Giving up your seat for an older person is very un-Australian

We have just come home from a trip on the tram and, as usual, an Asian stood up to offer us a seat. We accepted gracefully and yet we were sad.

Why? Well, it’s because Asians are the only young people to give up their seats nowadays. They are still respectful of elders and that comes from their culture.

It’s not the first time this has happened. In all the times that a seat has been offered to us, there has only been one occasion when a Westerner has stood up for us and he was a man who was getting off at the next stop.

While Western teenagers remain spreadeagled in their seats while fiddling with their I-phones, the Asians will stand up for an older person.

Of course, it all comes from the home, doesn’t it?

Anyhow, I made sure to thank this Asian couple in a very audible voice. This is what I said to them:-

“Thank you very much for giving up your seat. I hope that you don’t become too Australian by forgetting manners. Stick to your culture which still shows some respect.”


2 thoughts on “Giving up your seat for an older person is very un-Australian

  1. How lovely and how sad at the same time. Without wishing to appear old, fuddy duddy or negative about the youth of today, as I am certain there are still plenty of good, well brought up teenagers out there, I am afraid this scenario is all too common. I know for a fact that my “twenty something” children would not dream of occupying a seat to the exclusion of an older person. They were blessed to have spent vast amounts of time with their grandparents and great grandparents. This, along with an old fashioned upbringing, whereby I was the parent and they were what they were, children! Old dog/young dog. My job was to teach them and prepare them for the real world. This meant being their mother and elder, not their “buddy” or one woman fan club. They were raised to function in the real world which included valuing their elders and treating them with respect. Tragically, there are far too many parents who are too worried about appearing uncool or falling out of favour with their spoiled, self centred offspring. The result surrounds us every day.


    • Cheryl, you said it so eloquently. It’s not the way I brought up my children. The problem is that parents outsource the nurturing of offsprings to video games and all sorts of other entertainment which are used as surrogate babysitters. Modern parents rarely spend time teaching their children, but are happy to pay someone else to do what they should be doing. The outcome of all this is that the children do their own thing, get their values from their schoolmates and have no idea about ethical behaviour. You only have to think of our Aussie Olympic swimmers to see how badly they behave. Let’s face it, if you have drug-taking sportsmen as your examples what lesson can you learn from that? By the way, I do believe that things went awry when the term “lifestyle” became the buzz word and replaced “life”.


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