Old Men Call for Seniors to Give Up Seats for Young People

Elderly men holding a sign saying "The old should give up seats to the young".

Elderly men holding a sign saying "The old should give up seats to the young".

From Sohu:

Elderly in Their 80s Go to the Streets Exhorting: Give the Young Your Seats

2014 September 11, at the bus stop between Jianshe Road and Tongbai Road in Henan Province Zhengzhou City, 3 elderly men over the age of 80 with a sign in their hands appealed that: ”The old should give up their seats to the young.”

Elderly men holding a sign saying "The old should give up seats to the young".

Recently, an incident happened on Bus 919 in Zhengzhou, in which an old man suddenly died from a heart attack after he had an argument with a young man who refused to give up his seat to him. Whether young people should give up their seats to the elderly when riding the public bus immediately triggered heated debate among a great number of city residents and netizens.

Elderly men holding a sign saying "The old should give up seats to the young".

According to 81-year old Liang Yongxiang who participated in this appeal on the street, when young people give up their seats, it’s because they have good manners. When they don’t, it’s also their right not to. Elderly people should look at things from the perspective of being seniors and understand [show empathy for] the heavy pressure that the busy working young people are facing. Everyone gets old, the proactive giving up of seats to the old is a sign of society’s progress, and it requires young people practicing what they preach. But first of all, to give up a seat is a a voluntary gesture, and definitely not something to be demanded.

An elderly man lay dead on a public bus in China after an argment with a youth over giving up a seat for the elderly.

September 9, while a bus in Zhengzhou approached Zhongyuan Road and Qinling Road, an elderly man on the bus suddenly died. According to the passengers, the elderly man had an argument with the young man over a seat. He slapped the young man on the face for 4 times. The young man didn’t fight back. After the young man got off the bus, the elderly man collapsed. The paramedics claimed that the elderly man had a heart condition.

Comments from Sohu:

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杰哥 [搜狐湖北省武汉市网友]:

Giving up seats is a nice gesture. Young people work very hard everyday, it’s also understandable if they don’t [give up their seat to the old]! We should respect one another. Hate those old people who take advantage of their seniority.

快乐正在下载 [搜狐河南省郑州市网友]:

There’s no need for the old to give up seats to the young, they are old after all. If they can just avoid going out during rush hour when they don’t have anything important, we’ll be thankful enough!

青儿 [搜狐江苏省苏州市网友]:

Sigh, God is watching. Old grandpa, why did you have to raise your hand? Couldn’t you have let him not giving up his seat go? It’s not like every young person refuses to give up their seat!

搜狐新闻客户端网友 [搜狐河南省新乡市网友]:

Young people suffer heavy pressure from both work and personal relationships. Some old men and old women are more energetic than young people when it comes to confrontations/arguments, so how come they become feeble as soon as they get on the bus? At home, the moment their children come home, they treat them like treasures, so afraid of tiring their children… but similarly, other young people in society are also very tired, their hearts are tired, and their bodies are even more tired… [People should] show understanding for each other, concern for each other…

゛深浅烙印. [搜狐湖南省长沙市网友]:

These elderly men are such nice grandpas. I’ll give up my seat to you no matter how tired I am. I respect you.

Comments from QQ:

腾讯合肥市网友 一 笑 而 过 ,:

For young people to give up seats to the pregnant, the minors, the disabled, and the old is a matter of basic moral ethics, but they don’t have to do so. If I give up my seat, that’s because I have good character. If I don’t, it is also my right, and if you try to make me give up my seat, then sorry, you’re not my parents, you can’t control me, and I’m not going to oblige you!

腾讯网友 66136145:

There was one time where I didn’t give up my seat to a pregnant woman. Everyone please hear me explain. The pregnant woman got on the bus with her husband. There was only one empty seat. She had her husband sit down and hold her bag, then stood right in front of me sticking out her big belly. I was TMD speechless. What kind of person was this? Sister [referring to herself] insisted on sitting in that seat until the bus reached the last stop and made the pregnant woman stand for an hour.

腾讯网友 海洋:

I’m also more than 70 years old, and no matter what it is, we shouldn’t take things to the extreme. It’s not that the elderly can’t give up their seats for the young, nor should young people not giving the elderly their seats be seen as wrong. Every specific situation should be judged individually. If an elderly man gets on the bus and looks really tired or has difficulty moving, a young person voluntarily giving up his seat to him would be worth praising. Sometimes, if a young person boarding the bus looks very tired, a healthy elderly person should also voluntarily give them some rest [by giving them a seat], and it would also be a good choice [a nice gesture]. Some elderly people become angry when young people don’t give up seats to them, sometimes they insist on a seat even for one or two stops. This is also not very good. Because nowadays young people don’t have it easy as well, and we should be understanding [empathetic]. It’s not good to make absolutes about who should give up their seats to who. This will result in an inflexible situation.

