Seated comfortably in Phil Smart Sr.’s office at Mercedes Benz Seattle dealership, the “Spirit of Hong Kong Award” was displayed on his desk.  He expressed his honor to receive the award together with Dr. Austen Chan (another recipient of the same award), who has created a valuable page in his life.  On the day of the award banquet, he was greeted by Austen’s wife, Nora Chan, and congratulated by his 3 sons. He had a moment of “silence and speechless”, which was indeed a rare circumstance in his 90 years of life.  He felt so honored and touched.

What is the “Spirit of Hong Kong Award”?  Do you need to be a hero to earn this award?

After the interview with the award recipient, Mr. Phil Smart Sr., the answer was revealed to me and I whole-heartedly agree this award is well deserved by him.

 

Seated comfortably in Phil Smart Sr.’s office at Mercedes Benz Seattle dealership, the “Spirit of Hong Kong Award” was displayed on his desk.  He expressed his honor to receive the award together with Dr. Austen Chan (another recipient of the same award), who has created a valuable page in his life.  On the day of the award banquet, he was greeted by Austen’s wife, Nora Chan, and congratulated by his 3 sons. He had a moment of “speechless”, which was indeed a rare circumstance in his 90 years of life.  He felt so honored and touched.

 

Phil Smart Sr. who prefers to be called “Senior” said, “Feel free to ask me any questions” and this started the 20-30 minutes conversation with Senior in sharing his life philosophy, experience in giving back to the community and work ethics.

 

He took out a card with “8-8-8” printed on one side. The three “8”s represent 8 working-hours, 8 hours for rest and 8 hours to share with your loved ones, family and friends, and most importantly, share it with the community and those who need a helping hand.  Who needs help?  Turn the card and you will find simple alphabets H-H-H-U 1-2-1 Y-O-I-D.  They symbolize Hurt, Hunger, Homeless and Unemployed.  Y-O-L-D signify Young, Old, Illiterate and Drugs.  The “1-2-1” means “one-to-one”.  He believes LOVE is the power of unity and meaning to life.  He has shared this card with over 92,000 people.

 

This is also the same attitude he shares his 81 years at the Boy Scouts Association, where he learnt about the “On My Honor” principle, which becomes his belief, qualities of life.  Known as “Beanie Baby Santa Claus” at Seattle Children Hospital, Senior started volunteering for “one Wednesday a month” and continued every Wednesday for the past 47 years.  To the sick patients, Senior is their angel, yet, in-turn, Senior acknowledges them as his angels as they have given him value and meaning in life to share.

 

When Senior was asked, “What motivate him to move on with his current status of financial stability, successful business, and social achievements?”  He paused and said, “this is a good question – everyday is like obtaining a report card at school, someday you receive an ‘A’, someday you receive an ‘E’ … do your best, it is the little things that counts, and share your LOVE.   This is my philosophy of life.”

 

I was speechless after the interview and thanked Senior for sharing his story.  “It is the little things that count, everyone can be a hero, LOVE yourself and others and experience your own values in life.”  Mr. Phil Smart Sr., a truly worthy recipient of the “Spirit of Hong Kong Award”.

 

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