The financial secretary said some of his former university classmates have chosen to put aside furthering their successful careers to become concerned about political and social development.
Writing in his blog, John Tsang Chun-wah reminisced about his days of higher education in Boston back in the 1970s.
Tsang studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before earning a master's degree in bilingual education from Boston State College, and a master's in public administration from Harvard University.
He recalled the widespread student movements and protests against the US involvement in the Vietnam War.
In Boston he witnessed protesters moving in to occupy the office of the university principal.
Some of his classmates with high IQs joined rallies against Washington's involvement in Vietnam.
"Of those [classmates], several of them were smart and their academic achievements were high," wrote Tsang, adding that some even became leaders of the protest movement.
He thought those classmates would after graduation pursue their own ideals and continue their involvement in social campaigning, or join political parties.
However, they decided instead to get jobs in investment banks on Wall Street to earn hefty salaries forsaking their participation in the social movement and street protests.
Fast-forwarding to present day, Tsang said some of them have now chosen to put aside their pursuit of already successful careers to become more concerned about political and other social issues.
He said some people may think that those who decide to rekindle their interest in the social movement while working in the business sector are facing reality.
He said that when he was young, he had thought that pursing one's personal ideals was contradictory to reality.
He later found there is no contradiction, but the pursuit of personal ideals also needs to take reality into account.
Tsang wrote that it is meaningless for one side to criticize the other side for giving up their personal principles and focusing on personal gain.
Young people should explore the world and learn more things, and they should not only stick to their own thoughts and push themselves into a corner.