'I don't know if we're all that selfless': Touching image goes viral
Published Friday, February 5, 2016 11:04AM EST Last Updated Friday, February 5, 2016 2:01PM EST
A Surrey, B.C. man says he was astonished by an act of kindness he witnessed while riding Vancouver's Sky Train.
Ehab Taha recently captured a photo of an elderly woman holding the hand of a man who was sitting on the floor of the train. The photo has been shared more than 13,000 times since it was posted on Facebook on Feb. 2.
He said, moments before he took the photo the man had been acting erratically, yelling and cursing and scaring those around him.
Taha said he was thinking about moving away from the man, when he noticed a woman reach out her hand towards him.
"She didn't try to grab him or anything like that, she just reached out her hand and waited until he reached back. They just held hands for 15 or 20 minutes until he got to his stop," Taha told CTVNews.ca. "He sat down next to her, he calmed down and he stayed there silently, sitting on the floor."
Taha said the man became emotional and had tears in his eyes at one point.
"Every time he started to get riled up again, she would look at him and calm him down again," he said.
When the man arrived at his stop, Taha said he got up and said "Thanks, grandma", before getting off the bus.
Taha said he then thanked the woman for what she had done.
"I looked at her and said 'God bless you, the world needs more people like you.' And she started to cry immediately after (the man) left."
When Taha asked the woman why she had reached out to the man, she said "I didn't want him to feel so alone."
He said the woman told him: "I'm a mother, I have two sons around his age and life puts you in hard circumstances sometimes."
At the time of the incident, Taha said he questioned whether he should take the photo.
"I didn’t want to invade anyone's privacy, but at the moment I thought it's such a beautiful moment and such an incredible picture of humanity," he said. "I thought I would take the photo for my own memory."
Taha initially shared the photo with his own friends on Facebook, and eventually made it public.
Within two hours of making the photo public, he said it was attracting widespread attention.
"(The photo) resonated with people," he said. "It's incredible to see that sometimes human touch can do so much more than anything else.
"Instead of fearing people, we should reach out and help people."
Taha added that he was moved by the bravery and selflessness of the woman.
"I don't know if all of us are that selfless," he said. "I don’t know if all of us would put someone else's needs above our own."