File this under “news that shouldn’t be news” perhaps? But in a world of endless negativity, I’ll take this any day! Meet 23-year-old Alonzo Johnson, a guy training to work in the child and family services area. On a trip to the Holyoke Mall at Ingleside in Holyoke, Massachusetts recently, he made a spur of the moment decision that resulted in unexpected recognition.
He’s a good guy.
What did Johnson do that was newsworthy? He helped someone. Specifically, he helped an 83-year-old man who was struggling with stepping on to the escalator heading down one floor. No big deal, right? Paula Picard thought it was. She even grabbed her phone and took a picture of the kind gesture and posted it to Facebook, not knowing that single picture would go viral to the tune of almost a half-million people on her own page alone!
Included in the post that ended, “feeling grateful at Holyoke Mall at Ingleside,” was the following: “A little redemption for the suffering human soul. The older man was paused at the top of an escalator and a few people started gathering waiting to get on. It was clear he was feeling unsure and this young man offered the simplest kindness: an out-reached arm and a ‘can I help you on, sir?'”
It’s beautiful to witness kindness.
The elderly gentleman had said to Johnson he was hesitant as one time he had become stuck on a moving escalator which made him now a little worried to ride them, according to Picard.
Johnson listened patiently to the man and reassured him that he would make sure that didn’t happen again, and off they went, arm in arm, on their short journey together.
Johnson had no idea anyone had taken a picture until he saw it online himself! In an interview with US Magazine, Johnson said, “He looked very afraid and I thought maybe I could help.”
Picard went on to write in her Facebook post: “In about an hour, the evening news will air and we’ll be reminded of division, race wars, political mud-slinging, shootings and other heartaches. But today, violence, race, age, politics and other social lines were blurred and one person simply helped another.”
Her simple story with the heartwarming picture fed the world a small slice of kindness.