Jamie Harrington, a teen from Dublin, just likes to help people. If he sees someone on the street who looks like they’re having a rough time, he won’t hesitate to reach out with an, “Are you okay?”
One day, while he was on his way to buy some candy and Gatorade, he saw a man sitting on the ledge of a bridge—he immediately slowed to a stop and approached the man. He was in his 30s, and didn’t answer when Jamie asked if he was okay. Just “from the look in his eyes” it was clear to Jamie he was not all right.
Then the man started to cry.
Jamie asked the man to come down from where he was, pleaded with him to come sit by him by the steps, and eventually he did. The two of them sat and talked for what must have been 45 minutes before Jamie realized he needed to leave.
“I couldn’t leave him there alone, but I had to go,” Jamie told Humans of Dublin.
He told the man he wanted to call him an ambulance so they could help him feel better. The man immediately objected, saying he was fine and would just walk around for a bit. The man was clearly still quite upset, and Jamie didn’t want him to be alone—so he insisted, and the man relented.
Later that day, Jamie called the number he got from one of the paramedics, and he found out the man was well and being taken care of at the St. James Hospital. He was also able to exchange phone numbers with the man, and he continued to check in on him for a while longer to make sure he was really okay.
Then three months after the ordeal, Jamie got a text from the man he never could have imagined.
“He texted me that his wife is pregnant, they’re having a boy, and they’re naming him after me,” he said. “Can you believe that?”
Jamie couldn’t believe it, so he rang him up.
“He said in that moment that I approached him, he was just about to jump, and those few words saved his life. That they’re still ringing in his head every day, ‘Are you okay?'” Jamie said. “I can’t really understand how these few worlds could save his life, but he told me: ‘Imagine if nobody ever asked you those words…'”
Jamie told Inside Edition, “My mom and dad always told me, we might not have much, but we have each other, we have love, we have family.”
And grateful for what he did have, Jamie was glad to be able to extend that love to others.
A simple greeting and act of kindness really can change a person’s entire day—or life.