Seniors show lack of gratitude

By Du Qiongfang Source:Global Times Published: 2013-11-6 18:33:01

Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

A young man was wounded not just physically but also emotionally after he helped prevent a potentially serious accident from happening on an escalator in Jiaotong University Station on metro Line 10 recently.

The 21-year-old man named Guo Jing from Chongqing was about to ascend the escalator, when an old woman who had just stepped onto the escalator lost her balance. Two other middle-aged women standing beside her tried to support her, but since they were carrying heavy luggage, they all lost their balance. Guo, who was behind them, rushed forward to stop them from falling down the steps. But the weight of three people was too much and they all fell backwards down the escalator. Guo cushioned the women's fall but injured his leg.

When the three women reached the top of the escalator, they simply picked themselves up and left the scene without saying anything to Guo. The young man was so disappointed that he wrote a frustrated post recounting his unhappy experience online.

Local netizens responded to his post with words of encouragement and thanks, and local media broadcast CCTV footage of the incident, bringing Guo further attention.

Since officials began to recognize Shanghai's rapidly aging society in 1979, local authorities have implemented a series of policies designed to benefit senior citizens and worked on providing them with a convenient and comfortable living environment. Almost all metro stations around Shanghai are equipped with lifts that seniors can use. Passengers using public transportation are encouraged to give up their seats to seniors.

But goodwill from fellow citizens does not mean seniors should accept the kindness of strangers without appreciation. It is obvious that the three women owe the young man a debt of gratitude as well as an apology for neglecting to thank him in the first place.

The incident suggests that when seniors are so accustomed to the convenience and benefits afforded them by society, some can become spoiled. They take it for granted that they should get to enjoy these priorities and benefits. When they are helped by others, they regard it as a natural right they have earned simply by virtue of age.

With the development of medical science and the improvement of living conditions, the life expectancy of Shanghai residents is now over 82 years. The average physical condition of seniors is generally much better than it was decades ago. So it is common to see energetic seniors in their 60s or 70s enjoying free rides on public transport. Occasionally, there is even news of seniors fighting each other or with younger passengers for seats.

A young woman surnamed Huang from Hankou, Hubei Province, was dozing on the bus to work one recent morning, when suddenly she was patted on the shoulder by an old woman who asked her to give up her seat. Before she could figure out what was going on, Huang was dragged out of her seat by the woman in her 60s, with no word of thanks. Huang later complained online that although she is willing to relinquish her seat to seniors, it was still uncomfortable to be forcibly removed from her seat while she was still half asleep.

A fight that broke out between a 68-year-old man and a 28-year-old man in Guangzhou's metro also stirred a media frenzy last October. Angry at being called out for jumping to the front of a queue, the sexagenarian bit the young man's ear.

And an old man from Shandong Province almost pushed a pregnant woman to the ground when he tried to occupy a seat on a bus last December.

Of course, there is the possibility that the three women in the Shanghai metro station were so shocked by the accident that they forgot to thank the young man, which is pity. But their negligence should be pointed out and all seniors should be reminded that they ought to thank the considerate people who offer them a helping hand.


Posted in: TwoCents, Metro Shanghai

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