The topic of Singapore being a gracious society as displayed on the public transport – the MRT has been a hot one this year, as it gets more and more crowded in our trains. This period however, when I am back in town, using the train almost everyday in every parts of Singapore, I do notice a change – passengers who are sitting on the “Reserved Seating” seats instantly jump up whenever they see someone who are older and may need the seat more. Sometimes, I see people even shun the seats, walking past and trying to find other available seats. Are Singaporeans becoming more gracious?
Or is this a result of social media and online publicity lately? Many posts and videos have gone online showing how people have hogged or had heated arguements over the seats.
Coming from Helsinki, Finland, being a much less crowded society, seats hogging and giving up seats for elderly and others in need has not been a topic for discussion. It seems to take on a more logical and independent approach – if someone appears to need a seat, he will ask for it. I personally practice this as well – if I need a seat, there does not need to be a sign for reserved seating, I will ask for it.
As for me, I’ve had pleasant experience so far in Singapore – once when I gave up my seat to an older lady, she sat down and started chatting with me, while she looked around 50 of age, she told me she is already 70+ years old. We continued the conversation on how to stay happy and young. 🙂
I believe that people and surroundings can be lightened up by each one of us – the more light hearted we keep ourselves, graciousness can shine from within.
Have a happy and gracious journey Singapore!