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A photo and the story behind an older gentleman stopping to show a young man how to tie his necktie captured the attention of the internet for all the right reasons. Read on to see how this gesture of kindness toward a stranger at Lindbergh Center MARTA Station in Atlanta reflects the wisdom of a timeless proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Sharing Life’s Lessons

When a train passenger saw this human interaction, he was quick to snap the scene and post it on Facebook to share the special moment, where it enjoyed thousands of shared views and got picked up by major news outlets. Redd Desmond Thomas told about the display of kindness he witnessed with these words:

“The young guy sitting down was struggling with his tie. The woman in the red coat noticed, and asked ‘Do you know how to tie it properly?’ The young guy said ‘No ma’am.’ She taps her husband and says ‘Come to this side [her right side; he was standing on her left side] and teach this young man how to tie his tie.” The older gentleman moved without hesitation [almost a reflex response] and gave him a step-by-step tutorial.”

Teaching As a Gift

That’s when the second half of the story revealed itself:

“Then – afterward – the elder gentleman watched the young gentleman repeat the steps and show him that he had it. I was some distance away (but close enough to hear the exchange), and got even closer to snap this candid photo of the tutorial in progress before hopping on the train. I LOVE THIS!”

Closing The Generation Gap

The necktie routine, which at one time was a standard rite of passage for any father and his son, has primarily disappeared from our cultural landscape. This impromptu and transparent moment of humankindness tells a story of many layers, transcending generational gaps, the gift of teaching, and our modern day tendency to avoid interaction with strangers in public places.

Onlookers might assume that this young man was en route to a job interview, and if so, he certainly has tens of thousands of folks, as well as this charming senior couple, rooting for his success.

 

This article was written by Laurie Jo Miller Farr via Examiner.com for CBS Local Media