or apartment so he could only spend money on food but nothing else. For 18 months, Jobs enjoyed his learning schedule but he chose to move on. He left college and worked at Atari for a year but didn't like it.
Jobs sold his beloved Ford Minivan and successfully convinced his childhood friend, Steve Wozniak to sell his HP calculator to start up a small company- Apple Computer. They had no clue to any business plan yet but Wozniak simply focused on the prototype of Apple I computer while Jobs aggressively met customers to persuade them to place the order. In three years, Apple Computer hit the sales of US $139 million. Jobs had his vision of products and never compromised. Once he came to a decision, he worked relentlessly to promote it. Jobs went through a lot of ups-and-downs but he believed he could change the world and he did it. The rest is history.
On the other side of the earth, one of the world-class billionaire, philanthropist, Li Ka-Shing didn't have a cherishable childhood. His father was a school principal and that was the only proper education he had in his young life. Due to poverty, his family moved to Hong Kong and he started working ever since. His father's life cut short when Li Ka-Shing was only 15 years old. In his sickbed, his father gave Li Ka-Shing the last word which set the framework for his success in the future. Li Ka-Shing always bears his father in mind so he follows his guideline: Don't rely on others; stay self-sustainable to support your own; stay strong and don't lose courage in downtime; to be humble and don't be overconfident in the uptrend. Of course, Mr. Li Ka-Shing has his secret weapons for his tremendous success in the business world which is a highly intelligent, hard-working, sense of perfection, and maybe the sense of insecurity from his childhood keeps him saving humongous reserve. The touching story never ends here.
In 1951, Elsie relocated to Hong Kong with her husband William Elliott, a missionary to Plymouth Brethren church in England. The couple lived in an illegal apartment in a ghetto community in Wong Tai Sin. Elsie was shocked by the poverty, corruption, and injustices there. Due to her sympathy towards Hong Kong society, she became disenchanted with her husband's rigid Protestant faith; actively involved in social issues.
The refusal of their church came to a breaking point when she spoke up for the Hong Kong situation during the church assembly. The church did not permit social activism so she was deeply offended, felt outrageous. Finally, she decided to left the church, divorced her husband and sadly lived in a kitchen in a Kowloon Walled City tenement. Elsie's strong belief supported her skinny body figure to carry on the fight for other's opportunities. She was so determined to help the children from poor families.
In 1954, Elsie founded Mu Kuang English School for poor children near Kai Tak. It started with 30 pupils in an old army tent. For a year, she lived on little else but bread and water to support the school running. At last, she was employed at Hong Kong Baptist college as an English and French teacher but she still insisted to run Mu Kuang under her wings. Andrew Tu was hired to run the school as the principal where they worked closely ever since. In 1985, this couple officially married.
Besides running the school, Elsie believed government policy would majorly affect people's life so she was politically active. She was elected for the first time to the Urban Council in 1963, which heavily dealing with public health, recreation, native culture, food hygiene, street hawking, and food market planning. When Elsie was reelected the second term in 1967, she lobbied with other councilors to have Chinese recognized as an official language. Being a native British, she fell in love with Hong Kong people and the city which strived her to fight so hard for their rights.
While helping homeless people for a shelter, she was bothered by the culture of protection fee. Street hawkers back then had to pay a protection fee to gangster and police force so there would be a chance for them to sell merchandise and foods to local people.
Madam Elsie campaigned so hard to stop such underground practice undoubtfully rocked the boat of the beneficiaries and the powerful people. However, her act was later credited with leading to the establishment of ICAC in 1974. This commission has changed Hong Kong in a big positive way culturally, demographically, economically and politically.
Gabriel Ng was an elite student because of his hard work. He spent most of the time studying and focused on higher education. He made up his mind to serve the medical field while he was a middle school student. With his high score, he got into the Polytechnic Physical Therapy program. He was hired even before his graduation. The job was good but it didn't stop him from getting advance knowledge. He later studied aboard in Australia and finished with a doctorate.
For the passion of passing on his knowledge, he went back to Polytechnic to be a Professor in the Therapy department. There are thousands of students in the medical field would like to thank him for his lecture. He was a dedicated mentor to his students.
Bertha Ngai was a popular singer in school. She competed from school to school and performed with the guitar sometimes. It might not be a traditional career but Bertha just loved doing it so much. After middle school, she went on a countless audition and a radio station offered her a job. Of course, it was fun in the beginning but also stressful because of long working hours, irregular shifts, and numerous peoplerelated issues. Her persistence finally paid off, she held many radio talk shows, music program, even participated in TV and movie acting.
Her colorful life paused when she married and migrated to Canada. She dedicated all the time to her family, taking care of kids. Gradually, her family and kids settled in the community, later, she joined the local radio station to host some programs. Of course, her family and children are always on the top priority, working seems to be her interest and own enjoyment.
Jimmy Au Yeung used to criticize people from the so-called Band One school. These students make no difference from his middle school in terms of learning. Jimmy was an average student always with a signature smile and a nerdy look. He was friendly but just not so popular.
He was good with Mathematic so he got into an engineering program in Polytechnic. Later he worked in a major Bank I.T. department. At night, he studied hard for his degree program which led to his promotion. He was granted the opportunity to lead the department so he traveled a lot to other countries to set up the system. It gained him a lot of experience in the working field and connecting people.
Due to health issues, he chose to quit and migrate to Toronto, Canada. With his sound experience in I.T., he was hired by IBM in Toronto. There were a lot of compliments and recognition from customers and co-worker but Jimmy received a better offer from the City so he leaves IBM to work for the local government.
Throughout his career, Jimmy met so many talented people from Band One school, renowned University, Ivy League college, but he never hid the fact that he completed his middle school in Mu Kuang. He proved himself capable of his ability, hard work and intelligence.
Professor Gabriel Ng, Radio host Bertha Ngai, and IT specialist Jimmy Au Yeung are all alumni to Mu Kuang English School. They outperform many students from Band One school due to their belief in themselves.
Mu Kuang is the breeding ground for a lifetime warrior. Most of the students in Mu Kuang are from grassroots without any privilege. It has already laid the foundation for upward momentum. Madam Elsie Tu gave up everything, the church, her husband for her belief- equality. She truly believed helping children from poor families was to provide them a place, a chance for their education. She went through all the hardships and challenges to found Mu Kuang. For 66 years, it is proven her belief 110% correct. Our alumni all over the world quietly contribute to their communities.
Don't let others label you. Don't let anyone else define you, you define yourself. Let's not worry about your bad situation, it will pass very soon. There are tons of opportunities around the corner, just keep moving and you will see them. Only the sky is the limit, your imagination is the key to your future. You will be proud of being one of the Mu Kuang alumni one day.
Introduction of author :
Simon Yu was an alumni of Mu Kuang English School who had migrated to the United States and lived in the bustling metropolis of New York for several decades. He has always been concerned about Hong Kong where he grew up, especially the Mu Kuang English School which was created by Superintendent Elsie Tu. Hong Kong is now in the midst of the epidemic, and he is very concerned about the younger brothers and sisters who are studying at Mu Kuang. He wants to encourage them. Therefore, the Mu Kuang alumni association invited him to write an article as an expression of sharing his motivation. We also hope that the other alumni will be inspired by this sharing to contribute more to the alumni association. If any alumni who has a manuscript, please don’t hesitate to email it to us. Our email address : firstname.lastname@example.org