Amanda Craft was enjoying lunch at a McDonald’s in Noblesville, Indiana, with a group of other special education teachers. The ladies observed a young man sitting at a table with an old lady. The women were drawn to the couple because they were notably different from one another. Amanda knew what was going on after listening in on the pair’s talk. That prompted her to take a photograph.
Unable to resist the emotions that were racing through her head as she observed the guy, subsequently named as Eric Haralson, interact with the older woman, Amanda chose to say something to him before walking out the door. “I hope you know, you’re going viral,” she remarked, knowing she had a photograph on her phone that might cause this to occur. He believed she was joking, yet she quickly uploaded it on social media, proving she was correct.
Amanda subsequently revealed on Facebook that the elderly lady appeared to be lonely when she approached Eric Haralson, a stranger, and requested if she could sit with him. This gentleman answered, ‘of course,’ without hesitation, Amanda stated in the photo description.
Giving a “Shout out to this guy!” her friends and she witnessed him introduce himself and shook her hand, Amanda added. They conversed and laughed as if they were old friends. They didn’t know one other and couldn’t be more unlike. But they shared a lunch today, and that warmed their hearts.
Eric Haralson, as we now know, was that individual, and for Amanda, he showed there is good by encouraging others to be the good we want to see in the world. Eric Haralson and his elderly partner, simply identified as “Jan,” immediately became online celebrities, just as Amanda anticipated.
She said she simply wanted a little interaction, Eric said. No one wishes to eat alone. She inquired if he mind if she sat with him, and he said, “No, not at all,” as he vacated a seat for her. And the rest, as they say, is history.
After the photograph went viral on social media, Amanda and her other teachers, who had also observed the incident, recounted that she put her stuff down and then asked if she could eat lunch with him and he was lovely. His smile really brightened the whole room.
Amanda explained further that she is not sure what she said to him, but he just began laughing, and it was like an infectious laugh. Like the belly laugh one gets when one can’t help but laugh along. It was incredibly poignant, uplifting, and just plain entertaining to witness.
Her coworkers concurred. It was heartwarming, and she is pleased she got to experience it, Amber Miller remarked, while Amy Meyering agreed. As Special Education instructors, they really love seeing individuals reach out and make sure they are welcoming. One performs a wonderful kind deed, and it reads that way, she explained. The encounter, however, moved more than just the professors.
Eric stated that he swapped phone numbers with his new acquaintance Jan, whom he described as “quite great” and capable of packing an entire audience with her comedy. She lives in an apartment near where they sat, and he intended to contact her again shortly. She’s a very, very spiritual person,” Eric Haralson observed of his lunch companion. On Sundays, she goes to church, he continued. She told him one has to love everyone. She and Eric appear to have unintentionally conveyed the entire country that message simply by being polite to one another.