A senior student at Chongqing university named Wang Dandan said she was reprimanded by an elderly woman on a bus after the grandma gave up her own seat to her 16-year-old grandson then demanded that Wang give up a seat for her. The story has stirred up some real heated discussion online and in the news over the ethics of seat-giving, Chongqing Business Daily reports.
Wang says she took bus number 276 to head back to school after her part-time job on July 16. Not long after, an elderly lady got on the bus with her 16-year-old grandson. Having given the only available seat to her grandson, the old lady asked Wang to give up her seat. Wang declined her, prompting grandma to begin complaining about how uncivilized young people are.
“What’s the point of going to school? Nowadays, the young people don’t even know to give their seat to the elderly. Sister, you should respect the old people and care for the children.”
Hearing that, Wang felt irritated and asked the elderly woman, “Why don’t you ask your grandson to give his seat to you?”
“In daily life, I am not hesitant to give my own seat to the old people.” Wang told reporters.
“But in that situation, her grandson was just sitting near her playing with his cell phone. It’s unfair for me to give my seat to her instead. Move over, I couldn’t tolerate her remark about my education being meaningless.”
“It’s common that young people take the initiative to give their seats to the elderly,” Luo Qingyu, the bus driver, commented.
“This is actually the first case of its kind that I’ve seen in my 20 years of driving. It’s difficult to evaluate who is right and who is wrong, but no matter whose fault is, we should practice traditional courtesy and give up seats to the old, the sick, the weak and the pregnant women. It isn’t that hard to do at all.”
Really getting into it, reporters further interviewed a few citizens on the issue (there was also a lengthy quote from a psychologist which we chose to omit for brevity’s sake).
“If I were the university student, I would give her my seat,” said Zhou Yuxin, another 21-year-old university student. “I am used to offering my seat to the weak. I wouldn’t think about it too much and just offer my seat to her at once.”
“If I were the grandson, I would give my grandmother my seat,” 18-year-old Quan Wei said. “I often give my seat to the elderly. I give up seats for strangers, so there there’s no reason I shouldn’t offer it to my own grandmother!”
“If I were the young woman, I wouldn’t give her my seat,” 42-year-old Jiangbo stated. “I would persuade her grandson to give his seat. The child is old enough to understand ethics. As a grandson, he should be obliged to give his seat to his grandma.”
“Once I get on the bus, young people will offer me their seat,” Zhang Yibi, a 73-year-old resident, said. “I highly appreciate that. I believe everyone has the right to choose to give up their seat or not, but you can’t force them to do that for you. Furthermore, old people should also be more considerate as the young do have tiring work days (they need a seat too). If I were the old lady, I would either ask my grandson to give me the seat or stand but would never request other passengers to give me their seat.”
From the mouths of babes. Feel free to weigh in on the age-old conundrum surrounding seat etiquette in the comments below.
By Lucy Liu
[Image Via Chongqing Business Daily]