All have part to play in shaping gracious behaviour

While the institution of FairPrice's priority queue for pioneers is well-intentioned, it has unfortunately given rise to an entitlement mentality among some seniors.

Both Mr John Elliott ("Age no reason to cut the queue"; Jan 10) and Mr Philip Sim Ah Tee ("Seniors must also show graciousness"; Jan 10) have highlighted the lack of graciousness of some seniors who loudly cavil about having to queue behind younger shoppers.

This not only compounds the stress that cashiers already face, particularly at peak periods, but also mars the shopping experience of others who witness these ugly outbursts.

Singapore still has far to go in becoming a truly civilised society. Our queues, whether they be at bus interchanges or 4D betting outlets, are formally instituted and not a result of an organic evolution of values or manners.

One factor that could work in the long term is the exertion of societal pressure and conformity in influencing behaviour.

Giving up priority seats aboard trains to those who need them more, for example, has gradually gained traction, and people now tend to look askance at those who do not.

We all have a part to play in collectively shaping behaviour and a code of conduct without having to rely on artificial constructs.

Marietta Koh (Mrs)