Don't abuse social concessions

Updated: 2014-07-23 08:01

(China Daily)

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It is quite common to see young people offering their seats in public vehicles to senior citizens. But that does not mean that the elderly should force young people to offer their seats to them, says an article in Guangming Daily. Excerpts:

News reports say an elderly woman boarded a bus in Beijing with her teenage grandson recently and asked a girl to vacate her seat so that she could sit. When the girl refused to do so, the elderly woman started screaming that the girl had no manners.

Before people jump to any conclusion, let it be known that the elderly woman asked the girl to give up her seat only after her grandson had occupied the only vacant seat on the bus. Why didn't the elderly woman take the vacant seat instead of allowing her grandson to occupy it? And didn't the boy have any manners and feeling for his grandmother? If he had, why didn't he ask her to take the vacant seat?

The woman tried to have the best of both the worlds - get seats both for her grandson and herself. But she should have known that she didn't have any moral right to ask the girl to vacate her seat after telling her grandson to take the only empty seat.

Besides, the elderly woman had no right to criticize the girl for not having "manners" when her own grandson, oblivious to the commotion she was creating and totally disinterested in helping her, kept playing with his mobile phone all the while.

Respect and love have to be reciprocal. Senior citizens earn the respect of youths by showing respect to them in return. For instance, media reports say that some senior citizens have offered their seats to young people who seemed to be in greater need to take a rest. Such attitude will encourage more young people to offer their seats to the elderly and help them in other ways too. This is the way things should be.

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