Chapter 25 Reading, Watching and Listening


Reading is food for the mind and heart. If what you read is contaminated

they you will get sick. As you are careful about eating clean food so you must be careful of what you read. It is as simple as all that.


To start with I must say that I read few books a year! I have much to read in terms of a teacher and a priest. For a priest, there is the Scripture reading every day, together with the Priest’s Breviary, which takes about an hour a day. For a teacher, there are many things that come to hand, besides preparation work and homework to deal with.


I never buy books, nor have I done so from being a teenager. At school and university, I never bought books. I relied on teacher’s notes and libraries. And I still keep that custom. I do not like to have books in my room. We Jesuits have a private library which I use, and there is the resources of the School Library which are vast.


I keep away from magazines and other printed matter, but I do spend four of five years a week with a London Catholic weekly publication, called the Tablet. It contains Catholic articles and opinions, Catholic news and comments, together with Catholic documentation, news and book reviews, which I consider important. I have been doing this for the past forty years.


As with the press, I grudgingly give twenty minutes a day to the South China Morning Post, which has been my habit for the past decades. I know that it forms many of my opinions and attitudes. It keeps my concerns to those of Hong Kong and China, but somehow I might be better off with it!


Finally I have to warn about reading books which are too difficult. I have made myself miserable and unhappy by reading many books, which were too difficult for me! As students need gradated reading, they also need guidance in what they read. As adults, we need to read what is of our level and what can help us grow and also recreate us.


I have often been advised to read novels and light literature for relaxation and also to broaden my interests. Here I have not followed advice, and so I am what I am today. Further, I have been advised to read Chinese books and light reading which I have failed to do, so I am like a foreigner to Chinese! And I must confess that I feel reading books and the mass media tend to take me away from helping people and doing more important activities!


Then as for watching, I avoid television as much a possible. I never watch TV News or features, but I do spend three or four hours a week on programmes like Newsline, Pearl Report and those on the environment.

I realise that young people are formed by the comics and films they see, but they are not what I watch.


More important than television and videos is the Internet and Web, which has opened up such a vast universe of knowledge. Viewing TV has decreased with the greater access that the computer brings. It has entered into my life as I use the Internet for about an hour a day. But I try to restrict myself. Students spend much time on computer games and the Web. That is not for me, nor I think any serious student!


What of listening? Here the radio has played an important part in my life since I was very young. While at primary school, I listened to the BBC. Even these days, I have to discipline myself with listening to its many programmes. I restrict myself to an hour a day, listening to religious programmes and those that deal with the environment. It is enriching but also tempting away from serious reading and work!


You know a person by his friends. Tell me about your friends and I know you. Well, I consider books as silent friends. Perhaps I should add films and videos and the on line avenues in the list of friends that most people have. I caution the use of time on them and warn of their influences.


If you choose well what you read and watch and listen to, then indeed you are blessed. As I have trusted friends, so I also have a few “trusted friends” in the books I read, items I watch and progammes I listen to. (757)


第二十五章 健康


祝人健康是好事,沒有健康,生命是痛苦的,也不會充滿生氣活力,我每天祈禱求得到健康,力量和歡樂。



但是,我不喜歡別人談論他們的健康,將醫療過程,甚至診斷都詳詳細細講出來,老年人喜愛講他們病痛和身體的傷殘,這是無補於事的,倒不如努力去做運動,注意飲食,發展好免疫系統,生活過得更健康,那不是更好嗎?


回想起我父親,他從不找醫生看病或吃藥,他說如果你能夠負擔得起的話,喝一杯熱白蘭地或威士忌,便是最佳治療法,我母親剛好相反,所以,她希望我做一個醫生,但是自五十年前起,他們認為這是他們的報酬,醫療業務已大有進展,很多人要服用藥物。


我過往的身體不好,一直是一個虛弱多病的男孩,例如,我小學三年級時,因心臟有病,要臥床一年,我一直都面黃骨瘦,我在二十三歲前,一直都患有周期性偏頭痛,在學校我時常避免上體育堂,我很少玩球類活動。


有一位年老的博神父(Fr. E. Bourke),他七十二歲還自己駕車,打網球,他令我信服,我是要多做運動的,由一九六六年至二零零零年,我放棄緩步跑,我應該練太極,但我精神又不夠集中。


我喜歡自跨自己不看醫生,或服食藥物,某程度上這是事實,自一九九七年,我有特別的榮幸,得到舊學生替我檢查身體。


過去的六年,我每逢到了夏天,我的精力便低降,或者,可能是因為缺少了精力旺盛的學生,給與我能量,二零零五年的夏天,我察覺到自己精力到了低點,顯示出我快到達生命的終點了。我驚覺到,如果我要把自己一生寫成文章,我一定要盡快開始做,得到陳海家的幫助,我全心投入,寫有關我一生的事情,我心目中的對象,是認識的的老師們,我教的學生和他們的家長,我教過超過一千個的學生,我希望他們透過更深刻認識我,他們可以學會生活得更好。


我時常都想過簡單的生活,吃普通的食物,我後期成為了素食者,一方面為了環保,一方面為了自己的健康。


人一生心滿意足,不擔憂,不緊張,這是健康生命的重要因素,由於我很少走路,很少運動,所以,更要加上刻意的體育活動。


最後,最合我性情的最佳藥物,便是「笑」。