There is as much intrinsic kindness in Singaporeans as in people from other countries. But what is lacking is cultural kindness, or the kindness that is expressed habitually to strangers ("Do the right thing till it's the new normal"; last Sunday).
While I was in Australia, I noticed that people would hold the door open for others behind them, and commuters on public buses would greet and thank the drivers.
And when I went walking along a remote mountain trail, passing drivers would greet me by waving their hands. My guess is that in these remote areas, danger is inherent, so people are always on the lookout for others in need of help.
Such habits are not found in cities like New York or Singapore.
Cultural changes have to start gradually, when we are young, with adults setting the example.
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