Anyway, I started thinking about this on the bus this morning. Actually, I've been thinking about it every time lately on the morning bus ride to Salt Lake because the bus has been unusually full in the last little while. So many people are getting on to ride, in fact, that at least a few people (sometimes many) are left without seats for the 45 minute ride and are left to stand in the aisle. Men will usually get up and allow women to sit in their places, and this morning one man even went so far as to ask some inattentive young man to give up his seat for a woman that was standing in front of him.
It kind of bothered me a little, and here's why: everyone on that bus is on his or her way up to Salt Lake, and it's an early hour, and it requires waiting outside in the cold, 12 degrees this morning to be exact. I used to drive from my place out to a later exit so that I wouldn't have to stay on the bus as long, but with the overcrowding I've taken to getting up earlier to get on at an earlier stop so that I can get my own seat and not have to stand. This is important to me just because I depend on being seated so that I can get a good 30-40 minute nap on the bus before getting to work. I get up earlier and will wait longer if it means I can get a seat. Anyone else can do the same.
I'm not opposed to giving up my seat to a woman. I've done it a few times on the way back to Utah County without complaint or hesitation. I don't mind when everyone has the same opportunity for the same seats, but there is something that bothers me when anyone else can do what I do and just get up a little earlier and make sure you get on the bus before it fills up. I think that taking more time out of my day and getting up earlier is a cost to bear, and with that cost, I expect to have a seat. Is that unreasonable?
In any case, I mostly remove the need to give up my seat by going to the very back of the bus and reserving for myself a window seat. Turns out people won't ask you to get up if it's really inconvenient to get to your seat. And that is the benefit to being observant.