Many people often look back at some point in life, and try to think of what earlier years were particularly formative for them….. Continuing from B
In High School, at Form 7, or what was called Upper 6, equivalent to the first or second year of college, one person was selected from the prefects group to become the Head Prefect. I was selected for that responsibility, which probably became one of the most significant organizational trainings I ever received, far better than the many training seminars I attended, or the books that I read later when I was in professional management positions. There’s nothing like real life training when you are young and impressionable. I had to learn to organize all kinds of extracurricular activities, and schoolwide discipline, in addition to pulling together a strong prefects group to carry out all the responsibilities. Having the run of the school seems to be remarkable in today’s world, but the headmaster and the teachers basically just gave over most of the school, and the schoolkids, to the head prefect and his loyal team of prefects!
The prefects ran the sports program, the school fairs, the music competitions, the school dance, whatever so called extra-curricular activities we had. Except these seemed not to be extra-curricular, but essentially intra-curricular, if there is such a word, since these activities were all so integral to the school day. I guess the real historical equivalent must be the deacon system set up from the days of the early first century church. It sure sounds similar, where young people are trained to assume volunteer responsibilities to manage the church, executing all the “secular” work, to give needed assistance to the ministers and priests, who can then focus more on the “spiritual” side of work. The trust and the authority given to prefects to run the school programs, while teachers and headmaster could focus on basic educational efforts, seems to me very sensible, but nevertheless, even to me today, seems mind-boggling.
As one partly symbolic but dramatic feature, the Head Prefect was even given the authority to cane a serious miscreant, which truly must be unimaginable today. The cane, a symbol of the authority of the school, was always kept in the Headmaster’s office, in a prominent position, and was a great warning to the naughty boys of DBS ! However, it wasn’t in my nature to use violence, so, I apologize that I never exerted the prerogative. And after my year, the Head Prefect’s role as head student caner disappeared, mercifully.
作为具代表性却又颇具戏剧化的特徵，总级长甚至被授予一个今日难以想像的权力：能仗打恶行重大的学生。 作为学校权威的象徵，处罚的手杖总是放在校长办公室的显着位置，它对学校里顽皮男孩们是一个很大的警示！ 然而，使用暴力不是我的本性，所以，抱歉了，我从来没有使用过这个特权。 而一年之後，总级长能仗打学生的角色就自此仁慈地消失了。
Consistent with my renewed sense of purpose from my new-found faith, a keen sense of social consciousness prevailed in the school, common among church run “parochial schools.” This drove projects focused on the poor, such as charity drives, and hands-on home construction projects. But an even more important inspiration in this regard, in my case, came from the Boy Scouts, which I enthusiastically joined. The Boy Scouts program at the time still had a strong historic emphasis on serving God and country, and it was an excellent reminder to many teens of our privileged status in life, to use our young lives to serve.
与我新信仰中认识到的目标一致的是，当时学校普遍存在着敏锐的社会意识，这在教会开办的“教区学校”中很常见。这样的信念开展了以贫困为中心的项目，如慈善事业， 家庭建设项目。 但就我而言，这方面更重要的启发，来自我积极参与的童子军。 当时的童子军计划仍然沿袭历史，强调服务上帝和国家，这对我们许多十几岁享有特殊地位的人来说，是一个很好的提醒，那就是利用我们年轻的生命去服务。
One of the unique projects we undertook as Boy Scouts was to serve the hundreds of thousands of refugees that poured into Hong Kong from Guangdong province during the early chaotic years of the Chinese Revolution (Liberation, according to the new administration). We young teenagers would comb the hills adjoining the mainland for terrified and trembling refugees crouching behind bushes trying to find safety in the colony, to give them food and clothing, and to help link them with agencies willing to receive them, or some relative to contact. From these encounters, we heard harrowing stories of killings and beatings, that chilled us and made me, at my young age, even more concerned about the many less fortunate than I was. These were my initial lessons, to put into practice the principles of loving God and others, a great theme for all of life, and I cherish especially my exposure and training in these principles during my early formative years.
