“Dear friends, be merciful”, pleaded Brother Joseph at the end of his morning weekly message. His speech was no mere preaching or an elderly person’s storytelling; though, he did tell us a biblical story – the prodigal son – in the perspective of the merciful father. Brother Joseph’s message was a call to action for us all to respond to this Jubilee year of Mercy. We were given advice about the actions we could take. They could be merciful acts to provide physical needs, such as food for the hungry. On the other hand, merciful acts could also be spiritual in nature, such as comforting broken hearts, forgiving offenses and praying for those in need, all of which we can perform readily on a daily basis. So let us heed the call and “Be Merciful”. Even a little act of mercy can make a big difference in somebody’s life.
This morning, Mr. Shing introduced to us an ability we rarely talked about – the delayed gratification – the ability to resist temptation for immediate pleasure in exchange for a better reward in the future. Mr. Shing observed that the popular culture nowadays was promoting immediate gratification in the expense of our future, like borrowing money to satisfy our nonessential needs. This trend is harmful to our personal development and future success. As pointed out by various examples in Mr. Shing’s message and numerous research studies in psychology, students who could delay their desires for immediate gratification were much more likely to be successful. You might think choosing to study before exams instead of gaming away your revision time is an easy decision. It actually requires an ability that takes effort and patience to build up when we are still young. Let’s take this message to our hearts and cultivate delayed gratification so our minor sacrifices at the moment can be translated into bigger rewards in the future.
This week, Mr. Leung shared with us the power of positive thoughts. Just as electricity drives all the electrical appliances, our thoughts drive our action. Brewing positive or negative thoughts in our minds can lead to drastically different results in daily events. Mr. Leung also gave us some advice to promote positive thoughts, such as staying with positive-minded people and read encouraging books. So let us take Mr. Leung’s message to our hearts. Weed out negative thoughts that may destroy us and cultivate positive thoughts that will make us winners. Remember, "Your thoughts are the architects of your destiny"!
This week, Mr. Pong shared with us his insights in understanding “Family Spirit”, one of the 5 core values in all Marist schools. This Family Spirit has something to do with the feeling of belonging to the brotherhood, a feeling we all share strongly when we sing the school anthem or shout three cheers at the end of big events. Family Spirit also encompasses the feeling of “being at home”, which, according to St. Marcellin Champagnat, is a feeling of being welcomed, accepted and valued by members of the school community. Mr. Pong encouraged us to look at each other through the eyes of the “father” in Jesus’ parable – the Prodigal Son. Of course, not all of us are prodigal sons, but we certainly have rough edges that are not welcome in the eyes of others. If we cultivate this “family Spirit” envisioned by St. Marcellin Champagnat in our campus, we will definitely make this school a place where all Xaverians call home.
Mr. Leung shared with us an important insight today – self-discipline is an important ingredient for success. Unfortunately, while many acknowledge its importance, few actually work on it. It is a skill that helps us to follow through our plans, to persist in pursuing our goals and to persevere in the face of adversity. Mr. Leung gave us some useful tips on how to build up our “self-discipline muscles”, such as accepting the 3-day-no-playing-mobile-phone challenge. With self-discipline, we will be catapulted towards success; without it, we are prone to fail due to our lazy human nature. So let us take today’s message to our hearts and acquire self-discipline, one of the most signifying Xavieran character.