Biker rushes in to stop homeless man from jumping off a bridge just in the nick of time
"Every day we have a chance to make someone's life better."
Experiencing homelessness can take a severe toll on a person's mental health. Even without studies confirming this (of course, they do), it’s not hard to imagine how not having a safe and comfortable place to live along with a lack of financial resources, nutrition and community—all while having to deal with other health conditions, constant stress, loneliness and the threat of danger—can be damaging to someone's well-being.It’s also not hard to understand how repeated exposure to even one of these factors, let alone multiple on any given day, could result in suicidal ideation. According to an article posted by the Harvard Public Health Review in 2018, those experiencing homelessness in the U.S. are nine times more likely to die by suicide than those who aren't.
However, even with that alarming statistic, other studies have shown that someone who is prevented from taking an attempt on their own life is far less likely to do it a second time. And while those odds might change when considering life factors like homelessness, there is something to be said about how stepping in can truly keep someone from causing themselves irreparable harm.
And that’s what makes a short, sweet TikTok recently posted by Ryan Mann so powerful.
Mann’s content consists almost entirely of GoPro-style videos of himself riding a motorcycle. A trick here, a crash there, facing different elements. The usual content for a biker.
However, on July 14, we see Mann rushing on his bike toward a man he saw on a nearby bridge. Though it’s impossible to get full context from such a short video, presumably, the man was getting ready to jump off.
Once Mann arrives, he immediately steps off his bike to ask if the man is okay and tell him he was worried about him. The two then exchange a couple of hugs. At the end of the video, the man, who introduced himself as Cameron, confirmed that he was now safe.
@ryan_s_mann It doesn’t matter who you were, who you are, or who you’re trying to become, everyday we have the chance to improve someone else’s life. Don’t waste that chance. #mentalhealth #mentalhealthmatters #bikelife #biker #motorcycle ♬ original sound - ryan_s_mann
Whether or not Cameron was actually dealing with suicidal thoughts, Mann’s stance, which he put in the video’s caption, rings true:
“It doesn’t matter who you were, who you are, or who you’re trying to become, every day we have the chance to improve someone else’s life. Don’t waste that chance.”
Others who watched the video agreed with Mann’s sentiment and praised him for showing kindness.
“Character—doing something for someone you know can offer you nothing in return,” one person wrote.
Another added, “Bro need more compassionate people in society like you. Hopefully, he got some help. That hug had me tearing up. You’re a good person!”
Whether or not Cameron was on the brink of ending his life, it’s clear that at the moment, what he needed most of all was connection. It’s something we all need, and not just in times of peril. A warm interaction with another human is sometimes all it takes for the world to become a little brighter.
And as Mann so eloquently put it, there’s a chance for those little life-changing moments every day.