Oct 2014 Most people I have the privilege of encountering as a character educator are not ‘tiger parents’ or ‘Hong Kong children’（港孩）, but I have met a few in my lifetime. And when I do see such children, I only have to look at their parents and caregivers to understand why they are the way they are. Everything is done for them. All they have to do is lift their foot and a show gets placed on it and the laces tied, or they just have to say ‘I’m hungry’ and the chef, helper and driver are instantly mobilized to cook, pack and deliver a hot meal! The problem is that these children will grow up not knowing how to make decisions for themselves or how to take care of themselves and others, which is a worrying thought since they are our future leaders. But my outlook is optimistic; I believe every child has the potential to be an excellent member of society and a leader of their generation. One core character trait of such a person is responsibility – the ability to be responsible for himself or herself, to be responsible to others and also for the world.
Learning to be responsible starts from the little things on a personal level – having toddlers put their toys away, children pack their own schoolbag and teenagers manage their own time schedules. It starts from taking care of one’s personal belongings, commitments and time.