On Sympathizing with Others' Feelings

June 27, 2021

Dear Hong Kong friends,

2021 06 28

Your anguish is palpable. My heart bled seeing the blood flow from your wounds inflicted by brutal beatings. I empathize with your actions and understand the feelings and suffering of others. We used to enjoy freedom of speech, expressing diverse viewpoints through media, but now we live in the darkest era of Hong Kong's history due to sweeping restrictions.

The government recently shut down Apple Daily because it could not tolerate differing viewpoints. Key opinion leaders who disagree with the government are increasingly silencing themselves, feeling powerless. Their analyses and proposals prove ineffective as the situation worsens daily.

Most concerning is the paralyzing fear we experience because anyone could face legal consequences under the national security law. The burden of proof is minimal; police only need to demonstrate that you intend to jeopardize national security. With the law on their side, they can incarcerate you without trial. Exercise caution, as authorities may scan your WhatsApp and other social media to find reasons to escalate charges.

Do we desire a Hong Kong under dictatorship, without an opposition presence in the Legislative Council? The authorities aim to instill fear, suppressing your opinions. Yet, do you know what truly terrifies dictators? Your dissent. Your ideas, public speeches, and even the color of your T-shirt—preferably black—terrify them.

Your ideas have more potential to influence the world than any weapon. While I may lack the physical means to fight, we must stand against this emergent police state to protect our principles. We feel terror in the face of dictatorship but find solace in fellow Hong Kongers willing to endure imprisonment.

We sympathize with imprisoned Hong Kongers, yet there are no easy or quick solutions to our problems. Articles and speeches can offer temporary relief and spur collective awakening.

Information and enlightenment come from many sources, including books and YouTube videos. We should assess our situation from a global and historical perspective, fully understanding the unchanging nature of the Communist Party. Its desire for power, bad decisions leading to famine, and dismantling of cultural and moral systems remain constant despite political spin.

Reading is not just an intellectual exercise; it provides therapeutic value. The lessons of history and the teachings of philosophers help us navigate uncertain futures and looming political turmoil.

Hong Kong's survival hinges on the free exchange of ideas. Our reactions to news and government policies that contradict our beliefs underline the critical importance of freedom of expression. Though the dictator can silence us, he cannot change our minds. Our core values of democracy, freedom, and justice remain inviolable. The more he suppresses, the more we resist.

Compassion requires no degree, and ethical choices need not be supported by extensive reading. We must question the morality of events like police violence against protesters and collaborations with gangsters.

Your words, however small, can influence others. They resonate with human empathy, urging people to listen, understand, and act. Never underestimate the power of words; they are our last line of defense.

We have a duty to document our thoughts and experiences, offering future generations a chance to understand the misdeeds of tyrants. Your well-structured articles, filled with clear messages and motivational tones, can empower those who feel powerless. Words are not just a means of gaining knowledge; they help us understand the currents shaping our society.

Even as many writers face threats under national security laws, your ideas can ignite the spark that encourages others to overcome fear. Words are our last line of defense in this struggle.

Profile picture

Victor Leung, who blog about business, technology and personal development. Happy to connect on LinkedIn