腾讯上海市网友 野马:

Many years ago, I went to catch a bus, and because I got on at the start of the route, I got a seat. Later, an old woman over the age of 60 got on the bus. I was young, so I gave my seat to her. She sat down without saying a word of thanks. Then she kept chatting loudly with other passengers, while I stood there tired. I was to get off at the last stop. Then, when we reached some stop and she was getting off, I thought to myself I could finally sit down, only for her to call over a young person she had been chatting with, saying: come sit here. I was angry, but there was nothing I could do, certainly not try to grab the seat first! From then on, I’ve had a different opinion about giving up seats…

腾讯网友 wlw5518:

This is clearly a protest! Protesting against the moral slide in today’s money-worshipping society. Some young people don’t even recognize their own parents, let alone giving up seats to other elderly people?

Written by Peter Barefoot

Peter is a born and raised Chengdunese who enjoys drinking with all his friends.

  • mr.wiener

    A sea change in manners happening? Chance should be so fine a thing.

  • Amused

    Sure old people have bad backs, bad knees, arthritis, chronic heartburn, hemorrhoids, diabetes and whatnot… But get out of the way old timers, young people have pressure! Part of me really hope these old dudes are sarcastic, but if not and as it seems, they are giving up their seniority…. Well kudos for them :)

    • pressstart

      Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean the youngin’s don’t suffer any of those conditions as well. As the saying goes, always be kind to others because you don’t know their story.

      • Amused

        I’m pretty sure that saying was originally “Be kind to others or they may turn into a werewolf and pull your arm off”, but I like what you’ve done with it.

      • Rick in China

        The seats are for disabled, as well. If there is a young person with a debilitating condition on the bus – they have as much right to the seating as anyone else in the category, the signs don’t indicate a priority amongst the listed.

    • Ken Morgan

      Well if you realise that entire societies are built on ponzi schemes, it makes sense to allow the young to be as productive as possible! In the UK OAPs are given more in welfare than the average UK salary. To fund this the government absolutely hammer the young and pound them relentlessly on taxes. First time buyers are now 38, people can’t afford to have children. The ponzi scheme is starting to unravel as the government tax base to fund the grey vote is drying up.

    • SongYii

      I have chronic heartburn, I am not old :-( :-(

      …please give me bus seat.

    • Rick in China

      When I read the title, I was immediately thinking: Wow..the elderly sure to have a sense of sarcasm, that’s awesome!

      Then I read the text, and slowly went from “Wow, that’s great” to, “are they taking it too far?” to “WHAT! They’re fuckin’ serious.”


      • SongYii

        Yeah, I didn’t really get that it wasn’t sarcasm until I read the cS comments and no one was talking about it. I thought I was just misunderstanding the article.

  • da_shan223

    Regardless of the details of the issue, I really admire how quickly these men reacted.

  • James C

    Things are very different in China from my experience. Being a Chinese American, and living in China, I think we should definitely respect old people. It doesn’t mean elders are always right. Usually, in China, From my experience, I think Chinese people care more about what is “right” than what is legal or illegal. It’s kind of the opposite in the US where if you break the law usually you will pay for it but if you did something with bad intentions but was legal, then you can get away with it. Hopefully, the innocent will not be charged and will get the truth and understand it.

    • Confucius

      I get the sense that the Chinese are not as entrenched in their sense of Confucian respect as the Korean society or the Japanese society. This is probably the result of Mao taking an axe to Chinese cultural norms and social structures in his time. You can clearly see this in the position of women vs the Japanese and the position of older male to younger male vs the Koreans. I think many of the commentators in the past threads were overreaching in their quick condemnation of the respect afforded to the elderly. Respect for your elders is an essential part of civilised society and I would challenge anyone commenting otherwise to give me a credit argument that a young man not giving up their seat to an old man in the Western world would be seen as morally/ethically/culturally right.

