Second Chinese speaking conference in Hong Kong
Chinese in Action 2 (CinA) in partnership with Dreams Possible (DP) of Hong Kong, hosted a conference from 13-16 September, 2013 at The YMCA - Wu Kwai Sha Youth Village Hong Kong. This is CinA 2's culminating activity following 40 days of training, and 100 days of field work in five cities in Mainland China, three cities in Malaysia and five in Taiwan.
Of the Chinese conference participants, 29 came from Mainland China, 24 Malaysia, 33 Taiwan and 23 Hong Kong. There were students, parents, businessmen, professionals, chief executives and staff members of NGOs.
The morning daily conference programme included an hour of 'quiet time' followed by small group sharing and general assembly. In the afternoon, there were five workshops for participants to choose from.
The workshop trainers and facilitators were academics and practitioners: Dr Wah-Shan Chou, Ph.D; Mr Wan-Hou, Kung; Mr Ren-Jou Liu and CinA participants: Mr Xu Yong, Ms Sally Chan, Mrs Yueh- Ling Lee, and Ms Ding Fei. The workshops were conducted in Mandarin or Cantonese.
During the general assembly invited speakers and participants shared personal stories of the consequences of 'listening to their inner voice'. Here are some examples:
From a problem .. to a solution
A teacher shared a story that changed a problematic student’s situation into a hopeful one. He said, 'this man on my left would not be sitting here if he had not accepted the pain he suffered as a child. He had felt abandoned when his parents sent him to his grandfather while he wanted to be with them. He grew up a problem child and would have been a menace to the society. He wrote an honest letter to his parents about feeling abandoned and shared painful childhood memories. Putting things right within his family gave him freedom and now he is a life worker for building a peaceful society, rather than a problem he would have been if he had not changed.'
Other ideas shared at the conference:
'These days I experienced the power of quiet time, I have decided that when I go home I will continue this practice and also introduce it to my friends.'
'I used to think I can handle everything. In fact it is not true. Here I realize that only if I obey my inner voice and face my life's realities, my life can be much better.'
'Thanks to the group sharing I am ready to face the wounds in my life and use them as a positive driving force to change my life.'
The Director of an NGO in Fuzhou who came to join CinA training for one week in Shanghai found the time so helpful in her life that when she heard of the Hong Kong conference she decided to bring and finance eight participants including her son, aunts and uncles. 'The opportunity is so precious,' she said. 'I want to bring as many of my family to know this idea.'
At this conference, father and son, mother and daughter, two generation of sisters, husbands and wives were present. A better understanding of one's family history leads to a better acceptance of one another in the family. Changing the relationship within the family brings better communication and happiness in the family.
A mother, a participant of CinA, wrote to her daughter during the training time to apologize for being too controlling of her. Later, the daughter came to the conference and shared 'I can not be free to be myself, I can not make decisions because I am afraid my mother will get angry and be disappointed with me.'
The mother said, 'I want to protect my daughter. I want to give my best to love her. When I was small I was given away to another family. I did not feel the love of my parents. I did not realize that what I was doing was hurting my daughter.' She turned to her daughter and in tears, said, 'I am sorry.'
The Family Approach
The Family approach is the strong foundation of the CinA training. The workshops offered during the conference were focused on learning how to make deep personal change around issues that hold one back in communicating with the family.
Understanding how to be an active part of one's family can have far reaching consequences to an individual and to the community one is in. Learning to listen, forgive, put things right, serve others, are all lessons that can be learned beginning in the home. There was enough evidence of this during the group sharing and discussions that followed the main plenary sessions.
Background to the CinA programme
- the thought that launched CinA
In the late 90's when the world was amazed at the fast economic growth of China, a young couple with two teenage children, Ren-Jou and Grace Liu, were concerned that the economic expansion in China is creating a spiritual vacuum. For instance, Ren-Jou said, 'We Chinese hardly give service to others. In general, Chinese are more interested in making profits.' Grace and Ren-Jou were also concerned that Chinese people stick together in their own communities without concern for other groups of people.
They felt this new economic growth needed to be accompanied by spiritual growth. There was a need for a spirit of service and care of Chinese for fellow Chinese and others. In their hearts they hoped to develop a team of Chinese who would be ready to give service to China and the world. They hoped it could be based on their experiences and beliefs: that to see change in society, one starts with oneself; that to seek wisdom, one can listen to the deepest whisper in one’s heart for direction; that to bring new life to the family, community, country and the world obedience to one’s decision of personal change is needed.
Ren-Jou and Grace Liu and their grown up daughter, son and daughter-in-law are all 'life workers' in CinA.