Friday, April 28, 2017

‘Catch’ people doing the right thing to promote graciousness

My press letter on the above subject appears today in MediaCorp’s TODAY newspaper – Friday 28th April 2017.
I refer to the report “Toa Payoh couple arrested: Experts caution against lynch-mob mentality (April 27).
People often turn to the Internet and social media to ensure action is taken against what they deem to be unfair treatment.
Like many who have viewed the video of the couple abusing the elderly man who was looking for a seat at a table, I was upset about the bullying.
I have observed regularly that patience and graciousness is lacking among many of us, whether on the roads or in the community.
While mobile phones can easily capture ungracious behaviour, why not get netizens to film people doing the right thing for a change?
Let us work towards being more positive in life, rather than allowing a negative mindset to damage gracious living. For example, diners at hawker centres who do not “chope” seats but offer them instead to anyone in need — a pregnant lady, senior citizen or person with a disability — could be caught on camera showing kindness.
The National Environment Agency could spearhead this drive in collaboration with the hawkers’ associations, town councils and the Singapore Kindness Movement.
Such videos could be posted online, and write-ups of the gracious acts and interviews with the persons who displayed them could be publicised in newsletters and placed on public housing notice boards.
With such initiatives, I am confident that graciousness and consideration for one another can be part and parcel of life here, sooner or later.
We must develop patience and understanding as we grow as an inclusive society, and more so when the population swells in the years ahead.

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