The other day my family was on a crowded train. I was standing, but my wife and daughter were seated. At one station, an elderly gentleman who obviously had difficulty walking entered our car. So naturally my wife and daughter stood up quickly and said to him, “Please sit down here.”

However, he adamantly refused. “Thank you for your kind offer, but I am OK, I am OK,” he said. Soon after my wife and daughter returned to their seats, the gentleman presented to my daughter a package of cookies, saying: “Thank you for your kindness. Please accept these cookies as a token of my sincere thanks.” My daughter, of course, refused. “I cannot accept this gift,” she said. “Though I will I accept your kind-hearted sentiment.” Yet this gentleman’s determination was firm, and finally my daughter accepted the offering with a smile and with complicated emotions.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.