Math can be hard, especially when you're in your 40s and haven't used it since school. Fractions and algebra may seem like child's work, but they're easily forgotten when you can just use a calculator or a computer in your everyday life.
Denise Wilson was recently on the subway home to Brooklyn at the end of a long day when she overheard two strangers across from her discussing that very problem. Wilson decided to capture the moment, and share it in a post that's since gone viral with over 40,000 shares.
Wilson explained in a caption alongside the photo:
"So today omw from work the guy in the red sat down opend up his folder and started reading a few stops later the guy next to him sat down and asked him what he's studying, 'you look a little confused maybe i can help.'"
"He says his son failed a math test. They're learning fractions so i'm just teaching myself this over again so I can help him i'm 42 & don't know any of this so i'm re teaching myself."
"The guy in the black informed him he used to be a math teacher so he asked the guy to quiz him and everything he got wrong or was confused about he broke it down and corrected him by the end of my train ride the guy in the red had a better understanding he can bring home a new method and teach his child."
"I really love seeing [expletive] like this especially in New York because we really just dont give a fuck about what the person next to us is going thru."
Wilson told CBS2 why she decided to share the moment:
“He was just telling the guy, ‘I’m in my 40s and all of this is new to me, so I’ve got to re-learn this to teach my son because he failed a math test.’”
“When I say I started tearing up, that warmed my heart. So I snapped a picture."
Corey Simmons, the man being helped, admitted he's never been much of a math student.
“It’s been about 30 years I’d say since I did fractions."
When Corey Jr. started struggling at school, he decided to relearn everything so that he could help his son.
“It doesn’t matter if you fail, it’s what you do after you fail."
The men eventually got off at different stops, and neither Simmons or Wilson caught the tutor's name. But his help seems to have inspired others, with thousands of comments on the Facebook post.
“It was just one person helping another, and I thought that was beautiful,” Wilson said.
As for fractions, Simmons said the man really helped:
“We’re halfway there, but I wouldn’t say we mastered the whole fraction thing yet.”
“You need help sometimes and you shouldn’t want to bite your tongue, to not ask for the help,” he said. “So don’t feel shy to ask someone for help, it’s OK.”
One Facebook commenter wrote:
"Love it. You never know what someone is dealing with. And people are so busy with their phones no one talks anymore."
While another added...
"Just the fact that he was willing /compassionate to help this young brother and didn't see color is a beautiful thing.. There is hope for us after all."
What do you think of the photo?