How Three Words Saved Somebody's Life

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At just 16 years of age, Jamie Harrington has been already a lifesaver, and he started with three simple words. The Irish teenager recently posted a story on Humans of Dublin's Facebook page about his encounter with a man in obvious distress on a bridge in Dublin. 
"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 edge of the bridge," he wrote. "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."
Harrington sat on the steps of the bridge and pleaded with the man to join him. In time the man did, and they sat and talked for about 45 minutes about "what was happening to him, why was he feeling that way."
After their conversation, Harrington got the man to agree to go to the hospital for professional help. The man later texted Harrington to express his appreciation and let him know that he and his wife are expecting a baby boy, who they intend to name after Harrington.

After his post garnered wider attention, the media came calling. He told Dublin's the Independent, "It was just instinct to help that man and now lots of people around the world know about it. I hope it makes people open their eyes to what is going on around them. I like to help people who need help."
Yet Harrington remained a bit shocked at the effects of his actions. "He said in that moment that I approached him, he was just about to jump, and those few words saved his life," he wrote. "They're still ringing in his head every day. 'Are you okay?' I can't really understand how those few words could save his life, but he told me, 'Imagine if nobody ever asked you those words...'"
It's a stark contrast to how similar situations sometimes play out in North America. And it's a startling testament to the power of small, often overlooked gestures. Faith in humanity: restored.
Main and collage image via Facebook / Humans of Dublin

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