Photo of a compassionate gesture on N.Y.C. subway goes viral

Isaac Theil lets a stranger nap on his shoulder on the New York City subway. Imgur photo by Reddit user braffination (Imgur)

A photo of a young man napping on a stranger's shoulder on the New York City subway has gone viral.

Reddit user braffination posted the image and described the scene:

"Heading home on the Q train yesterday when this young black guy nods off on the shoulder of a Jewish man. The man doesn't move a muscle, just lets him stay there. After a minute, I asked the man if he wanted me to wake the kid up, but he shook his head and responded, 'He must have had a long day, let him sleep. We've all been there, right?'"

"He was still sleeping soundly when I got off the train 20 minutes later," he wrote. "It was a small gesture, but a kind one. I love New Yorkers!"

Tablet Magazine tracked down the kind stranger, 65-year-old Isaac Theil.

"Maybe the photo wouldn't have become so popular if people weren't seeing a Jewish man with a yarmulke and a black man in a hood, and because they might not necessarily correlate the two," Theil speculated.

"But there is only one reason that I didn't move, and let him continue sleeping, and that has nothing to do with race. He was simply a human being who was exhausted, and I knew it and happened to be there and have a big shoulder to offer him."

"I would love for people to use this as a lesson to just be good to each other," he added.

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