Why should I give up my seat to the elderly?

I’ve been feeling rather angry at the letters sent to The Straits Times with content that keeps saying youngsters should give up their seat to the elderly. I’ve also been fed up with the surge of the number of camera mobile phones and the many idiots who use stomp.

In fact, just yesterday I was afraid of getting Stomped in the MRT. The reason? There is this elderly man standing right in front of me and I did not give up my seat. Nor did I want to.

Now before you jump into conclusions, let me say that everyone should stop jumping into conclusions. When you see such a scene, do you whip up your mobile phone, snap a photo of this offender and send it to stomp? And when the Stomp team calls you, justify your stand by quoting moral reasons like how the elderly needs a sit?

Why do I say this? In normal times, if I am sitting and I feel that someone needs the seat more than I do, I will stand up. I have stood up to allow elders to sit as well as people with young children, or young children themselves. I am not those who pretend to sleep when the elderly comes on board. But the line is clear. I have to feel that someone needs the seat more than I do.

When this elderly man came in with his wife at Jurong East, his wife ran in and choped a seat. Then, the man sat down. YES the man sat down beside me. About 30 seconds later, the man stood up and walked to the door. His wife slid to his position and gave her position to this 30+ years looking woman.

My point is, if you are so strong to give up your seat to someone who obviously does not need it, then you should not stare at others and expect them to give up their seat for you. Why do I say this?

Because, assuming everyone on board is sympathetic to the elderly and would all give up their seats, I can just take my grandmother and I would be able to let all my friends have a seat. First, someone gives up the seat for my grandmother, then my friend takes that place. Another person gives up the seat and so on and so forth. By an infinite period of time, everyone seating in the train are my friends (assuming I have that much friends).

Now after I left, my girlfriend who was taking the train home heard the wife telling the man in Cantonese that youngsters are so selfish lately.

Hello? I find it absolutely selfish of you to exploit your status as an elderly passenger to want a seat, and even give up your seat and want to take someone else’s seat. That is unforgivable.

Whilst it should be encouraged that we give up our seats to the elderly, this act should be a special one and not a mandatory one. Besides, not all elderly people are frail and weak. That man looks strong for his age. He is even taller and fatter than me! Thus, for the elderly, please do not assume that everyone has to give up their seats for you. If you think you need a seat, then do not give up your seat to someone. If you have no seat in the first place, do ask me. I will stand up because I genuinely do not see you. I like to stand in the mrt, but when I sit, I am probably too tired and will be in a daze. Forgive me, but give me some space.

9 thoughts on “Why should I give up my seat to the elderly?

  1. heya.. I kinda agree with what you say. People (esp the elders) shouldn’t take it for granted that others are expected to give up their seats.

    In some situations, where I’m really tired, I couldn’t really be bothered with who is standing in front of me as well.. Well, this can seen as that I’m selfish, but hey, we gotta take care of ourselves before we can take care of others.

    But of cos, being kind and good citizens, we should give up our seats etc… but NOT always.

  2. Honestly, when I saw your post on ping.sg, I was kinda ready to jump at you as there is no excuse for not giving up your seat. What more to an elderly. But upon reading your entry, I couldn;t help but agree with you through and through.

    I guess there has to be some determining factor as to whom should we really give up our seats too. To the elderly, true enough. But I prefer to the elderly who really need the seat(s). Confusing as it is, how elderly is elderly. Perhaps we should just scrap the word elderly and stick to those who need it more. That manner, it’s up to the discretion of seated passengers to give up their seats.

    In any case, I don’t see the reason why the old chap gave up his seat for the middle-aged lady. Not unless she’s really in need. No worries, in my opinion (not that it truly matters), you did the right thing.

  3. Hey I met the same incident before. Lucky my friend is quite daring to tell her off. You see, we gave the seat to a pregnant lady and she just snatch the seat away from her. This is unforgivable.

  4. Like what you said, those who just jump to conclusions, snap your photos and send it to that stoooopid Stamp website are really ignorant fools.

    I may look young, but I had a back operation before and can’t stand for too long.

    so who needs the seat more? a healthy fit and strong 60 year old?

    or a young but with a back problem teenager?

    judging just by a person’s looks just gives me the impression that the person is shallow in all aspects. pfft

  5. I really shouldn’t be saying this because of what I now work as, but I’m am in total agreement with your post.

    We (young people) , at least some of us, readily give up seats to those who are in real need.

    But to me, the icing on the cake was really when I saw a not-very-old folk demanding for a seat. Read:Demanding.

    I sincerely hope that not-very-old was not holding a pink IC, because it so much cheapens mine if he does.

  6. while i feel we as younger ones should offer our seats to the elderly or anyone who requires a seat more than us due to their inconvenience, elderly should not expect to get a seat just because of their age group. so far i have not encountered any incident like the one you have mentioned.

    once, i offered a seat to an uncle in his 50s, but instead he refused despite his load, nonetheless, i still got up, and thankfully enough, it was taken by a lady who was carrying lots of stuff.

  7. Is the 30+ woman Pregnant/inconvenienced ?
    The crucial person here is the woman the man gave his seat for not you soup.
    You seem upset with the chopping action wife.
    The next is the short time frame that the man get up to give up the seat.Did you do or say anything?
    And for your sake, I hope you are pretending to sleep after all that.
    Grant all the above did not happen I think you are perfectly right.
    But please 1 xiaxue is enough really. Oh and I clicked you ads too hope you got enough clicks for your ads good luck 🙂
    PS At least a photoshopped image please?

  8. Onlooker: Well the woman is neither visibly pregnant nor inconvenienced. In fact, she is enjoying her mp3 player.

    I’m not upset with the wife booking the seat for her husband. Granted, since they are elderly, they are supposed to need a seat more than the rest of us do anyway. Thus I have no problems with her doing that.

    Hmm I did not do or say anything when the man got up. In fact he went to the mrt door. I thought he was leaving. Until he walked back and stood in front of me. Seems like a weird old man.

    I didn’t pretend to sleep. There was no need to I think. Pretending to sleep implies my guilt whereas I have none.

    Haha..Well please do not compare me with Xiaxue, I don’t like to be compared to anyone in general. It either degrades me or degrades the other person.

    Haha..No photoshop images..This is a blog about personal opinions, not photowhoring. Anyway I’m not a girl.

    Erm..thanks for clicking my ads but I hope you clicked because you were interested in the ad..Thanks

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