This afternoon, I speak to a very friendly and open young woman from Switzerland, who every now and then writes articles for a large Buddhist website. While sitting on the Sun Yatsen Steps at Hong Kong Uni, I ask her what she would consider the importance of Buddhism in Hong Kong society. In her very heay English accent (her mother is from the UK), she gives me an answer that I had heard many times before:
For Hong Kong people, I think they really need to Slow Down. I find that I loose my priorities quite easily here, more easy than in other places. A few months ago, I realized that I was carring so much for things that are not so important, materialistic things. I think it is the pace of life.
I could also really notice it when walking on the streets. I realized I had made such a bubble around myself so I could literally forget that there are other people around me. And Buddhism can be a way to Slow Down.
Sometimes I don’t understand why people in Hong Kong are like that. But I have started to notice that children from a very young age have schedules that are packed! They have appointments from Monday to Sunday. After school they go to tutorials or do their homework. Saturdays and Sundays they have their musical instruments or sports. Because of this I understand why people are like this: from a very young age, they spend so much time working. It can be very hard for them to just take a moment and sit down and don’t do anything.
Buddhism will maybe help them to Slow Down.
That afternoon, while walking back home from university, I decided to walk a little less fast than normally, try to break through the bubble I have build around myself, and Slow Down.
As with so many other things: It is much easier said than done.