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Saturday, June 06, 2009

"You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance." - Ray Bradbury, advice to writers


On politeness and graciousness:

A: You walk into the bus and head straight for the back. You remain standing for the rest of the journey. You pass by two bus stops uneventfully, until an elderly woman, carrying a bag of something get on the bus. She wants to sit down, but a lady who is close to you is sitting on the outer part of a double-seat. The elderly woman tries hard to get her attention, during which the lady, who was apparently dozing, briefly opens her eyes and seemingly feigns deafness. You hope fervently to yourself no tourists are on board. The elderly woman tries for a little bit more to get the attention of the woman who refuses to budge. She now her eyes stubbornly closed. The elderly woman gives up, but gets a seat anyway owing to a decent human being who happens to be close by, a mother with a small children. She lets her child sit on her lap and the lady slips in gratefully on the seat.

"My feet really hurt," She says somewhat awkwardly. Her eyes dart back to the apparently dozing woman again, as though she was not quite sure the atrocity really happened.

"No manners at all." She declared.

Me: Politeness is given, not demanded. I actually think the elderly woman was not exactly in the right either.

I hope someone does the same to me, then I will go: "So do mine" (I have extra bones in my feet so it hurts to stand for too long)

A: I agree that politeness is not something that should be automatically expected of others. It's a bonus, but it's also only right.

Especially since the elderly lady wasn't being rude about it - she wasn't asking the lady to give up her seat, but to shift a little so she could sit down next to her, inside.


B: to every man his own; i refuse to take the high moral stand.
no matter what 'humanity' tells you, that old woman had no right whatsoever to disturb a fellow citizen who has done no wrong, much less demand a seat.
if the old woman was constitutionally unable to withstand standing through the bus ride, and there were no seats available, and none ... Read Morewillingly offered, what i would suggest is that she simple find a nice corner in the bus and SIT ON THE FLOOR.
i have done that too many times when weak from surgery or illness. if someone asks me to get up because i ain't supposed to be sitting on the floor, i either vomit the blood i've been holding back for the past hour, or show them the bag of 200 pills that i'm still on, and i get my seat on the floor. i have done that more than once before, to staff members as well, and it often gets me a seat.

C: we all pay fare, and some old people think we owe them a living for their being old. I've had 2 old people wedge themselves beside me when there was only one seat beside me, i was forced to give it up with a tight smile. i've had taitais in their 50s armed with shopping bags (a tell-tale sign that they're able-bodied enough to go on sprees) glare ... Read Moreat my mother (also in her 50s, but looking a fair bit younger than her age) & me just because we were seated first. I would definitely give up my seat, not out of courtesy, but the fact that i'm not petty enough to calculate the next puny 5 mins that i will spend standing & not magnanimous enough to let others think i am unkind.

B: i'm worse off i guess... there are no seats 'reserved' for me as i am neither old, nor pregnant nor visibly injured -.-

C: i bet there were people on board who've had a rough day, who are old, whose feet hurt too... would she have thought about that if she had been seated? what is so different?
and all that supposedly subtle hassling, is a harassment.

did she say 'no manners at all'? well yes, she doesn't have manners at all...

A: I don't know, of course, if the lady would have been thoughtful to the other people had she been in a more fortunate position in the start and met someone who needed a seat. :)

C: well darling, what do you think? ;)

D: if its an old elderly or some preg woman who looks like he/she is gonna faint or fall or drop dead any second soon, even if im tired, i will give my seat to him/her. but it like a 40+ yr old person, forget it man. you may be older than me, but i've worked like effing 10hrs straight man. HAHAHAHAH i dont owe u that seat so quit staring at me you wrinkly saggy old worm.

My overall comment:

Politeness is given, not demanded.

The moment you demand it you become rude.

I remember this time I was on a bus in San Francisco and happened to be sitting in the priority seat on the bus. An old lady (or some old ladies) boarded the bus and said quite loudly, "Seniors! Seniors!" (or the same word without the s; a reference to the sign saying one should give up one's seat to seniors), and gestured wildly at me

A lot of people around me (mostly old) then shouted "Seniors! Seniors!" very loudly and I quickly evacuated the seat.

I couldn't shake the feeling that I'd just been hustled out of my seat by a mob.
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