We must always show sensitivity to people performing manual labour ("Manual workers deserve a bow too"; last Sunday).
I lived in a kampung many years ago, and my neighbours would cover their noses when the night-soil carrier came to collect buckets of human waste.
Out of sensitivity to the night-soil carrier, I would tell my children not to pinch their noses in his presence.
My grandchildren now know how to conduct themselves with decorum when sweepers are clearing rubbish at the bin centre, or when rubbish trucks are making their rounds.
It is important for children to develop such sensitivity during their formative years, as this will help them to be more socially responsible as they grow up.
We must respect people who are involved in carrying out manual tasks which many of us shun or dare not do.
More than that, we must be grateful to them for doing a great job, which allows us to live comfortably.
The best way to demonstrate our respect and gratitude towards these workers is through our interaction with them.
Greeting a sweeper with a "good morning" will make his day; thanking the worker who clears the table at the foodcourt shows your appreciation for his service.
We must drive home the message that manual workers are providing a crucial service to our nation and, without them, Singapore would not have become a First World country within such a short time.
Jeffrey Law Lee Beng