Selfish attitudes now evident in Hong Kong society

PUBLISHED : Friday, 31 July, 2015, 4:08pm
UPDATED : Friday, 31 July, 2015, 4:08pm

Recently, I witnessed several incidents that made me realise the bleak future Hong Kong has with its current citizens.

One morning earlier this month, I was having breakfast with a client. He noticed that a young man, aged around 17, had dropped his backpack.

With good intentions, my client, who is in his forties, picked it up and returned it. Without a word of thanks, he grabbed the backpack and resumed eating. I stated, "Where are your manners?" and he simply stared.

An older woman, likely his mother, then arrived with a tray of food. He did not move to help her in any way, and continued to eat.

The future of Hong Kong is hopeless if this is representative of our current society.

I recall another incident where I offered my seat to an elderly woman on the MTR. Instead, she offered the seat to her grandson, who quickly sat down.

I immediately asked why she, being approximately 60, would offer it to her healthy and robust grandson when I clearly offered it to her.

Her daughter-in-law quickly asked the grandson to stand up so that the grandmother could sit.

Another time I boarded an MTR train and upon seeing two empty seats, I sat down on one. A young couple standing nearby loudly and rudely proclaimed that I had stolen their seats. What happened to respecting one's elders?

Conversely, I was on a bus once where I witnessed a man, perhaps around 50, making his way to the upper deck of the bus with ease. When he saw all the seats were full, he immediately pretended to be laboured and weak from going up the stairs. As expected, someone instantly offered him their seat. Being elderly does not entitle one to use the kindness of others either.

Often, I also see seniors join the early morning rush hour. Given that they are retired, would it not be more sensible of them to avoid inconveniencing others who are in a hurry to get to work?

If our society continues to be this way, there is no hope for the future of Hong Kong. Our city was built on the principles of respect and consideration of those around us, and this must not be forgotten.

Barry Chin, Central