Basic courtesy begins at home

Greeting and thanking the bus driver is basic courtesy, but to most people, it can be a tall order (Some simple courtesy goes a long way by Professor Tikki Pang; March 17).

Most residents find it difficult to acknowledge one another's presence, let alone greet their neighbour in the neighbourhood and inside the lifts.

Although our courtesy campaign and kindness movement have had some positive effects, the desired outcome has yet to be achieved.

Perhaps, these social shortcomings are partly due to poor upbringing at home, which is the ideal environment in which to instil such values in the young.

Hence, parents must teach their children basic courtesy, such as greeting and thanking their domestic helpers as well as those who serve them at food outlets.

Parents and grandparents should teach by example.

If the young are exposed to unacceptable behaviour at home, they may find it difficult to be socially responsible as they grow up.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2017, with the headline 'Basic courtesy begins at home'. Print Edition | Subscribe