我们作为童子军的特殊项目之一，就是在中国革命早期的混乱时期（或称解放时期），为从广东省涌入香港的数十万难民提供服务。 我们年轻的青少年攀爬过与大陆相连的山丘，帮助躲在灌木丛後、惶恐且颤抖的难民们，在殖民地寻求安身之处，给他们食物与衣服，协助他们与愿意收容他们的机构、或者一些亲人联系。 从这些遭遇中，我们听到了悲惨的杀人和暴力的经历，令我们感到心里发寒，这让我年轻时更加关心比我更不幸的人。 这些成為我最早的学习，把爱神、爱人的原则付诸实践，这是人毕生的一个重点，我特别珍惜在早期的成长年代对这些原则的接触和训练。
Many DBS （Diocesan Boys’ School） teenagers left to go overseas after high school because of their family international connections, which were many. I suspect another major practical factor was that, since our purely academic grades at the school were not that high, it was also more difficult to get into the only, and highly academic, university at the time. Not that it really mattered, since the youths went on to great or better schools in the West, and many did very well elsewhere. It was a blessing to them ultimately, in my view, to be pushed, or sent all over the world, especially to the United States, Australia, Canada and the UK. One of my schoolmates even became mayor of the northwest city of the USA that I finally settled down in.
拔萃男书院(Diocesan Boys’ School, DBS) 里，有许多青少年因为家庭的关系，离开高中後便去海外留学。 我怀疑另一个主要的实际因素是，由於我们在学校的学术成绩不是很高，所以当时要进入当地唯一的，一流学术的大学也更难。 能否进入本地的大学也不重要了，因为这些出国的年轻人在西方能上更好的学校，且许多人在其他地方也表现的很好。 在我看来，这些年轻人被推到全世界，尤其是被送到美国，澳大利亚，加拿大和英国，这最终是对他们的祝福。 我的一位同学，甚至成为我最後定居的美国西北城市市长。
To end on a sobering note, many of the Eurasian kids went on to fight in the 2nd world war and to die for Hong Kong. I’m making the assumption that the Eurasian kids were the most loyal to Hong Kong as an entity, whereas the others were often from families that were destined to go elsewhere, and felt little loyalty to a place that they were in transit. Passion or “loyalty” to the state unfortunately was not part of my own formative experience, since Hong Kong to me was also just a transit point. In fact, since I was so exposed to American culture and history through my mother’s influence, I had already begun to have feelings of patriotism towards America, which was clearly strange for my classmates.
说实在的，许多欧亚儿童在二次世界大战中参战，且为香港而死。 我假定欧亚的孩子是最忠於香港的人，因为其他人多是来自注定要去其他地方的家庭，对他们过境的地方几乎没有忠诚。 不幸的是，对国家的热情或“忠诚”并不是我自己成长经验的一部分，因为香港对我来说也只是一个过境点。 事实上，由於我母亲的关系，我深受美国的文化历史影响，使我开始对美国有爱国主义的感觉，这对我的同学来说显然是难以理解的。
Formative years are truly formative. The impact and imprint stay with us consciously and unconsciously. I believe, personally, the teen years are among the most important for life. That is one big reason why I applied many of my positive teen experiences to my later youth ministry work, in order to bring up and train up “youth for many nations.” By which I meant that I served youth from different cultures, to encourage them to go into the world to serve different cultures. Youth for All Nations, YFAN, even became my motto of my work, during especially the decade of my “second retirement,” bringing into focus my life-long passion and drive, to care for youth at this critical season of their life. Do you remember what were your formative experiences? Maybe you could share them with me……
那些形塑品格的成长年代确实造就人。 而那些影响和印记有意识、或无意识的在我们身上留下痕迹。 我个人认为，青少年是生命中最重要的时期之一。 这就是为什麽我把许多自身正向的青少年经历，应用到我後来的青年服务丶宣教事工中，以培养和训练“服务万国的青年 ”（youth for all nations）的重要原因。我的意思是，我服务於不同文化的青年，鼓励他们进入世界，为不同的文化服务。服务万国的青年（youth for all nations ，簡稱YFAN），甚至成为我工作的座右铭，特别是在我“二次退休”的十年中，我把自己一生的热情和动力，集中关注他们生命年少时的关键年代。