Editorial | Be bold to live

Paulo Coutinho

The secret of enjoying life to the full is to “get out of the comfort zone,” Jolian, a young Macau entrepreneur and skater told the Times yesterday in a captivating interview.
The leitmotif of the story was his recently opened skateboarding shop and the momentum of the sport, which will feature for the first time in the Olympics in Japan next summer. However, the interview ended up having much more to it: jumping from the board to life in Macau as a young adult, Jolian profiled a social mindset of immobilism and conformism in the city’s twenty and thirty-somethings working population – the men and women that one day will rule Macau. (Will they?)
“It is not easy, but you have to [get out of the comfort zone]. If you never step out and take that first step you won’t have any future, you just keep repeating your life year after year.”
It is refreshing to hear bold and critical young voices from time to time beyond the realm of hard politics in the mostly immobile Macau youth. The majority in this age group when asked about politics say they don’t care about it, without thinking that, right there, they are taking a political stance – not to intervene. And for those who do care, the heavy hand of the establishment is promptly raised up, sabotaging any deviation from the officious line of thought; any hint of independent thinking.
A world of difference lies just 60 miles away to the east on the other shore of the mouth of the Pearl River Delta, where most of the youth lives on the edge and vocally shows what and where and who they stand for in politics – in a broad sense.
They, like the majority of the population of the neighboring SAR stand to keep the rule of law, freedom and democracy. If there is a revolution ongoing in Hong Kong, and there is one, it is a keeper’s revolution. The brave people of Hong Kong don’t want change, they want to keep the status quo and develop the democratic system – which is a promise made by China inked in the region’s mini-constitution, the Basic Law.
Lately, there are voices rising against the “rioters,” the radicals, the black-shirts movement without a leader but with a clear demand: we want keeps.
Yes, in Hong Kong, they also have their heavy hands of obscurantism – some 500 professionals of the medical sector, to name one, that published an open and signed letter in a full newspaper page this week to proclaim that “their” sector (which in total comprises tens of thousands of professionals) is for the police and against the “vandals.”
The fallacy in this kind of commentary is that they are missing the big picture. They are looking at episodic incidents – which are common in any revolutionary process – and not at this major moment of world history, when common people rose up to defend their way of life, actively engaging almost half, if not more, of their active population.
So, as Jolian, the skater, said: be bold and exit – your comfort zone – because life as you know it might not be always there.

Categories Editorial