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Singaporeans may be more gracious this year, but there is still room for much improvement.
According to the annual Graciousness index by the Singapore Kindness Movement, the country scored 55 this year, two points higher than in 2013.
However, this is still the second lowest score since the survey begun in 2009. The highest score, 61 points, was reported in 2012.
“An improvement in the Graciousness Index is heartening news, but it also points to how much more work needs to be done,” Dr William Wan, general secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement, said.
“This year’s results show that we are a little more sensitive to pro-social acts that go on around us than last year, but that our attitudes toward kindness have not similarly improved.”
The index measures several factors which fall into two categories, perception and experience. Factors that make up ‘perception’ include the attitudes and opinions of respondents and of others, while ‘experience’ included the doing, receiving and witnessing of kind and gracious acts.
Singapore’s improved performance this year was mostly driven by the experience factors, the report noted.
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The survey, which collated responses from 1,666 respondents over a four-week period earlier this year, also found Gen Ys remained more optimistic and positive than their peers who were over 50 years-old. Those below 30 scored 58 points while their older counterparts scored 52.
Additionally, heavy users of the internet (those who spend more than 20 hours online a week) were the most likely to act graciously online. In fact, 55% believed graciousness is necessary on the internet, while 80% said more needs to be done to educate people on acting graciously online. These figures are also significantly higher than the 25% and 57% respectively among users who are online less than two hours each week.
“Kindness and graciousness have had an eventful year, but it looks like we might have finally turned the bend. As a society, we have not shied away from the difficult conversations, but as the Index reveals, we are now demanding more civility, from others, and ourselves,” said Dr. Wan.
“This shift in direction is a good, but we all have a part to play in keeping things on track.”