Whenever I see a handicapped person, old person, or woman, I always try to offer my seat; be it on or off the bus. It is a custom that was probably taught to me by my parents and that was reinforced by the social zeitgeist that seems to predicate it. Most people perceive themselves as “good people” and others as inherently good. I agree. Most people are good and would do the right thing in a given situation. However, there are people out there who are not so good or kind. Strangely enough, it is more a question of “when” rather than of “who”.
Good people can be rude pricks and awful human beings. It simply depends on their current mindset and the emotions that are surging through the various ports in their bodies. One day, someone could offer you their seat, the next day that same person can avoid trying to make eye contact with you in fear that he or she may be asked to give up their seat or better yet, their privilege to choose to give you their seat.
There have been times when I have acted like a total ass while driving on the freeway. If I’m late to something or pissed off, I’ll cut people off, give them dirty looks, and sometimes even yell nonsensical obscenities to no avail, as LA drivers continue to be the worst at conducing a vehicle. Moreover, sometimes I’ll take my dog to the dog park and if I’m not feeling amicable, I’ll avoid other people who also seem to reciprocate my ill-willed gesture. Our dogs, these hairy slobbering beasts that sniff each other butts, can really teach us a few things about being friendly and social.
Kindness is a constant struggle; a quarrel between our natural unkind self and our good-nature that suppresses our “fighting” instinct. As the citizens of one of the biggest and greatest cities in the world, we need to be kinder to our fellow man, woman, and child. If we all try to be better people to one another, LA can be just a little more pleasant.