Counsellor & Psychotherapist
Masters of Counselling & Psychotherapy UofA
Member of the ACA College of Supervisors
Level 3 Member Australian Counselling Association
Are you the person who offers their bus seat to the elderly? Or do you believe that you have bought the ticket so you are entitled to sit while the elderly stand? Do you think that children should be the ones to surrender their seat instead?
Being one of "the elderly" with the grey hair to prove it, it irks me to see younger folk sitting on their big, usually fat, bottoms while I struggle to keep my balance as the bus driver attempts to keep to the timetable through ever increasing traffic. I noticed in some cities in the USA that there were heavy fines for folks who took a designated elders' seat while those folk stood. If anyone refuses to accept a polite offer of a seat, I get quite annoyed and will tell them they could start an international incident if they refuse. This is one reason for gallantry among men disappearing.
One day I will have the courage to say what an elderly friend of mine says when there are heads down all around her and no seat offered: Well, whose lap am I going to sit on today? I'll keep you up to date on that one.
I rarely do because usually I'm carrying a toddler and it doesn't feel safe to ride standing up while doing so. If I'm travelling on my own, then yes, definitely. You're supposed to, and there are signs to that effect on buses and trains so people know about it. I don't really see why a child has less right to a seat than an adult passenger though.
I rarely catch public transport and, now that I have a baby in tow, I imagine I wouldn't be inclined to give up my seat. However, if it was just me and I saw somebody struggling, I would definitely offer my seat to them.
Young people should stand for the elderly, mainly because the young get so annoyed if elderly people fall onto them when the transport lurches. It is rather uncool to have someone elderly fall on top of you, so for their own sake (the young) they should give up their seat without hesitation. Some elderly people have been known to be nasty enough to deliberately fall onto young people (say from ages 6 to 50 years) and even fall onto them multiple times during a single trip. Some elderly people can even be nasty enough to use school bags as a stepping stool to reach the safety straps above the young people's heads.
I spent my younger days on public transport with two kids in tow, and I used to squeeze them into one (1) seat behind me who was balanced teetering on the edge of that one seat. But if an elderly person boarded the bus or tram, I would haul the kids off the seat altogether and try to squash them against the wall as much as possible if a corner wasn't available. I did this because I knew that I was only growing older, not younger and that I might get that respect or care when I was elderly. Alas, didn't happen.
I used to catch the train and people always offered their seats to me, and surprisingly mostly women, I think because they are empathetic. It was always appreciated and hope the kindness continues with the generations. I don't mind that little kids keep their seats as it is harder for them to stand when the trains are packed and they are so short they get knocked about a bit. School aged children used to stand too.
Ah, but youngsters today have so much less stamina than we old folk. Plus, they NEED those seats so they can tap away on their mobile phones, take selfies, rest those high-heeled legs and generally protect themselves against all the nasty things life might throw at them.
We were always taught growing that we had to give up our seats to someone older (not necessarily aged) when travelling, and we always did. Now that I'm older I find that most males offer their seats to me, and the occasional womanfif no male attempts to relinquish his seat. There are the odd few males who put their heads down and pretend you're not there and I have to say most teens have offered their seats, shaming the ostriches who obviously haven't been taught manners. I do make a point of thanking the person giving up their seat as I've noticed some people take it as their right to have the seat, no thanks given.