Just want to follow up a bit on Javert's post on a gracious society. His post lets me ponder, how do we define being a gracious society??
For me, I think its easier to just list some of my ideas of being a gracious society. And its not really a big list at all.
1) Be responsible for their own actions in the public. (Eg, If you smoke or wants to sneeze, make sure you are away from another person etc)
2) Be kind and thoughtful to all the people around you (sincerely, not face value)
3) Be polite when we talk or converse.
4) Be helpful to those who are in need of help.
5) Obey the law, rules or conditions.
I think just the 5 points above should be enough to be a gracious society but its easier said than done.
When I was young, we still talk to our neighbours and called them Auntie or Uncle (like Kampong). The main wooden door of my house is always opened unless at night and sometimes the gate is not lock when my sis and I went out and play with the other kids in the same block. Nowadays, people go back to their flats and locked their doors and gates. We are taught by our parents and teachers in school to be polite and respect the elders. My father and mother always set a good example to me by being polite to anyone we meet, giving up their seats on the bus to the elders or those who need it more than we do (and explain to us why we need to do it) What happened to the good old days?
Why is that so? What's happening to us?? Is our education really a failure? I'm sure those same values were taught by the parents of these "current" adults in Singapore. Like Javert did mentioned, if the adults don't set an example, our next generation will just be the same (or worse) than us. There must be another reason for this change. Is Singapore over crowded as a reason??
I think overcrowded may be a viable reason as its seen here in Thailand. People here in Maesai are more friendly and gracious than those in Bangkok. Rural people are warm and really really sincerely helpful. That's why I like it here (I hated Bangkok). So now our gahment really want 6 million people crowded on an island......