  • slob

    I don’t get what they’re trying to do. Yeah, young people have tough lives but these old people also had a hard life when they were younger, so they’ve been through that and now deserve their ‘rest time’. If someone is that old where they can barely walk you should let them sit, it’s just common courtesy like keeping the door open for people behind you. It isn’t a law, it isn’t a rule, it’s called respect and what’s the big deal with having respect for others?

    And really…the young guy is tired? A university student? REALLY? How many students do you see here look physically tired other than soloing the entire basketball opposition team or 10 hour League of Legends sessions? If he has some job that makes him tired then speak up and others on the bus will understand and maybe the old guy will go ask someone else for their seat. I’ve seen way too many of these young punks deliberately look away or play on their phones when they see old people get on the bus. They’re not physically unable to stand up, THEY JUST DON’T FUCKING WANT TO.

    On the other hand, a lot of older people here look more physically fit than the youth when you see them doing Tai Chi and full legs up over their head kinda stuff. But if they look weak or unable, do the RIGHT thing and give them a chair. Who cares if they’re the Mao generation? They’re the elderly, and that custom will pass down onto the next gen. Imagine old people start giving up chairs now for young, what the fuck will the next generation be? A pack of lazy ass youngsters chaired up while the aisle is full of old people? It’s what it looks like no anyway.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Well I’d still think it preferable to give up your seat to elderly because they’re old. You don’t even need to respect them. They’re old.

    Rheumatoid arthritis, weak joints, and all the joys of a weakening body that come with old age, I would think it would be the polite think to do for someone who doesn’t have knees that creak to give their seat to someone who does.

    • Hank

      Everytime I give up my seat on the subway I make sure to make a fancy showing of my generosity. Always be sure to announce that this ayi is too old to be standing, please! come take my seat! Then you grab them by the elbow and help/force them down on the seat and give them a quick shoulder massage to seal the deal. Now you can spend the next few stops feeling infinitely superior to every other nong on the train, while staring the hottest girl in the face with no shame.

  • SimpsonsGoldenAge

    Senile old dolts

  • SongYii

    In other news, Chinasmack beats a dead horse…..

    I just gotta know, though, when these old punks were young punks, did they give up their seats for their seniors? Doooooubt it.

    • Rick in China

      I’m betting none of them had seen a bus, let alone ridden on a bus, when they were young.

      • SongYii

        I figured, but the point is that I doubt these people (the types that slap or yell at and harass people who don’t vacate seats) were any more well mannered then than they are now, or than their juniors are now.

        • Don’t Believe the Hype

          Ya those old people who are bad apples are really ruining it for the nice ones, of which there are an equal number in my view

  • Rick in China

    When my father was visiting, he experienced the frustration of being stuck behind groups of very slow movers…..we labelled them ‘weavers’, because they would not walk straight or together enough that it allowed for easy passage past. Every time we’d come across a group in our travels around China, we’d be like, “fuck….more weavers” – they were joined by “the hats” which swarmed tourist sites across the country in groups of 40-60 all wearing the exact same bright coloured hat. We avoided those groups, also, but sometimes it seemed too much. There were the blue hats, the red hats, the yellow hats, sometimes we’d see a group with both yellow and blue on their hats and be like “shit, they’re breeding, we have to get out of here NOW.”

  • Freddi BuBu

    Wait – are they serious or is it just a protest of “irony”….?

  • This is not about young people being “hard workers” (they don’t even know half of what people used to do, keeping jobs for 40+ years, rather than changing when they didn’t like the job or things got “tough”)…it is about the selfishness that has been reigning in the wicked hearts of man since Cain killed Abel out of selfishness.

  • vonskippy

    Good for China – they’ve solved all the real problems and can now focus their time and energy (and old people) on solving the oh so difficult problem – bus seating (or lack there of).

  • iLcOrNaLiTo

    I do give my seat when on the bus but a couple of years ago I used to work every day 5am to 1am without a day off in months, hence the 20 minute commute was my chance to sleep a bit. I remember once the bus was full and an old man climbed up, I wanted to give my seat to him, I knew itwas the right thing to do…however I noticed he was fruit shopping so I just kept the seat for my ride. Felt shitty, but I was so tired!

  • Hank

    There are designated old/preggers seating, if a young punk is sitting in one of those he/she absolutely should give it up. Another other seat, it’s just a matter of how old this person is, and how well brought up the kid was; in other words, it becomes subjective.

  • Vernon Alarcon Jr.

    dey muss bees old an confuse!! old people must rest an da young wons gotsa stand an sheeut…..

  • Croid

    karma gone come to dem dat aint comply. everywon get old an sheeut