Good behaviour is subconscious

I wonder why, after so many years of public campaigns against littering, we have failed to stop the bad habit ("Using citizens and cash to fight littering"; Oct 22).

At the same time, Forum letter writer Lee Teck Chuan highlighted the anti-social behaviour of many Singaporeans ("Time to display First World behaviour"; Oct 22).

It is obvious that "the carrot and the stick" strategy, and posters and campaigns have no lasting effect.

I believe that our behaviour is mostly conditioned by our subconscious.

Good habits need to be inculcated from an early age, preferably before the age of six years, and need to be reinforced periodically throughout life.

Parents of young children from nursery school onwards can set examples of good habits.

At the same time, the mass media and social media can highlight examples of such civic-minded conduct as reminders for all of us.

Civic-minded behaviour has to come from within, and not from punishment.

Consideration, Civility and Consciousness of public responsibility - not Credit Card, Car and Condo - are the real measures of our success as a nation.

George Wong Seow Choon (Dr)