You are on page 1of 4

UGFH1000-TERM PAPER-TOPIC 04 by Kan Chun Him (1155076777)

xxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxx
04th May 2016
xxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Dear Mary,
It is my pleasure to talk with you yesterday. In the process of writing my UGFH term paper
afterwards, I was inspired and would like to share with you. It is hoped that you can cheer up to
find your own meaning of life.
From your sharing, it seems that you have encountered difficulties in learning and realizing the
meaning of life. It is understandable. With our transition from childhood into adulthood, we need
to bear expectation and responsibilities. As a student, we are expected to learn. As an adult and a
citizen, we are expected to plan our career ahead and to form a family later on. Stereotyping is
particularly rampant in Asian societies, thus greater stress. Meanwhile, unlike secondary schools,
tertiary education involves heavy workload but little guidance. It is common for us to feel lost in
learning and life. Nevertheless, it is alright as we still have time to get back on track.
The purpose of learning in the university is to cultivate mature beings instead of vocational
training. As in the Republic, Plato mentioned in the Allergy of Cave, that education is essential
for us to unbind the fetter imposed by the society. Back in ancient China, Confucius suggested
that education is to make a gentleman (Junzi) to act virtuously and to contribute to the society. I
am not persuading you to be a superior being or a dedicated politician after graduation. Instead,
university study should serve as enlightenment such that one can be a responsible citizen with
Term Paper for UGFH 1000 instructed by Mr. R. Teng

UGFH1000-TERM PAPER-TOPIC 04 by Kan Chun Him (1155076777)


individuality. According to Wilhelm Von Humboldt, university is the venue for the development
of psychological activity. Meanwhile, John Henry Newman mentioned in The Idea of a
University, that tertiary education is to teach liberal knowledge. Hence, students are trained
intellectually with formation of character to become gentlemen and qualified citizens. It is the
reason for CUHK to offer a range of general education courses. The aim is to broaden our
horizon and to cultivate us with humanity values.
As courses in the university are more in-depth, the content should be harder and more diverse.
Therefore, we need to devote more effort in learning quickly. Besides, self-learning is requisite
for a good university student and future citizen. Hence, it is recommended to have good time
management for a better balance between studying and social life. Once you are accustomed, you
will enjoy exploring the interested field of study and thus meaning of life. If you feel lost during
the study, you may try attending public lectures or auditing courses outside the curriculum. It is
likely that you can regain your interest in exploring knowledge or find subjects that match your
interest.
Dont worry about failure. It is valuable experience such that you are more capable for making
your own judgment. Personal development is not complete without pitfalls and failure. Academic
performance is merely one of the indicators and has no match with personal development. The
point is that tertiary education is not an automobile factory, but a venue for seeking meaning of
learning and life.
Apart from the studying, getting confused with the meaning of life is common due to the stress
from the society. According to John Stuart Mill, the pressure is originated from the suppression
by the tyranny of the majority. We should instead purse individuality as the purpose of life. The

Term Paper for UGFH 1000 instructed by Mr. R. Teng

UGFH1000-TERM PAPER-TOPIC 04 by Kan Chun Him (1155076777)


reason is that there is no definite answer on ones life. Every mature being should make its own
choice and master its own life, given that its activity or inactivity does not constitute harm to
others or fixed obligations. It is important for the well-being of individuals and the society.
In my opinion, you just need to realize your own interest and to strive for it. Even the thinkers or
characters mentioned in the textbook have diverse set of meaning of life. There exist mainly two
types of motivation in those examples, namely self-improvement and betterment of the society. I
am going to share with you some of them for you to appreciate their effort. They are not
exhaustive and just for reference only.
For self-improvement, I would like to introduce Odysseus and Confucius to you. In Odyssey,
Odysseus struggled for loyalty to love and honor. Amid the suffering given by Poseidon and
temptation from Calypso, he is still persistent in returning to the homeland to reunite with his
wife. He was also determined in maintaining honor despite outnumbered by the suitors. In the
process of his pursuit, he has devoted his strength and wit. For Confucius, he has dedicated his
life to promote the idea of being a gentleman (Junzi) and the restoration of Zhou Li (). With
the lukewarm response from the powers, he had a tough life. However, he was able to uphold the
standard of being a gentleman as a role model. Odysseus and Confucius have dedicated their
lives in self-improvement despite the temptation as well as ups and downs.
There are numerous people dedicated in the betterment of the society, such as Confucius, Jesus,
Karl Max and John Stuart Mill. Confucius has struggled to promote Zhou Li () and ren ()
for his life. As his ideas were inconsistent with the philosophy of administration of the states and
even constituted challenge to their legitimacy, he was not appreciated and had a life of fleeing.
He could have a better life being a minister but he insisted on the welfare of the society. For

Term Paper for UGFH 1000 instructed by Mr. R. Teng

UGFH1000-TERM PAPER-TOPIC 04 by Kan Chun Him (1155076777)


Jesus, he risked his life to enlighten the Jews. The Jews was devastated by foreign rule and had
deviated from their religion. Jesus had teaching on Jews for them to befriend with their religion
of God. However, his act had challenged and offended the Jewish elders. Persecution was what
he received but it failed to deter him. Jesus was arrested and executed by Jews for his pursuit.
For Karl Max, he questioned industrialization after knowing of the plight of laborers. He has
proposed his solution in the hope of improving the society. With the fear of suppression by the
authority or the majority, John Stuart Mill wrote On Liberty. His writing is conducive to our
recognition of the liberty and individuality we deserve. All these examples are mere
demonstration of our potential and possible contribution to humanity.
Nevertheless, as a disclaimer, I have no intention to prompt any particular ideology or religion.
Instead, I would like to demonstrate the flexibility in the meaning of life. Continuous pursuit is
important once you have set your goal.
I think that is enough for my reflection on the purpose of learning and meaning of life. It is
hoped that you can find your own and enjoy your life. I am looking forward to hearing from you
soon and please feel free to talk with me.
Sincerely,
Kan Chun Him
Kan Chun Him

Term Paper for UGFH 1000 instructed by Mr. R. Teng