You reap what you sow. It is a well-known expression which means you have to be responsible for your past actions. If you did bad things in the past you will have to accept the bad results that follow. If you did good things in the past, you can enjoy the good things that come your way. It’s similar to the expression “you’ve made your bed, now lie in it.” But this expression only means if you’ve done bad things in the past you must accept the consequences. It is not used for the good things you have done in the past.
Last week two people, suspected to be students of the Education University, put up posters at the college campus mocking Education Undersecretary Christine Choi Yuk-lin after her young son committed suicide by jumping out of a window of his home. To mock someone means to make fun of that person in a scornful or insulting way. The posters congratulated Choi Yuk-lin for her son’s death. She is hated by the opposition camp, which has accused her of being a central government puppet who wants Hong Kong’s schools to have patriotic national education. After the posters mocking Choi Yuk-lin appeared, unknown people put up posters in simplified Chinese, which is used on the mainland, congratulating the wife of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo who died in prison on the mainland.
Is it cold-hearted to put up posters mocking people who have lost their loved ones? Or is it free speech? Some people say it is cold-hearted. But students and student unions from most of Hong Kong’s universities say it is free speech. The Education University trains students to be teachers. Hundreds of school principals have condemned the posters. Reports say some schools have rejected at least ten internships for Education University undergraduates. Some employers have even said they would never hire any teachers from the Education University. If those reports are true, the students will have a hard time finding jobs when they graduate. You reap what you sow. You have made your bed, now lie in it.
* * *
You reap what you sow.這是一句眾所周知的習語，意思就是「種瓜得瓜，種豆得豆」。若你過去做了壞事，你就得承受惡果；若你過往做了好事，自然就能享受善果。它跟習語“you’ve made your bed, now lie in it”的意思是相近的，但後者只是指若你以往做了壞事，你就得自食其果，並不會用來說「種善因，得善果」。
上星期教育局副局長蔡若蓮年輕的兒子從家中跳樓喪生後，有兩個懷疑是香港教育大學的學生，在大學校園張貼大字報嘲諷（mocking）她。To mock someone就是以輕蔑或侮辱性的形式去嘲笑某人。那大字報恭喜蔡若蓮喪子。她被反對派仇視，被指責為中央政府的傀儡，要在香港學校推行愛國的國民教育。嘲笑（mocking）蔡若蓮的大字報出現後，又有不知名人士貼起簡體中文的大字報來，祝賀劉霞的丈夫、諾貝爾和平獎得主劉曉波在內地囚禁期間逝世。
張貼大字報嘲笑（mocking）那些失去至愛至親的人，是否冷血涼薄？抑或那只是言論自由？有些人說那是涼薄的行為；但香港多間大學的學生和學生會，都認為那屬言論自由。教育大學是培訓學生成為教師的，數以百計的學校校長都譴責這些大字報，有報告指，至少有十名教育大學本科生遭學校取消實習機會，更有僱主明言永不錄用任何教大畢業的老師。若這些報告屬實，學生畢業要找工作時將會非常困難。所謂「種瓜得瓜，種豆得豆」（You reap what you sow），這就是作繭自縛、自作自受（You have made your bed, now lie in it）了。