Last Chapter 27 No Regrets!




As I look back over the years of my life, I have no regrets about my many big decisions. I have to add that it does not mean that I always acted wisely and well after making the decisions. There has been my explosive temperament, with outburst of anger and shouting. This might occur one per cent of the time but it is often what is remembered - by students!



As a teacher, it is important that students see self-restraint. Self-discipline is important and perhaps I have some of this, but self-control is even more important and I have not manifested enough of that. But self-restrain is the supreme art and one which ensures success in life. I have been deficient in this regard.


To err is human but to forgive divine! As a teacher I have often written words incorrectly and even made blatant mistakes. Often the students point these out and I can apologize for them. But there are still other mistakes, which I like to forget. I trust in the forgiveness of my friends, and also of the students.


It is however with gratitude and joy that I look back at all the people who were good friends of mine and who helped me more than I deserve.


To write about significant people in my life will need another book, suffice it to state that they are many and meaningful to me.


Life has changed over the decades, and this needs to be indicated. I have yearned that many young men join the Jesuits and follow in my footsteps, but I am aware that attitudes and life patterns have changed. On the other hand I am very happy to count that one third of our teachers are past students of our school. They are carrying on our tradition and values in our new educational context, with its demands and structures.


When I say that I have no regrets, I mean that I am happy with the decisions that I made in the context of what I knew and lived. If none have followed my example as a Jesuit, I trust that two thousand are living up to what they learned in Wah Yan.


Though I have indicated my family life and some experiences, I have not described the social climate and historical setting of the past decades. Political events in the Middle East certainly made my family go to Ireland. The culture of Catholic Ireland and its nationalist spirit have been formative. The events in China and the Cultural Revolution brought great changes to Hong Kong. In the past five decades, the growing prosperity and modernization defy description.


The Catholic Church has seen great changes with the renewal of the Second Vatican Council. This has had implications for Catholic education. In Wah Yan, we have faced continually changes in the educational setting, which has brought us to where we are.


I have then lived in these changes, having to accept them, as everyone has to. Yet within these changes I have determined much in my life. We all have to accept what we cannot change and yet do what we see is good, and seek what is better.


What then could be my last word? It is of gratitude to the students whom I have taught, thanks to the teachers who have put up with me, and indebtedness to Hong Kong, which has given me such a wonderful life.


I have lived in the same room in Wah Yan College for forty years. My fellow Jesuits have been supportive and friendly. I have enjoyed living in the greenery and good air in ten acres of King’s Park. No wonder I have no regrets, but only happiness and joy in my heart.


Then I have to add all those I have known as a priest outside the school, and they are in the hundreds. And all this happens in my adopted home of Hong Kong, so thanks to Hong Kong and all its people who have harboured me and made my life so happy. (682)


第二十七章 無悔今生


回頭看我的一生中,對很多重大的決定我都沒有後悔,我要講明這並不表示我時常做得聰明,或作出決定後實行得好,我的脾氣很火爆的,會發怒和大聲叫喊,雖然是偶然一次,祇有百分之一的時間會發生一次,可是我的學生就會記著這一次。


作為一個老師,對於學生能明白「自制」是很重要的,那是成功的關鍵,「自律」也是重要的,我或許有些自律; 但是更重要的是「自我克制」,我沒有表現我這一方面; 「自制」是最重要的藝術,是保証人生的成功,而我欠缺了「自制」這一方面。


「人會做錯事,而聖人會寬恕」,作為一個老師我常寫錯字,怎至錯在顯眼的地方,通常我的學生會指出我的錯處,我會向他們道歉,但還有其他的錯失呢,我希望忘記,我相信我的朋友和我的學生都會原諒我的。


我以感激和歡樂的心情去回顧所有的人,包括我的好朋友,幫助我的貴人。


要寫我一生中所遇到意義重大的人,他們為數不少,而他們對我來說是富有意義的,恐怕我要另外再寫一本書,才足夠將他們都寫出來。


過去幾十年的人生改變了不少,這是需要指出的,我曾經很渴望有更多的年青人加入耶穌會,跟隨我走過的路,可是我察覺到生活的形式,和態度已經改變,另一方面我很開心計算到有三分之一的老師,是我們學校的舊生,在新的教育需求和結構中,他們繼承了我們的傳統和價值觀。


我說我無悔今生,我的意思是,我對我所知和我生活範圍內所作的決定很滿意,如果我的二千名學生並沒有以我為模範,成為神父和耶穌會士,我相信他們能將華仁所學以致用。


除了說明我的家庭生活和一些經歷外,我並沒有講述過去幾十年的社會氣候,和歷史背景,中東的政治事端肯定是驅使我們一家人移居到愛爾蘭; 形成了天主教愛爾蘭的文化和民族主義的精神; 中國的文化大革命,為香港帶來巨大的改變; 過去的五十年,社會繁榮的增長和現代化,都沒有描述。

第二羅馬教廷的革新令天主教堂有很大的改變,同時,影響天主教教育,在華仁面對教育環境的不斷改變,帶動我們走到現在這個位置。


生活在改變中,如每一個人一樣,我要接受這些改變,在這些改變中,我作出了一生很多決定,既不能改變,我們祇有接受,然後做我們認為是好的事。

最後要說的,是感激我教過的學生,感謝老師們對的容忍,及感激香港給與我如此美好的生活。


四十年來,我一直住在華仁書院內同一間房,我的耶穌會士對我很支持和友善,我很享受住在京士柏公園十英畝的綠草地和好空氣,難怪我無悔,心中衹有開心和喜悅。


我還要多謝那些認識我是神父的校外人士,他們有上千上百人,所有事都發生在香港,香港是我的第二故鄉,因此我要感謝香港,及所有曾保護我避過風浪,和使我有愉快一生的香港人。