Overcome fear of being ridiculed for kind acts

A panel discussion on the topic of privilege in Singapore and giving back to society was moderated by (from left) Straits Times editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang, and involved Lien Foundation chairman Laurence Lien; Singapore Management University profe
A panel discussion on the topic of privilege in Singapore and giving back to society was moderated by (from left) Straits Times editor-at-large Han Fook Kwang, and involved Lien Foundation chairman Laurence Lien; Singapore Management University professor of sociology (practice) Paulin Straughan, HealthServe co-founder and chairman Goh Wei Leong; and Beyond Social Services deputy executive director T. Ranganayaki.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

The panel at a discussion organised by the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) and The Straits Times suggested ways to get Singaporeans to step out of their "cocoons" to do more kind acts (Spotlight on issue of giving back to society, July 3).

They also cited various barriers to doing acts of kindness.

SKM's 2019 Graciousness Survey found that young Singaporeans were afraid of being shamed on social media for trying to help others (Youth too embarrassed to show kindness in public: Poll, June 25).

It was startling to learn from the survey that while many Singaporeans aged 15 to 24 aspire to have a positive impact on society, a quarter of them fear being made to look silly or being shamed online for helping others.

We need to help Singaporeans, especially the youth, to overcome this fear of being ridiculed for doing kind deeds.

Albert Ng Ya Ken

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2019, with the headline 'Overcome fear of being ridiculed for kind acts'. Print Edition | Subscribe