Kindness, honesty can be found all over the world

Ms Margaret Sabrina Leong Siak-Chin of Toronto wrote about her lost wallet which was found within 10 minutes of her reporting it to a Changi Airport officer (Wallet found, thanks to airport, shop staff; Aug 11).

The efficiency and honesty prompted her to state: "This can happen only in Singapore."

It is, of course, a statement which will make Singaporeans proud.

Interestingly and coincidentally, when my family was in Vancouver last year, my daughter left her branded wallet in a toilet at a Starbucks outlet, and had it returned to her by the Starbucks counter staff within minutes of her discovering the loss.

And when she was an exchange student at Calgary, she had once carelessly dropped a wallet on a train, but got it back after reporting the loss.

But I hesitate to say something like: "It can happen only in Canada."

All over the world, I believe, many people do kind or honest deeds for altruistic reasons. Mother Teresa of poverty-stricken Calcutta is a supreme example.

Children, especially, are often honest, both in word and deed.

As a former primary school teacher, I have come across several cases where children turned in even 10 cents or 20 cents that they found to the teachers.

There is a Chinese saying that everyone is, at birth, without evil thoughts.

In later years, circumstances, the environment or other factors may cause one to change, but it is heartening to note that not everyone succumbs to the lure of illicit wealth.

The newspapers sometimes run stories of maids who make off with their employers' money or valuables.

But there are the untold stories of maids who return change found in pockets when they do laundry.

Despite news of bank holdups and robberies, all is not lost; there is still honesty and nobility of spirit around us.

Low Siew Hua (Ms)