Usually I'm pretty good at it, but even though not only were we all staring daggers at the kids and complaining sufficiently loudly, neither of them got the hint. The very elderly man was rather jaded by the bad behavior and announced that he'd be getting off at the next stop hoping that he'd get a seat on the "next train."
Somebody said that we should be a bit more aggressive and just tell the kids to get up.
The old man said "not to bother. You can't change the world."I was very upset by this little arguement. It was still bothering me when later on I got on a crowded bus. Three young men occupied four seats in a way that made it impossible to sit down. And again there were a number of much older people who needed seats. I didn't have the patience to wait very long. I could see that they had glanced at us, although they didn't get up. So I took the initiative:
"Of course we can change the world." I replied.
"No, it's impossible." The man countered.
"I guess you haven't learned Dererch Eretz*."They looked up, saw that we were all old enough to be their parents or grandparents, so gave us the seats. I admit that I wasn't all that polite. Most of the time I have absolutely no problem just sitting down, but one of them had taken over two seats in a way that made it impossible.
A large percentage of passengers on public transportation here in Israel are senior citizens. Many times when I get on a crowded bus or train, I see that those seated are my age or older. Then I am just very thankful that I can hold on and stand. At my age, you can't take such a thing for granted. I sometimes ask a young person who's sitting to get up for someone who needs a seat. We shouldn't be shy about it.
I hope that old man got a seat on the next rain.
*Derech Eretz are the Jewish Laws pertaining to how to treat others including the elderly.