Half a cup of water goes a long way in hairy times

City Talk | Terence Chang 15 Aug 2019

Hairdresser Jackal Cher brought to our face-to-face session a few books that he felt worthy of recommending to me.

He talked about reading, which he has liked since childhood.

"Unlike the typical Sagittarian, I am an introvert," he said.

"I don't like talking to people.

"Reading is the channel through which I communicate with the outside world. I like the authors telling me how to live life."

He picked up Joseph Sung Jao-yiu's work Guan Gai Xin Ling De Ban Bei Shui - The half glass of water that nourishes the soul - and said: "People these days, the younger generation especially, have too much grievances and too little gratitude.

"In fact, having half a cup of water is not bad.

"Like my job. It pays OK, but the important thing is that I have time for myself to enjoy leisure and do the things I want to do, like travelling with my wife.

"I can also read books, watch movies. Living a self-sufficient life is rather satisfactory."

The book is a collection of true stories, one of which was an elderly man who went through chemotherapy.

The process was excruciating, but he did not complain, and didn't feel that it was suffering because he didn't want to die before his wife so he could take care of her until the very end."

Another book he read was In Order to Live - A North Korean Girl's Journey to Freedom, written by Park Yeon Mi.

"It made me realize that there are people who don't even have the basic necessities of life, no right to choose and they only thing they can do with all the adversities in life is to endure.

"Life can be so painful.

"Park Yeon Mi managed to escape from North Korea, and gets to choose her work and where she lives now.

"A free life without fear is really marvelous.

"Park's ordeal, strength and will to live moved me deeply."

Cher then told me his stories:

"I love to look good since I was young, and put gel on my hair since secondary school though it was against school rules.

I spent half my pocket money on packaging myself, the other half on books to equip myself."

Training to be a beautician was too expensive, so he learned to be a hairdresser.

Cher said he may not be a good conversationalist but he is a good listener.

Terence Chang Cheuk-cheung is the retired headmaster of Diocesan Boys School

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