Trigger warning! Knowing when to be hard and when to be soft can make all the difference in someone’s life. When a desperate man stepped onto the outside of the railing over a highway overpass in Brazil, everyone around him stepped in to save his life. Police arrived to find him clinging to the railing, clearly experiencing a very dark period in his mental health. As traffic zoomed by beneath them, the officers had to think quickly about the best way to approach the situation. If they used force and tried to haul him back over the railing, he could resist with deadly consequences.
Beneath the bridge, a kind truck driver saw what was happening and stopped directly underneath them. If the man jumped, the truck would break his fall. Meanwhile, one police officer seized that opportunity and reached toward the man — but not to physically restrain him. Instead, he demonstrated a beautiful human instinct to empathize with other people’s pain. Wrapping the stranger in his arms, he simply held him as he wept. When he was ready, the man climbed over the railing to find the help he needed to keep moving forward.
Watch the tender moment unfold in the video below, and share this story to remind others that suicide is never the answer. Help is available 24 hours a day at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255.
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