Acts of kindness are becoming more and more rare to come across. It’s no surprise then that when a bus driver for Bus Éireann in Ireland went out of his way to help an elderly woman, the story went viral.
Last week, William Harris was driving the transit bus around as part of his daily work routine. He was driving the 205 service from CIT to Kent Station at 15:40 as he usually does, and the next stop for the passengers was in Cork, Ireland.
An elderly woman proceeded to get off the bus when Harris reached the stop, and as she managed to slowly exit, the bus driver noticed that the woman had nearly tripped. She was already off the bus, and after evaluating the situation, Harris saw that her loose shoelaces caused her to nearly fall.
This was a trivial thing, but given her age, Harris thought it would be best to let her know in order to avoid any foreseeable problems.
Harris halted the bus and shouted to the elderly woman to bring to her attention that her shoes were untied, even as she was walking away. The woman replied that she already knew and then Harris put two and two together and realized that the woman just wasn’t physically competent enough to tie her own shoes.
Harris got out of the bus and shocked everyone when he got to the floor in the midst of the bus route to tie the elderly woman’s shoes for her.
This act left the passengers on the bus awestruck, and Harris instantly became a role model and something of a local celebrity.
The woman was equally as pleased as the spectators were by Harris’ kindness. After Harris made sure that she was all set, he got back on the bus and proceeded with his daily route. As Harris drove away, the elderly woman blew a kiss to the bus, which exemplified her appreciation.
One passenger, Clara O’Brien, had her phone ready to capture the moment. She took a picture of Harris as he was in the midst of carrying out his act of kindness.
O’Brien went onto Bus Éireann’s Facebook page and posted the picture on their timeline of Harris tying the woman’s shoes. O’Brien also left a comment alongside the picture praising their bus driver.
“He was so kind to her and went out of his way to look after a customer” she said on Facebook.
She also noted that Harris made her day, and apparently he made thousands of other people’s days too.
O’Brien’s post went viral and has reached over 90,000 likes and 11,000 shares. People from all over the world were inspired by Harris’ simple act of kindness, but when Harris was asked about it, he was a bit shocked at all of the exposure he was getting.
According to an interview with 102 Today FM in Ireland, Harris’ daughter brought to his attention that his act was going viral on Facebook, and he couldn’t believe it.
“There’s people who have done a lot better things than I had done yesterday that never get noticed,” Harris told RedFM. “It’s just a small simple thing, it’s amazing to me how it caught on.”
Harris clearly didn’t think of his act as anything extraordinary, but instead he thought of it as a common deed done for the day. He even told Today FM that he would tie his mother’s shoes, so it was just something that really didn’t seem like a big deal.
Everyone knows that the kindness exhibited wasn’t just because he tied the elderly woman’s shoes. Instead it was because he took time out of his day in order to help someone when he could have just as easily driven away.