Singaporeans courteous but not mindful

General view of the Singapore city skyline.
General view of the Singapore city skyline. PHOTO: ST FILE

Based on my experience, Singaporeans are courteous but not mindful (She gives up high-flying career to pursue mindfulness, May 19).

Often, when I hold the door open for people in Singapore, many simply walk through without saying "thank you".

However, when I follow their disrespectful act with "it is my pleasure to hold the door for you", invariably, the person says "thank you" quickly with some embarrassment.

Another example is when I am at a hawker centre and I am asked whether the empty seats at my table are taken. Usually, when I say no, the person sits down immediately without saying anything.

However, when I say, "it is my pleasure to answer your question", once again, the "thank you" comes out quickly.

Singaporeans are courteous but just not mindful.

Mindfulness is the key to courtesy too.

Ong Poh Seng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 21, 2019, with the headline 'S'poreans courteous but not mindful'. Print Edition | Subscribe