‘Teens fist just came out at me’ – it is always shocking to come across news like this (see HERE).
Growing up, we were always taught to respect our elders. In fact, it is almost second nature in our culture to put old age on a pedestal on the assumption that the older one is, the wiser one is. As an adult, I have come to realise that old age does not always translate to wisdom and age should not be venerated as wisdom. Be that as it may, the elderly still merit our respect and deference. They are after all people who have gone before us and toiled before us. They are someone else’s grandparents and/or parents. Would we want our own parents or grandparents to be treated as such?
This boy’s plain disregard is shameful. Some may argue that he has anger management issues and needs help. But if that were the case, why not pick on someone his own size? He also backed off and apologised when the bus driver took him to task. This would indicate that the boy was merely taking out his frustrations on a vulnerable target. He obviously thought that he would be able to get away with bullying an old man, not realising that the bus driver would come to his defence.
To me, it looks like a disgraceful act of bullying!
It is our basic civic duty to give up our seats to people who need it more than us – i.e. the elderly, the disabled or pregnant women. This boy not only failed in giving up his seat but actively deprived an old man from an empty seat on the pretext of saving it for his friend who was not even on the bus.
This highlights spoilt and selfish behaviour which seems to be getting more and more prevalent in our society. From the NS man who refused to carry his own packpack (see HERE), to the young boy who lashed out at the bus auntie (see HERE), to this boy who had the audacity to punch an old man.
Perhaps, in our quest to chase a “better” life, we have forgotten the importance of basic values such as respect, courtesy and patience.
I do not purport to have an answer for bad behaviour such as this but perhaps more needs to be done both at home and at school to foster a spirit of community such that children learn to respect the elderly and care for the vulnerable in our society. It is also a question of discipline. Things may anger us but it is never right to hit someone, much less a senior citizen.