Kindness can save a life

Almost everyone on social media has heard of Humans of New York  There are many spin offs of Brandon Stanton’s concept, one of which is called Humans of Dublin. Recently a young boy shared his story on it, of how he saved another human’s life, by simply asking, “Are you OK?” Here is what the post said.


I was just on my way to the American sweet shop to buy some Gatorade, when I saw this guy in his 30s sitting on the ledge of the bridge. I just thought, “wow…” I stopped and asked him if he was okay, but I knew from the look in his eyes he wasn’t, and he didn’t say anything either, but I saw tears coming from his eyes. I pleaded with him for a while to come down and sit on the steps, and eventually he did. We sat on the sidewalk on the south side of the Liffey and talked for about 45 minutes, about what was happening to him, why was he feeling that way… I couldn’t leave him there alone, but I had to go, so I was going to ring an ambulance. I told him they could help him feel better. But he was like “please, please don’t call them, I’m fine, I just want to walk around for a while, I’m gonna be okay!” I told him to please let me ring an ambulance, that I wouldn’t sleep knowing he was just walking around alone. So I rang it, and he was taken to St. James Hospital. I got his number so I would know what was going on with him for a good while… And about three months ago, he texted me that his wife is pregnant, they’re having a boy, and they’re naming him after me. Can you believe that? They’re going to name their child after me… 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?” I can’t really understand how these few words could save his life, but he told me, “Imagine if nobody ever asked you those words…”


I think this is pretty amazing, and I’ll leave you with these thoughts. How powerful are our words? How much impact can they really have? They can save a life, of that there is no doubt. It’s the reason why I asked everyone to choose three people to have coffee with, at the end of my TEDx talk, which you can watch below. I’ve also written about “Why kindness matters“.  After you watch or read my blog, please let me know why kindness matters to you.

If you, or someone you know has been affected by suicide, you can find your nearest support group here.  Suicide prevention