President's New Year Address
Today is the last day of 2015. Looking back, I see each of you has achieved and matured. I have your names in my office, and they always bring back my memories of how you came to the university on your first day. You are sunnier, prettier, more robust and good-mannered. You have worked hard and you have reaped the harvest of an amazing journey.
New Year brings hope. Hope is the real drive to push you forward. A person will never wear out, pine, languish or perish if he or she has a hope. Youth is the wood and hope is the tinder. Youth thrives only when it comes along with hope.
A couple of years ago, I visited Tibet and came upon two children. They stared at me when I took pictures. I asked: “Have you ever taken photos?” “No.” said the elder brother. “Do you wish to have your own photos?” “Of course.” “Well, if you write down your address here I will send them to you.” It took him a long time to do that on my car hood. Three lines, neat and tidy. I kept my word and sent them the photos. To my surprise, half a year later I received a letter from the elder child, telling me that he had been waiting for the photos because they were his hope: one of these days he can have his own camera and shoot his own pictures.
It certainly feels good to bring hope to others. Ladies and gentlemen, you are the hope of your parents, your friends, and your country. But first of all, you need to have hope.
Without hope, you won’t survive. You won’t be able to carry out our daily routines, engage in study or even find a quiet moment to contemplate yourselves and the world. Only when you have hope can you go on pursuing knowledge and exploring the world.
Never cringe simply because you have ambition. Trust yourself. You will reach your destination provided that you keep on walking. Never compare yourself unrealistically with others, because each of you is cut out for a specific purpose, just like a tree and a bamboo serve different functions. A camera may produce nice pictures, but it will never supplant the art of painting.
My New Year wish to you all is this: have hope. I would really wish to buy a hope and give it to you as a gift if it was available in market. Ladies and gentlemen, it is a blessing to walk along with you, beautiful young people filled with hope.
President Yangsheng Xu, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen