The pleasure of offering a seat

Tokyo

The other day, I was on a JR train for Tokyo Station from Akishima. It was after 8 o’clock, but the train was relatively crowded. At Tachikawa Station, four stops from Akishima, a man in front of me got off and I took his seat.

At the next station, Kunitachi, a pregnant woman came on board and stood in front of me. A maternity logo was attached to her waist. Instantly, I stood up and offered my seat to her.

Standing, I took notice of the passengers sitting beside her. The girl at left, around 30 years old, was absorbed in a smartphone; and the businessman at right, in his early 40s, was reading a newspaper, crossing his legs. Both of them cast a glance at the pregnant woman, but didn’t bother to offer their seats.

I make it a rule to walk 10,000 steps a day and take the stairs to my apartment on the seventh floor. My neighbors say to me often, “You look young and are so vigorous for a 71-year-old man”

I could not get over my disappointment at the two young people who did not have compassion for the pregnant woman in the train. Or am I asking for too much from young people these days?

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

takeshi shimizu