Almost everyone has been in a place with a stranger who has a mental illness or is struggling with an addiction problem. On many occasions, our eyes meet, and the sadness on their faces makes us want to cry. Their presence may leave the people around them scared when they begin screaming and behaving erratically. Hostility from such a person may lead to mixed reactions from the crowd or fellow travelers with most people ignoring the person who needs help or acting violently towards them. More often than not, the person ranting on the streets, in our buildings, or public transport requires a little shred of tenderness to make them feel whole again.
Ehab Taha, a man from British Columbia, witnessed such an incident.
Taha said it was “the most incredible display of humanity.”
It involved a 70-year-old woman and a man who appeared to be battling drug related problem or mental illness.
Taha and other commuters were riding on a sky train when a tall bald man with a height of 6-foot-5 entered shouting, cursing, and moving erratically. He also held a pen in his hand, which could turn into a weapon on any passenger on the train. His action and yelling drew fear among the commuters cowered in their seats.
Almost every commuter in the train felt threatened by the man, but one woman from Vancouver did something incredible that has up to date melted the hearts of many people.
The old lady showed that sometimes a stranger in distress requires kindness and tenderness to remain calm.
She, therefore, extended her hand to the screaming man and gripped him tightly until he stayed quiet. At this point, everyone was amazed at the man’s reaction since he went silent, knelt beside the old woman with tears welling up from his eyes.
The two held hands silently for about 15 to 20 minutes before the man broke the grip the old woman’s grip.
After breaking the handshake and reaching his destination, the man stood up slowly and looked at the woman and calmly saying “Thanks, grandma.”
After the troubled man left, Ehab Taha, who had witnessed the whole incident and taken some shots of the touching moment thanked the lady for upholding humanity. At this time, the 70-year old woman (whose identity remains unknown) said that she had two sons who are almost the age of the man. She also added that life might place one in hard circumstances and a simple act could be a way out.
At this point, the woman could not hold her emotions, and she began crying.
During the conversation between Taha and the woman, she confirmed that she was aware of the pen on the man’s hand that he could have used to harm her. However, that did not stop her from extending her hand to the man to help him with the lonely feelings. She was also not sure whether the man would reach out for the hand, but she believed in her instincts and did it.
Ehab Taha shared the story on Facebook, and it immediately went viral.
The story has melted the hearts of many people online leading to thousands of shares across the world. In his post which he refers to as the most incredible display of humanity, Taha encourages people to be brave and keep away from misjudging people or other commuters in a public means of transport since everyone has battles that they could be fighting.
It is clear that simple act of kindness such as a handshake can make a huge difference to a person who is hurting.
It is not clear why the man reacted in such an erratic manner on the sky train, but you can guess that he was not feeling well. Most people would not be brave enough to interact in the same way that the 70-year-old woman did, but it would be ideal to show a bit of appreciation, love, and kindness to everyone around you. This allows us to retain our humanity and make the world a better place to stay.