Self Respect and Civic-Consciousness

Self Respect and Civic-Consciousness

no litteringOver the weekend, I watched ‘Star Trek,’ in the cinema, with a group of friends. The movie was quite good. However, as I was never a close follower of Star Trek TV series, I was quite lost at some parts of the movie; especially with all the Star Trek’s terms and the time traveling. All in all, it was pretty entertaining.

I was just slightly disturbed over an incidence that happened before the movie start; I saw a guy resting his legs over the top of the seat in the row in front of him. Looking on the bright side, at least he bothered to take off his shoes before doing that inconsiderate act.

He put down his legs only when the seats in front of him were taken up. How would you feel, if you were the one taking those seats? I just hope that the guy takes good care of his legs’ hygiene.

Do Singaporeans really have no sense of self-respect as was criticised by Jackie Chan, in a recent speech he made during the Boao Forum for Asia?

At first I was furious when I learned that he made such a senseless remark. There is a saying by Abraham Lincoln that goes something like this, “I am not bothered by what others said about me as long as I know they were not speaking the truth of me.” So I shouldn’t be bothered right? Not exactly, because I know that there are some truths to what he said.

Look at the example of the guy I saw in the cinema over the weekend. Not to mention, the amount of litters you can see around the mail box when there is a trash can just besides it. And then there is the usual rushing into the subway’s cabins whenever the subway reaches the station and the cabin’s doors open. Couldn’t they (the people rushing in) allow the people inside the cabin to come out first?

Back to the mail box area, was it really easier to throw the junk mails on the floor than to throw it into the trashcan, which is just about a metre away? Or is it as what Jackie Chan said, that Singaporeans really have no sense of self-respect?

Instead of saying that Singaporeans have no sense of self-respect, would it be more appropriate if I should say that Singaporeans have no sense of civic-consciousness? Now the next questions are, “Is it true only in the case of Singaporean or do you see such lack of civic-consciousness in your country too?

I believe that civic-consciousness voices down to the individual and it is not an unique characteristic of a particular nation. Education, cultures and upbringing play a part in forming the civic-consciousness of the individual. Laws and regulations are sometimes made to force through the civic-consciousness.

In the example of Singapore, anyone caught littering can be made to do Corrective Work Order (CWO); the litterbugs are basically made to clean up parks, beaches and house estates. Many never made the same mistakes again.

Jackie Chan may ridicule the laws in Singapore but some times these laws are there to protect the majority from the minority. And most time, whether certain laws are there or not, they never bother the majority at all because I believe that most people are civic-conscious.

The question I ask myself is, “Do I need the law to govern me?” What do you have to say?

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12 thoughts on “Self Respect and Civic-Consciousness

  1. lina

    I do think that sometimes we need to shove down all these laws down the throat to make it effective.
    I only wish my country has such law for litterbugs. I really don’t understand the thinking of “It doesn’t effect me, so why bother” or “That’s the cleaners job, let them do it” kind of mindset.

  2. Symphony of Love Post author

    @ Lina, I never brought that kind of attitude. I detest the one especially, “That’s the cleaners’ job, let them do it.” There are even crazy and irresponsible few who can say thing like, “if they don’t litter, the cleaners will be out of job.”

  3. Blazing Minds

    Just typical, sometimes I wonder if people only see the sign as a challenge, maybe they are hoping to get caught or just seeing if anyone will actually do anything about it!

  4. Symphony of Love Post author

    @ Karen, some people may actually see it as a challenge to them indeed. While others may be tempted to try littering at the spot. End of the day, I believe it still voices down to individual’s civic-consciousness.

  5. Symphony of Love Post author

    @ Debbie, both are equally important. Losing either would not make any sense. And maybe I can say that if you have one, you will have the other. 🙂

  6. Penny

    Yes I see the same here in the UK. People spit on the streets, I really hate that especially. To be honest I would HATE to sit there where his feet have been. It really is disrespectful.

    Pennys last blog post..Life As A Film

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Penny, I would HATE to sit there where his feet have been. But it seemed that the lady sitting there with her friends didn’t really mind. Perhaps, it is different perspective. They didn’t see it as anything offending. I agree with you that it is really disrespectful. And I guess, such thoughtless act is happening anywhere in the world.

      Spitting is really disgusting; imagine all those germs. It is truly inconsiderate.

  7. Tammy-Cricket

    Bk…is see this here also. Raising a teen and seeing what his friends are capable of doing without even thinking. I truly believe the root of the problem lies at the base of a “home.” Respect is not taught nor appreciated. People are rushed, in a hurry and somewhere along this journey we skip the important parts.

    It is sad to see…

    I am glad to see someone else is not Star Trek fan. I have confession. I have never even seen one show from beginning to end. I was always bored with fiction…especially this kind. I am going to force myself to go see this with Dylan. I shall report back.

  8. Symphony of Love Post author

    @ Tammy, indeed, respect has to be taught. It is about bringing to teen the awareness of self-respect and civic-consciousness. They must understand that respect needs to be earned through their own doings. It is sad to say that they are not taught sometimes because we forget too about respect for others and even things around us.

    Hey, do enjoy the show with Dylan; the show is really secondary, it is the bonding time that really matters. I know you know that. 🙂

  9. Love online

    It is a sad fact that in all cultures and societies there are people who have no sense of moral or communal behaviour and almost see the concept of society as something to attack or rebel against.

    PS If you tought taking his shoes off before putting his legs over the seat was somehow better than leaving them on, I can only assume that his foot hygene was ok 🙂