Forum: Ungracious behaviour: Blame lies with parents

Mr Christony Lau Pet Keong (Bring back social behaviour campaigns, March 2), Mr Anthony Lee Mui Yu (What we need is a Singaporean etiquette, March 6) and Dr William Wan (Inspiring acts from ground-up movements, March 6) make valid points, but the fact remains that Singapore society is far from being gracious.

For something like the Covid-19 outbreak to motivate people to come together does not say very much about a society's level of graciousness.

The test of graciousness lies in the little acts of daily life. Recently, I was in a country club's lift with a family of five. After the door opened, I pressed the button to allow the family to exit, but received no acknowledgement from them.

If years of social behaviour campaigns have done little to inculcate graciousness in people, more of such endeavours is unlikely to induce a behavioural change. It has to do with upbringing. If parents display ungracious and self-centred behaviour, how will they raise a generation that is different?

A different approach may be needed. Perhaps learning from societies lauded for graciousness may be a good starting point.

Lawrence Loh Kiah Muan

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