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.