Whether there’s afterlife, the answer has never been the same. The atheists deny after life, believing that our life is no more than from the cradle to the grave. They may care about their illustrious names after death; they may feel attached to the affection of their offspring, but they never lay their hopes on their afterlife. They may also say that good will be rewarded with good, and evil with evil, but they don’t really believe any retribution in their after life.
However, in the religious world or among the superstitious people, the belief in afterlife is very popular. They do not only believe in afterlife, but thousands of reincarnations as well. In the mysterious world, there are the paradise and the hell, the celestial beings and the gods, the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas.
Maybe they really believed it, or maybe they just wanted to make use of people’s veneration, the ancient emperors always declared that they were the real dragons, the sons of God, while the royal ministers claimed to be the reincarnations of various constellations. But can the stars reincarnate?
Many people burn incense and kowtow, do good deeds and strive for virtues, not just for the present, but mainly to let God see their sincerity so as to be reborn into a better afterlife, or to achieve the highest enlightenment after several lives of practice. (www.fwsir.com)They do believe in afterlife. But I can’t help asking: Suppose there were no afterlife, would you still do good deeds and strive for virtues? And If God does not see what you are doing, would you still be so upright and selfless? If you work, not for serving the public and liberating the others, but just for a better afterlife of your own, isn’t it a little too selfish? Comparing with this kind of believers, those who don’t believe in afterlife, but still keep doing good deeds, are the most sincere and honest philanthropists, because they do them not for themselves but for other.
You may wonder if I believe in afterlife. My answer is: I know nothing about my previous life, so I dare not make improper comments on afterlife. But I do hope there’s afterlife! Because our present life is so short that so many things slip away before our proper understanding. I have so many dreams, so many wishes, so many ambitions, as well as so many regrets and concerns. If there were no afterlife, all of them will remain unrealized!
I’m not contented with the present commonplace life, I’m very much attached to the affections that should have been mine but have been washed away by the hurrying time, and I yearn for the perfection and maturity if I could start all over again. So believe it or not, I’d rather there were afterlife.
Bidding for the Olympic Games is, in a way, an image-creating undertaking. The first and foremost thing is to let people fall in love with the city at first sight, attracting them by its unique image. What image does Beijing intend to create for itself once it has the opportunity to host the 2008 Olympics? It’s known to all that the Beijing Municipal Government has already set the theme for the future games: New Beijing, Great Olympics. For me, the 2008 Olympics will be a great green Olympics illuminated with two more special colors, yellow and red.
First, yellow is a meaningful color. The Yellow River is China’s mother river and the cradle of Chinese civilization. We are of the yellow race and descendants of the Yellow Emperor. This color has a special origin and great significance for the Chinese people. Beijing is the capital of New China and previously the capital for nine dynasties in Chinese history. So, yellow will naturally add splendor to the 2008 Games.
Secondly, the 2008 Olympics will be a red pageant.
Red is another traditionally cherished color for the whole country. We adore red. On big occasions, we like to decorate our homes in red. It is the color of double happiness, representing joyous moments, 1）auspiciousness, enthusiasm and prosperity. Red is one of the most suitable colors to describe the future of Beijing. Beijing, together with the whole country, is becoming more and more prosperous in the process of modernization. Should the 2008 Olympics be held in Beijing, the whole city will be a sea of red: the red torch, red flags, red flowers, and the radiant faces of millions of joyful people.
Above all, the 2008 Olympics will be a green Olympics.
Adding the green 2） ingredient is essential in creating an appealing image, as we can’t deny the fact that Beijing, at the moment, is not as green a city as what we like it to be. Striving for an environmentally appealing city has become a central task for all the citizens of Beijing. Big efforts have been made in pollution control, replanting and beautification of the city. According to a project entitled “The Green Olympic Action Plan,” between 1998 and 2007, Beijing will have invested 100 billion RMB in preserving and protecting the environment. Some 12.5 million trees and over 1 million acres of grass will be planted along the Fourth Ring Road. By then, the city’s green area will make up 40% of its total. The city will also dredge its 3） reservoirs used as a water supply to Beijing residents, controlling industrial pollution and moving out the 200 factories presently located within the city proper.
