Timeless Lessons of Generosity
Born in Chungking, the late Dr Betty Jamie Chung Yu-Juen (BA 1965, MA 1968) began her life in the war capital. Her family eventually settled in Hong Kong where she received higher education at HKU. In 1982, Betty established a market research consultant firm, which opened a new page for the Taiwan market. Later, she completed a doctorate degree in Social Psychology in Canada. Betty passed away in 2013.
In 2010, Betty published a book called “Life Recipes from My Mother” as a commemorative tribute to her mother, Mrs Chung Lam Yuan-Wan. In the book, she shared many precious life lessons that her mother passed on to her. One of Betty’s most memorable lesson was a giving story that happened when she was still a baby.
It was the time when Japanese invaded China and hundreds of people, including Mrs Chung and Betty, then a baby, were trapped inside a bomb shelter. When it was time for the baby to eat, the hot water supply was running low. People around the mother and child were irritated by the baby’s cries of hunger. Mrs Chung was becoming desperate when a lady kindly offered her some hot water. Mrs Chung was so happy that she even did not thank the lady properly. As soon as she finished feeding Betty, she went to find the lady, she noticed that the generous woman had two children with her. Mrs Chung then realised that the woman gave her the water that her own children probably needed. She was so touched the kind gesture that all she could do was hold the woman’s hands and weep. Betty recalled her mother saying, “The mother gave us water when we needed it, water that her children were probably deprived of because of us. How can we not help people now? It is our turn.”
This belief of “giving and helping others is the best policy” influenced Betty throughout her life and even beyond. In April 2016, the University received a bequest from Betty for the establishment of the Betty Jamie Chung Scholarship (鍾郁君紀念獎學金). The Scholarship aims to support financially challenged students studying Philosophy, Psychology or Chinese Medicine in their participation of enrichment activities and their pursuit of an all-round education.
“Always remember to give.” These wise words from Mrs Chung are timeless human values and principles, which not only serve as guidance for her daughter, but also are a legacy that will benefit younger generations of the HKU Family.
(Source: Betty Jamie Chung (2010), Life Recipes From My Mother:Timeless Lessons for Living a Contented Life)