A photo of an Alabama man comforting a stranger’s baby while she fills out paperwork has gone viral, with some commenters saying the touching picture gives them hope in these difficult times.
Every parent has been there: needing both hands while a small child is not having it. Such was the case in Florence, Alabama this week, as WBMA-TV (Birmingham) reports, when Facebook user Natasha Crittenden Wilson was in the waiting room at her doctor’s office. There she snapped a picture of an older man holding the baby of an unidentified woman. Natasha says the woman had brought her sleeping baby in but needed her hands in order to do paperwork.
“This man, from across the room, asks her if she would like for him to hold her baby while she did her paperwork!! She smiled and said that would be wonderful!! This man went over there and rocked and loved on that baby like he was his!!”
As you can see from the photograph below, the unidentified woman is African American, while the elderly man is white. Natasha Crittenden Wilson certainly noticed it.
“Racism is still VERY real in our society today BUT THIS MAN GAVE ME HOPE & a sweet memory I’ll never forget!!”
She concluded her post by asking that if anyone knows who the man is, they send him her thanks.
As it turns out, the man does appear to have been identified as Joel Hale. As of this writing, it doesn’t appear as if Mr. Hale has spoken to the media to give his side of the story.
Regardless, internet users around the world are taking the photo as a sliver of hope in these complicated times. It’s no secret that relations between the races are strained lately. Similarly, the relationship between the older generation and the younger generation has grown tense these days, too. But the sight of an aged white man doing a solid for a younger African American woman is striking all of the right chords if comments from the various corners of the internet are to be believed.
“Maybe there IS hope for humanity.”
“There’s still a lot of good in this world…”
“[It’s] nice to read a nice story like this after all the hate being spread right now.”
A few times per month a story like this will make the news, where a moment is caught on-camera and the photo goes viral. And it’s not always for touching or life-affirming reasons. Just last week, for example, the heartbreaking photo of a little boy sitting all alone at a table, because none of his friends turned up for his birthday party, went viral. That boy, later identified by CTV News as Teddy Bollinger, was invited to be the guest of honor at a Phoenix Suns game.