There are some things that most of us do without thinking because they seem like common sense. If you see someone struggling to carry their groceries or having a hard time crossing a busy street, you help them out. Someone falls down? You give them a helping hand and get them back on their feet.
So it only seems natural that when you see a pregnant woman on public transportation that you get up and offer her your seat. It’s the polite thing to do after all. Especially if she asks. Unfortunately, it seems like proper manners weren’t drilled into everyone.
One man took to the r/AITA subreddit to find out whether or not he was a jerk for refusing to give his seat to a “heavily pregnant lady” because he was exhausted from work. He didn’t get up even when she directly asked to have his seat. Check out the full story below.
A redditor shocked the internet with their story about why they refused to give up their bus seat to a pregnant woman
Image credits: Sharkshock (not the actual photo)
Image credits: myfeetf**kinghurt
The Reddit community was almost unanimous: this guy was a huge jerk and he was clearly in the wrong. I mean, there’s no real way around it, the guy was so wrong, it actually hurt our inner moral compasses a bit. And as a guy with three siblings, I’m appalled.
But as much fun as it is to judge someone, don’t forget that being exhausted day-in and day-out shifts our judgment. What seems immoral to someone who’s well-rested might seem like no big deal for someone else who’s so tired, they can’t think straight. It’s not an excuse to act like a big [whoops, can’t use those words here] to other members of your local community, however.
Being tired is no excuse to let your morals go
“I was tired and had a long day, and I don’t know why we need to keep perpetuating the idea that breeding somehow means your entitled to people’s seats. I’m tired, too, we’re all tired in this pandemic,” the redditor wrote in their story, showing his contempt for people who choose to have families.
What’s more, the redditor suggested that everyone’s exhausted during the pandemic and everyone deserves a break. True, but that’s what separates good people from the rest: the former go the extra mile to help others in need, the latter are content to be bystanders.
You might not get a gold medal, a standing ovation from the public, or a superhero’s cape for lending someone a hand, but you’ll be an actual everyday hero.
The situation was perfect for the redditor to help a person in need, as well as learn a lesson about how they can do the right thing even after a 10-hour shift at work on their feet. But they wasted the opportunity to prove that they’re better than they thought they were. Nobody’s forced to give up their seat for a pregnant woman, but it’s a sign that something’s probably off with your values if you choose not to.
So instead of leaving a good impression for everyone on the bus, the redditor drew their ire. What’s more, they got a good talking-to from their family members once they got back home.
Giving up your seat isn’t just about being ‘nice’
There are plenty of reasons to give up your seat to a pregnant woman besides being an upright member of society who thinks about more than just themselves, however. The Alpha Parent writes that pregnant women can experience back pain, especially as they’re getting closer to delivery. The pain can reach the legs, so having a place to sit down is a godsend.
What’s more, standing still for longer periods of time (like during a ride on public transportation) can be dangerous. “When standing, a pregnant woman’s heart rate increases, cardiac output decreases, and blood pressure falls. When the woman then takes a sitting position, her heart rate, cardiac output, and blood pressure returned to normal.”
Furthermore, nausea, fatigue, weak joints, and the need to urinate frequently (an urge that increases while standing because gravity pulls the baby into the mother’s bladder) are all reasons why grabbing a seat on the bus is vital. And, in our humble opinions, these reasons trump someone’s physical exhaustion from 10-hour shifts.
It’s rare to see the internet so united. Like you could’ve expected, people were roiling with anger
What do you think of the situation, dear Pandas? Do you think that the redditor was definitely in the wrong like most internet users did or would you give him a pass because he was tired from work? When’s the last time you gave up your seat to someone in need or helped a complete stranger? Let us know in the comments below.