Youth fail to inherit elders' thoughtfulness
This letter does not concern a recent news story, but is an observation I wish to make after living in Bangkok almost three years. I usually keep my mouth shut as a guest in another country, and believe me, my own country has many serious concerns. But this one is about Thailand, or maybe just Bangkok?
Last week, I travelled by MRT and BTS for the first time in almost four months; the result of a medical setback that made such travel all but impossible. During the MRT return ride home, I experienced a troubling condition.
First I must explain that I am 68 years old, and during my mid-50s I worked near Seoul, South Korea for five years and often travelled by mass transit. It was routine then for young Koreans to offer me their seat on a crowded train. I more or less forgot about this thoughtfulness until last July during my first visit to Hong Kong. I travelled once by subway while there, and that train was crowded with no available seating, but before we began to move, a young man offered me his seat. My first reaction was shock, as this had never happened in Bangkok, and years since living in Seoul.
The good news is that during my MRT ride home last week, a Thai gentleman offered me his seat after recognising my medical weakness. I accepted gratefully, but as the trip continued, I grew progressively angry. Why? Well, the Thai gentleman was older than I am and completely grey, but in spite of his age, example and kindness to me, not one young person in that car offered him their seat!
He was still standing five stops later when I departed, so I thanked him; I received a warm nod in reply. If non-action speaks louder than words, this condition screams, and I felt compelled to report it.