Certainly, all of this is no easy task. But I am sure that all of us have confidence that we will realize these “green” goals, for now we have the full support and participation of the environmentally conscious citizens. Each citizen is showing great concern for every one of the steps the city government takes. As the saying goes, “United, we stand”， and a green Beijing will be achieved.
When our aspiration becomes a reality, it will be a unique Olympics. “New Beijing, Great Olympics” will be weaved of these three superb colors: yellow, red and green.
Let us welcome it and look forward to it! Thank you!
Today I would like to begin with a story. There was once a physical therapist who traveled all the way from America to Africa to do a census about mountain gorillas. These gorillas are a main attraction to tourists from all over the world; this put them severely under threat of poaching and being put into the zoo. She went there out of curiosity, but what she saw strengthened her determination to devote her whole life to fighting for those beautiful creatures. She witnessed a scene, a scene taking us to a place we never imaged we’ve ever been, where in the very depth of the African rainforest, surrounded by trees, flowers and butterflies, the mother gorillas cuddled their babies.
Yes, that’s a memorable scene in one of my favorite movies, called Gorillas in the Mist, based on a true story of Mrs. Diana Fossey, who spent most of her lifetime in Rwanda to protect the ecoenvironment there until the very end of her life.
To me, the movie not only presents an unforgettable scene but also acts as a timeless reminder that we should not develop the tourist industry at the cost of our eco-environment.
Today, we live in a world of prosperity but still threatened by so many new problems. On the one hand, tourism, as one of the most promising industries in the 21st century, provides people with the great opportunity to see everything there is to see and to go any place there is to go. It has become a lifestyle for some people, and has turned out to be the driving force in GDP growth. It has the magic to turn a backward town into a wonderland of prosperity. But on the other hand, many problems can occur – natural scenes aren’t natural anymore. Deforestation to heat lodges are devastating Nepal. Oil spills from tourist boats are polluting Antarctica. Tribal people are forsaking their native music and dress to listen to U2 on Walkman and wear Nike and Reeboks.
All these appalling facts have brought us to the realization that we can no longer stand by and do nothing, because the very thought of it has been eroding our resources. Encouragingly, the explosive growth of global travel has put tourism again in the spotlight, which is why the United Nations has made 2002 the year of ecotourism, for the first time to bring to the world’s attention the benefits of tourism, but also its capacity to destroy our ecoenvironment.
Now every year, many local ecoenvironmental protection organizations are receiving donations – big notes, small notes or even coins – from housewives, plumbers, ambulance drivers, salesmen, teachers, children and invalids. Some of them cannot afford to send the money but they do. These are the ones who drive the cabs, who nurse in hospitals, who are suffering from ecological damage in their neighborhood. Why? Because they care. Because they still want their Mother Nature back. Because they know it still belongs to them.
This kind of feeling that I have, ladies and gentlemen, is when it feels like it, smells like it, and looks like it , it’s all coming from a scene to be remembered, a scene to recall and to cherish.
The other night, as I saw the moon linger over the land and before it was sent into the invisible, my mind was filled with songs. I found myself humming softly, not to the music, but to something else, someplace else, a place remembered, a place untouched, a field of grass where no one seemed to have been except the deer.
And all those unforgettable scenes strengthened the feeling that it’s time for us to do something, for our own and our coming generation.
Once again, I have come to think of Mrs. Diana Fossey because it is with her spirit, passion, courage and strong sense of our ecoenvironment that we are taking our next step into the world.
And no matter who we are, what we do and where we go, in our minds, there’s always a scene to remember, a scene worth our effort to protect it and fight for it.
Thank you very much.