A photo of a young man helping an elderly man went viral after an observer posted it on her Facebook page.
Paula Accorsi Picard was shopping at the Holyoke Mall in Massachusetts when she noticed an older man hesitating in front of an escalator going down.
“It was clear he was feeling unsure and this young man offered the simplest kindness: an out-reached arm and a ‘can I help you, sir?’” Accorsi Picard wrote. “He quietly started to explain to the young man that he had gotten stuck on an escalator once and was a little scared.”
“The young man gently offered an assurance, they looked at each other eye to eye for just a moment and the older man accepted his arm,” she continued. “Everyone else remained patient. So, so sweet to witness!”
The young man’s name is Alonzo Johnson, 23, and he told Mass Live he was raised to be kind to others.
“I definitely believe in God,” he told the outlet. “My mom has me going to church, but my mom is the reason for all of this. My mom always tells us to be nice and do the right thing, you never know who’s watching.”
“It’s really the way I was brought up and how I was raised,” he continued.
When it comes to the attention he’s been receiving on social media and in the news, Johnson is simply taking it in stride.
“This is something I’ve never dealt with before,” he admitted. “It’s so, like, humbling. But it’s a lot. But I’m embracing it. It’s something very unexpected. My family and I are constantly looking at the Facebook posts and seeing attention.”
Accorsi Picard ended her Facebook post with one inspiring message, writing, “But today, violence, race, age, politics and other social lines were blurred and one person simply helped another. I wanted to hug both of them.”
“Whoever this young man is, YOUR FAMILY RAISED YOU RIGHT! THANK YOU! So, please look for the silver linings – as i was so fortunate to witness this evening.”