I’m not entirely sure if I should smile or cry that this happened to me several days ago.
I want to smile because caring, gracious people are still all around us. I want to cry because I feel I may have offended the same gracious people.
What happened? I boarded the bus for home, carrying a tote and a small paper bag. As I passed the driver’s cabin after paying the fare, a young lady half stood and gestured to her seat. “You sit,” she said.
I thanked her politely and smiled widely, but declined. I had only three stops to go and was perfectly fine with standing.
As I made my way towards the rear of the bus, two students jumped up and chorused, “Auntie, you sit down!” Again, I thanked them and declined, assuring them I was fine.
But here’s my dilemma: should I accept such offers? I feel I should have because the rejection might send unintended messages to those of us raised to be gracious. Have I “taught” the students, for instance, not to offer their seats next time?
But why would I sit when my journey is short? And your day might have been more tiring so you deserve the seat even more.
The only thing I’m certain of is my gratitude that gracious kindness still exists.
What do you think? What would you have done?
By the way, I’m not yet a senior citizen and I don’t look elderly. I think.