Violence hurts us all, and holds back our society

Violence hurts us all, and holds back our society

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The suspected gunman was wearing a surgical mask and a wig.
The suspected gunman was wearing a surgical mask and a wig.

Social progress can be disrupted by seemingly spontaneous, reckless and rash events. In Ferguson, Missouri, US, demonstrators have been fighting for a fairer and more representative judiciary system for their town since August last year. But last week, two police officers there were shot and badly injured. More than a few people have called it a “setback” to progress in the fragile town.

Hong Kong has always been seen as one of the safest cities in the world. Yet our reputation was threatened on the same day, when an armed robber shot an employee at a Tsim Sha Tsui luxury watch shop. The assailant got away with HKD$5.5 million worth of watches, and police have yet to dig out any suspects. The gunman probably was part of a larger network, and might have long since crossed the border.

Our continuous progress towards being a safer and safer city occasionally gets jeopardised by these isolated events, perpetrated by seemingly random people in a stroke of sudden violence.

These events are utterly sad, and their negative impacts towards social progress are disheartening. Perpetrators of these setbacks are selfish, as they undermine months, if not years, of other people working long and hard to bring about social change, or keep a good thing the way it is. We should possess and promote a social consciousness that encourages us to think of the public good first, and not succumb to impulsive actions.

For the rest of us, the ones who are negatively impacted by these quick events, we have to be prepared and cautioned for when these things happen. It’s discouraging, but sometimes inevitable.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Violence holds back our society

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