Why don’t you offer up your seat?

I was on the “E” train this morning.  I was standing with my bag on my shoulder; one hand holding an umbrella, and the other holding onto the overhead bar.  A few minutes into the train ride, I felt a bit of wait at the back of my legs and then some more weight slide down my back.  I thought to myself, “WTF?”

I turned around, and saw this tall middle ages white man with dark sunglasses collapsed to the floor.  Some woman let out a gasp.  Then I noticed the fallen man had a wooden cane. He then uttered that he was okay.  He was still sort of leaning by my feet.  Then I hear some lady tell people to give him a seat. Nobody came to his aide.

Nobody moved. Nobody helped him up. Again, the lady told people to give him a seat.

The guy picked himself up and said he was fine, he was okay. He apologized to me. I was fine.  And again, the lady insisted that someone give him a seat, and pointed out he had a cane.  Nobody budged.  Then a woman, who was seated in front of the fallen man who picked himself up, asked if he wanted to sit.  He declined.

I thought it was curious that nobody made an effort to help this man. I wondered if it was because of his appearance.  He could have been accused of being a homeless man.  I don’t think he was.  His clothes looked disheveled. He didn’t smell, and I didn’t notice him when I boarded the train. I think what may have happened is that he probably fell asleep standing. It’s plausible…

What annoyed me was that woman who told others to give the fallen man with the cane a seat. Now, I didn’t see the person who said it but most of the people who were sitting were women and most of the people standing around me were men. I hope that woman who telling other people to give him a seat was not sitting because if anything, she should have given up her seat to the fallen man with the cane as opposed to telling others to give him a seat.

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~ by thedailycommuter on Wednesday, July 8, 2009.

One Response to “Why don’t you offer up your seat?”

  1. That is a sad story. A similar thing happened to me in London. Some guy collapsed but nearly all the people in the train carriage became involved, even if some of them just panicked. Just when you think London is full of heartless, hostile-faced people, an emergency happens and everyone jumps in to help, including ‘foreign’ people whose ethnicity I won’t go into.

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