It used to be that giving up your seat for elderly citizens was considered good manners, but nowadays it’s considered a “must-do”.
There have been some reports of elderly citizens demanding that other people give up their seat, and I believe this is extremely unfair.
It doesn’t matter if you are young or old – if you pay for a seat, you should have the right to sit on it. Some may have worked all day and want to rest on their journey home, but they’re made to feel guilty if there are elderly people around.
What’s worse is the elderly often push and take seats, and people are too scared to say anything. I always scold elderly citizens in these situations because they don’t respect me enough to ask. I paid for my seat, I have the right to sit on it, yet they think they have the right to take my seat.
I thought I would ask Young Post how we should go about resolving this difficult issue.
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From the editor
Thank you for your letter, Andy. And yes, I can tell you how to solve the problem very easily. Get up and give your seat to the elderly.
I’m afraid I cannot agree with you that just because you paid for your seat, you have a right to sit on it. The elderly pay for their seats too, so they have a right to sit, too.
What’s more, you don’t actually pay for “a seat” on the MTR or a bus. You pay to be transported from one place to another. If you paid more to sit down, this would be a different situation.
Giving your seat to someone who needs it more than you do is a sign of good manners. Hogging a seat when someone needs it is a sign of selfish weakness. Generally speaking, as humans, we take care of those who are weaker than ourselves. This has helped human beings succeed as a species for thousands of years.
It used to be that young people automatically respected those older than them. They would never dream of remaining seated when an elder was standing. These days, the media has taught us differently. We all learn slogans like “respect must be earned”. But I think we can take it for granted that respecting an elder is a reflection of our inner strength. Yes, you might be tired, but you’re strong enough to suck it up. And how dare you scold an elderly person? You don’t have the right.
If you are ill, or seriously injured, then of course you should keep the seat. But unless you are weaker than an elderly person, get up on your feet and stop complaining.