Young people in Hong Kong are becoming more selfish

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 December, 2015, 12:16am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 December, 2015, 12:16am

From childhood I was taught what was and was not acceptable behaviour by my parents.

For example, I was always told you never asked classmates how much pocket money they got as this might embarrass them. I was also told to be willing to help fellow pupils and sometimes share what I had with them.

However, I have noticed changes nowadays in the attitude and behaviour of youngsters with regard to certain matters.

The Hong Kong education system has created a high-pressure environment. Unlike in the past, if you ask a fellow pupil if you could look at their notes from an after-school tutorial class, they will say no.

I think another factor in addition to the pressure, is to do with changes in the make-up of families. A lot more families now only have one child and without siblings that child is often spoiled too much by parents and grandparents. Consequently, they are far less likely to embrace the spirit of sharing.

However, as I said, stress is a major factor. So much stress is placed on the importance of doing well in exams and this causes fierce competition in the classroom between students. This is why they will often hide their tutorial notes, because they do not want to lose the edge they think the might have over their peers.

A school is seen as a miniature version of society. Adults in society can often be quite selfish and see their own concerns as being of paramount importance. This is reflected in the attitude of our students. They are less willing to see things from a wider perspective. In other words young people have become more selfish.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with keeping your tutorial notes to yourself, but it is indicative of a change in attitude by today’s younger generation in Hong Kong.

I think educators should be trying to do something about this, and try to encourage these youngsters to be less selfish. After all some of them are future leaders of society.

Wong Siu-yuk, Sham Shui Po