A Prospect Greater than the Sky

29 June 2005

On behalf of the Shantou University Board of Directors, I would like to extend a warm welcome and our heartfelt congratulations to our graduates and their families on this special occasion.

On behalf of the Shantou University Board of Directors, I would also like to thank the President and the entire Faculty for your hard work and dedication in taking Shantou University to new heights. Last night, I read Shantou University’s latest Annual Report, which clearly articulated the meaning of “A Unique Learning Experience”—besides imparting knowledge, we also strive to cultivate in our students perseverance and determination.

Anyone can tell you that human capital is vital in a highly competitive globalized environment. We compete in order to shape a better life and achieve greater success. But in our blind pursuit of wealth and success, we cannot neglect the importance of perseverance and determination in leading the good life. If you think perseverance is all about hardship and endurance, you are missing the point. Perseverance is an attitude, not a way of life. A person with perseverance has clear life objectives and is willing to take on responsibilities. He also has strong, extraordinary resolve and a heart filled with hope. He understands the meaning of principle, truth, and justice and demonstrates enormous courage and prudence.

Determination is the development of reason and rationality. A person who lives an examined life in constant pursuit of knowledge will not fall victim to the labyrinth of time and lose the zest for life. A person who is adept at learning can foresee and seize the future, able to meld observation, experience and knowledge into wisdom and apply it in such a way that enables him to hold steadfast to his dreams and make short work of the most arduous tasks.

Graduates, today you enter a new phase in life. I trust that you are all eager to make a name for yourselves in your chosen profession. But keep this in mind: You can use your skills to earn respect, but you will only touch others with your contributions. Let us never forget to give back to our society and our people. Victor Hugo said, “There is a prospect greater than the sea, and it is the sky; there is a prospect greater than the sky, and it is the human soul.”

May you all lead a life of happiness and success. Thank you.