Well-being and critical thinking
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Professor Way Kuo, President of City University of Hong Kong (CityU), encouraged students to help others and themselves and develop critical-thinking skills in his address at the Speech Day of Munsang College (Hong Kong Island) on 8 March.
He shared a story with the students that a lady dropped a glove outside the train when travelling. As she thought that the remaining glove would have no use to her at all, she had a creative idea that she had better threw it out, too, in the hope that someone could pick up the full pair for use. Her action illustrated that we should have innovative ideas of how to benefit others with things that might not be useful to us, Professor Kuo explained.
In another story told by Professor Kuo, a monk was perplexed to see a blind man holding a lantern at night. When asked why he needed the lamp, the blind man replied: “It helps people to see the road in the dark and me as well so that they won’t bump into me,” he explained.
“Helping others very often helps ourselves at the same time,” Professor Kuo said.
Professor Kuo also encouraged students to use critical thinking to determine right and wrong. Using another illustration, he explained that there was a common misconception about why people from India have a lower rate of dementia compared to people in many other countries.
Some people seem to think that the reason is that the spice curcumin found in curry can help prevent and treat dementia. However, because Indians have a shorter life expectancy than people in other countries do, it should not be surprising that there are fewer incidences of dementia in India. They don’t live long enough to develop the condition.
Critical thinking prevents erroneous interpretations of research data, he said.
However, an academic degree is not the end of the road for learning, Professor Kuo concluded. The ability to digest information and apply innovative ideas for the well-being of society was more important, he said.
“CityU offers not only a university education but also opportunities for students to embark on a journey of discovery and innovation. You are welcome to study at CityU,” he said.