Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Courtesy, Try a Little Kindness!

Channel NewsAsia - Wednesday, April 1

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Kindness Month is kicking off on April 4 and organisers want to bring their message into homes and offices.

Even though the idea of showing kindness is a simple one, organisers said it takes more than a catchy jingle to change the social habits of people.

A survey was conducted last December to find out how much weight Singaporeans gave to being kind and gracious, and how well they fared in each of these areas. The overall result was a mere 58 out of 100.

The survey also found that six in ten people, out of 500 respondents, were not too impressed with the level of social graces around them.

"As drivers, Singaporeans are rude — they take advantage, break the rules when they can, it’s a me—first attitude," one man said.

But surprisingly, most Singaporeans were not too upset over the behaviours of others in the food court. These include failing to return food trays and leaving tissue paper packets or umbrellas on seats to indicate that they have been taken.

One lady said: "’Choping’ seats with tissue paper is fine, especially in Raffles Place because everybody else is doing it — it’s like the culture here. Of course at times, it can be quite embarrassing to do that, but we really have no choice. We’re only given one hour for lunch!"
The Singapore Kindness Movement wants to get the young started on the courtesy drive.
Koh Poh Tiong, chairman, Singapore Kindness Movement, said: "We’re not perfect, but I’m an optimist. I’ve got full faith in Singaporeans. I think, generally, Singaporeans are a bit shy to be expressive.

"I noticed that when my son opened a door for a lady, some of his friends said, ’Why are you doing this?’. But if we can teach children at a very young age, it’ll become second nature to them."

The organisers hope that through celebrity ambassadors and public outreach initiatives this year, they can encourage more people to show kindness.


It's upsetting when I realise that courtesy is truly lacking in our society. How often do you hear 'Thank you, excuse me, sorry' ... and so on? How often do you experience people coming to you nicely to clarify a misunderstanding before they start to react negatively, throwing accusations at you?

When you come to class late, do you sneak to your seat or greet the teacher and explain the reason for your late coming before you go to your seat?

What does 'courtesy' means to you?

Let's be courteous and kind towards one another and the world will become a better place for all.


  1. Hm... What does courtesy mean to me? Well, I can tell you that I often hear it in school but not in public.

  2. Many people in our class sneak into the class without greeting the teachers

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  5. Wow. It(courtesy)basically means, to me, that people have to learn to be humane and not push and shove. I don't hear people saying 'Thank you', 'Escuse me', etc,etc. And the worst thing is, I don't hear students in our school saying good morning/afternoon to the cleaners and I think this is the worst of all. Why? I don't want to type too much on a comment. See my blog if you really want to.

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