I face a small dilemma almost every time I board the crowded train for my morning commute to work. Should I take the seat that someone just got out of so I can sit down, or do I literally stand on principle? Given that people have a tendency to form lasting opinions based on a first impression, I have long felt that I have a responsibility to leave the right impression on behalf of all people who are blind. I’ve also got to deal with plain ugly old pride. If someone asks me I will often say, politely I hope, “that’s ok. My legs still work.” I’m not as adamant as I used to be. I confess that if someone actually gets out of their seat, these days I sit in it. Partly this is because my legs don’t work quite like they used to; my knees hurt a little. Partly I’ve just decided it’s not worth making a scene. Finally I probably should admit that plain ugly old selfishness is getting stronger than pride. Sometimes an elderly gentleman rides with me who demands we get seats. He actually needs one. I always feel a little embarrassed. “These seats are reserved for us by law,” he says. That may be true, but now I can’t get on the train without thinking someone is going to get up out of guilt or a sense of obligation. Some would say that’s good. I don’t agree. In the long run it’s counterproductive. These people have been made to feel more uncomfortable around people with handicaps. That is the opposite of what we need. Should they get up for us? Certainly they should be under no obligation to get up for me. My eyes don’t have anything to do with whether or not I can stand.