22-year-old sees color for the first time thanks to act of kindness: ‘It’s the little things in life’

An Alabama man went viral after sharing his reaction to seeing color for the first time.

McKinley Erves, 22, always wanted to be able to see what he was missing. For years, he’s wanted to try color blind glasses, which claim to help individuals with color deficiency detect differences between colors better. Then, his friends surprised him on his birthday with a pair — and it was all caught on camera.

In the video, Erves looks at his red car before he puts on the glasses. After encouragement from a friend, who was filming, he slowly put on the glasses and pauses in awe.


Erves says that seeing his car in a new way for the first time was an unforgettable experience.

“I’ve had that car for about 4 years and I was finally gonna see what I’ve really been driving. I just didn’t know the car wasn’t going to be the only thing I was amazed at,” he tells Yahoo Life.

As of Thursday, the video has received more than two million views and gotten countless reactions.

Erves says he is shocked by the attention the video has gotten.

“I’m just a regular guy. I’m not famous and I didn’t have many followers. But the fact that a random guy like me could fall onto someone’s timeline and they instantly feel joy and happiness from something my friends did for me and that they even go out of their way to message me and tell me how happy they are for me, it makes me feel like I made a difference in a lot of people’s lives even if it was for a little bit,” he admits.

His friends Willie Harris III and Jonathan Everheart, who have known him for years, tell Yahoo Life that they also were not expecting the reaction to the gift.

“It was a very tearful gift,” Harris says. “The way he accepted and appreciated the glasses was a response I don’t think we were ready for. ... As a group we are happy for him, and want his view of life to be as everyone else’s.”

They also explain that they had been wanting to get Erves the special glasses for a long time and were finally able to do so after coming together to collect the money.

“We have been talking about getting these glasses for him for a while now. We wanted to brighten up his 22nd birthday in the best way we could, and we figured this would be the best time to get them. Start of a new year and a new way for him to see everyday life through his own eyes,” Everheart adds.

And it is clear that Erves is beyond grateful to his friends, whom he sees as his brothers, and hopes that people who watch this video are able to “find joy in the little things.”

“My best friend Kam tells me that all the time,” he says. “Don’t get me wrong, life can make that very challenging with all of the downfalls we face in our lives. But it’s the little things in life that make those downfalls worth it, like seeing color for real for the first time.”

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