Skip to main content

Honour on the Train

By September 11, 2014Uncategorized

MRTFollowing the Susan Long interview published in the Sunday Times on 31 August 2014 which included the point that I ride the MRT every day to work, and also that I stop one station away from my office to walk to work as part of my daily exercise, several people have commended me for setting a good example in taking the MRT.  But others have remarked that since I have a car, I should not take the MRT as I am adding to the crowdedness.  What this shows simply is that there is no way to please everyone, no matter our intentions.

But I do want to remark about shows of honour on the train.  While there are the occasional quarrels and short-temperedness, and accusations of lack of respect and patience, I must say that I have been very pleased by the honour shown me every so often when all kinds of people have offered me their seat.  These are not only the people occupying the “Reserved Seats” next to the train doors.  No doubt my grey hair has helped invoke the kindnesses.  But I have been offered seats by young ladies as well as young men, by school girls as well as school boys, and by middle-aged women and middle-aged men.  Respect, kindness and honour live on.  I am so happy for Singapore.

And whether it is on the MRT or buying food in a coffee shop or roadside stall, I invariably get called “Uncle”, something that puzzles many Caucasians, some of whom even encourage their children to call them by their first names.  But I accept “Uncle” with a smile and some measure of satisfaction at my new found status among the seniors in Singapore.

There is a proverb that reads: “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.”

As a grandfather, I accept the first part with understanding and happiness. But what I find amazing is the second part.  Often, parents think of their children as their pride, but here it says that children think of their parents as their pride.

On reflection, I think there is huge wisdom in this, where children honour and take pride in their parents, and parents are sensitized all the time to be so caring and loving of their children that their children cannot but be proud of them. 

So that is my sharing for the week.  Grandparents, I salute you for raising not just one generation, but a second generation.  And parents, I am proud of you as your children also seek to be proud of you in their love and honour for you.


Leave a Reply