Contrasting rich and poor in Hong Kong

I have learnt many words by reading books. I have never enjoyed reading but if I find a book I like, I’ll read it. This is how I learn new words and hence, I have a better English education. Ever since I was a toddler I have never enjoyed reading books apart from when I choose them. I always chose the books with with loads of words on a page with hardly any pictures. Therefore, it has become a habit in my simple life as I was sailing in the pool of words since I was 6 years old. The favorite play that captivated me the most is called “Educating Rita”.

The play “Educating Rita” is written by Willy Russell. It is based on contrast as the main characters Rita and Frank have very different backgrounds. Frank is well educated (academic background) and he is a professor who teaches English in a university but Rita is a hair-dresser (working class background) who has not been well educated. Rita called herself a “freak” and “half caste”. She wants to be educated because she says “I wanna know”. She knows she is not ‘educated’ yet and dimly realizes what ‘education’ is. What Rita wants is to be out of her social class. For her, education is a means of achieving this and she is probably right. She instinctively knows she lacks something and thinks a university degree will fill the gaps in her life. Rita is eager to learn everything and she is energetic.

It affects me as it reflects the sharp contrast between the condition of poor as well as middle class and rich people. The reason why I thought in this way is because that’s what I see every day in the streets and my feelings.

In Hong Kong, poor people are living in a confined space. They are living in houses that are surrounded by tons of rubbish. Whenever I walk pass the area with this types of housing, I could always hear the “sizz….sizz…sizz” sound, and I am not sure if it comes rats or other insects. It has a foul smell too, and yet, people are living in this kind of environment. In contrast to the poor, the rich and middle class people are living in houses and mansions where rooms are air conditioned; it is clean and is relatively comfortable. At night the poor housing area is overwhelmed by darkness, but I know there are people living on the side of road and of that area.

We are staying in a cool area but they are suffering from heat from the sun. We sit on comfortable chair but they sit on the ground with germs. The contrast is a little uncomfortable for me. Thus, sometimes when I cannot sleep, I will start to wonder ‘what if I am one of them who live on the street? Will I survive?” People living in that area have no money. In addition, they have to fear and tolerate what might happen to them every day. Sometimes, I think the poor have more courage than I do. What could I do for them? Most of the time, I could only feel sad for them, and usually we will forget about them and live on with our own life.

It is vitally important to me because their experiences instill a certain fear in me. I told myself I don’t aspire to be a very rich person, but I am really afraid to be poor. I don’t think any amount of money is ever enough to help the poor who live below the poverty line but every penny counts! We must also accept the fact that corruptions has add on more problems to this major issue, but we must always tell ourselves “Can rescue how many are how many”. This is, we must always save as many lives as we could because every life counts.

The existence of poor and rich in the society is unavoidable, but the disparity and gap between them should be reduced as much as possible. The rich may have the right to spend as copiously as they like to live in comfort, but the poor should also have the right and means to keep the body and soul together.

Embracing the poor, engaging the rich.

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