Probably when you hear the word, the first thing that comes to your mind is a knight in shining armor saving a damsel in distress. In today’setting, it could be any act of kindness to help ease the hardship of those in need of assistance,
That was what I had in mind when I was a teenager as I made it habit to prove my sympathy for those people in uncomfortable situations. What better way to accomplish that than offer one’s seat in a public transport to the elderly, differently-abled and to some women.
Back then, I had a strange experience with one of the last I mentioned.
I sat silently inside a packed bus when it stopped near a terminal. A similarly-aged teenager went on board and squeezed herself in the aisle. She stood near me.
Automatically I stood up and offered her my seat. But instead of being grateful, she declined without saying a word, shaking her head as if saying ‘no thanks.’ She probably suspected that I would use the ploy to befriend her during the trip. I was a stranger and she listened to the warning bells inside her head
Frankly, I was embarrassed to be turned down. Some passengers smirked while others smiled upon seeing the snub. Okay by me since I was the one sitting down.
For half an hour, she stood there, swaying from side to side in step with the motion of the bus. I could hear her feminine grunts; she gripped the ceiling rail tightly and balanced her position while trying not to lose her poise.
At the next stop, a tad short of my destination, another teenager climbed aboard. Her face frowned upon seeing the bus was too crowded. Like the others before her, she inched her way inside.
Again, I stood up and offered my seat to the newcomer. This time I was given the sweetest smile, considerably the best reward I received that day. She thanked me profusely.
As I alighted, I sensed another passenger behind me. It was Miss No Thanks. She had a temporary limp from the bumpy ride. I saw a glint of smile from her, possibly a non-verbal admittance for not treating my good faith on its own merit.