Your Wonderful Life

06 July 2007

Mr President, distinguished faculty and administrators, parents, friends and graduates, first and foremost – on behalf of the board of trustees, I extend our hearty congratulations to the class of 2007. What a grand accomplishment.  What a special day. Along with your beloved and proud parents we wish each of you a life of happiness, a life of fulfillment, a life of health and flourishing opportunities.

Happiness, because you use your power of reasoning to live life with an unclouded mind; fulfilled because the skills you acquire empower you to achieve your dreams; healthy because you know what to treasure and never take things for granted; flourishing because you understand the difference between right and wrong and know how to meet challenges with courage and setbacks with dignity.

Here at Shantou you have built a firm foundation for a fulfilling life.  What you have accomplished is a tribute to your efforts, to the sacrifices of your family, and to the faculty and staff of this fine university.  No success is achieved alone.  It is the confluence of tributaries that makes the mighty river.

For the past few years, the reforms we undertook have yielded impressive results, and I laud the achievements that have been made here. Not only have we earned distinguished recognition in the Ministry of Education’s evaluation and accreditation, but the employment rate of our graduates and the enrollment into our medical school continue to be number one in Guangdong province and beyond. This year we earned another distinction: our university achieved the second highest position in the nation-wide English assessment test. More importantly, the reforms were undertaken to empower you! Implementation of the credit system provided greater choices for your future, and pedagogy reforms to support your self-discovery, your pursuit of excellence to what is meaningful to you.

All of these achievements have been made on your behalf, so please join me now in giving the faculty and staff of Shantou University a warm hand of gratitude for their unwavering dedication and these magnificent results.

Yes, everything is for you, but my hope is that if you have learned one thing at Shantou it is that the world is not just about you and me.

Yes it is important to build a rosy future for you and your family, but there is a huge difference between being a high achiever and a true success.

True success is more than the skills we have learned.  It is more than technique, credentials, networking and experiences.  True success is the ever-growing manifestation of your willing and unique spirit, where your perspectives, your values and principles create a multi-dimensional life – life for one-dimensional people could be so narrow and so skewed, despairingly dominated by single-minded pursuits of wealth and power. But for men and women who have serious purposes in life, who have commitment, care, attitude and dedication, life for them could be a never-ending colorful and wonderful story.

You have to be a dreamer, but live your life steadfastly to the realisation of your dreams.  Test and strengthen them through the crucible of hard facts and actual experience. Let me share with you this, let your aspirations be your guiding light, and live a life of clarity. If you live a reflective and examined life you can sail through life with ease and vitality. If you stay faithful to your maxims you will have the resolve to withstand all that is complex and varied and still manage to stay on the path that is right.

To truly love your community, your people, the world and love life, you must be motivated to participate and lead with your beliefs and your commitments without fear. Our traditional wisdom is a treasure trove, if you can master what is in the saying “a well-defined plan facilitates success, distinguishing division reaps progress, to be speedy yet unhurried, to rule and to set free” life could be so good. My dear graduates, go live a colorful and wonderful life and make this world a great place.

Thank you.