While I write this, my wife is watching the evening news. The Barbie Doll on the TV screen is saying that the economy is in trouble, the government is crumbling, and mankind is dangling by a thread.

Pensacola, Florida—Dodge’s Convenience Store. Friday afternoon. This is the kind of gas station with greasy fried chicken that’s not half bad.

In the long line ahead of me: a young couple. They are sweaty, dressed in white clothing, covered in paint splatters. The woman is holding a toddler.

On the counter, the man places two energy drinks and a large box of chicken. He removes his wallet. He has no cash.

“Never mind,” he tells the Dodge’s cashier, “I’ll just put everything back.”

A old woman in line behind them removes her wallet and pays.

He thanks her.

She says, “Nah, don’t thank me.” Then, she leaves.

Montgomery, Alabama—a very nice restaurant. Mary is in her car, applying makeup before meeting her boyfriend.

She sees two boys at the valet desk, wearing matching golf shirts.

An old man with a long beard shuffles the sidewalk. He has a backpack on his shoulder. He walks past the boys.

They holler, “Sir, wait!”

One kid runs inside. He returns with a take-out box. The man thanks them.

Mary watches the man walk on ahead, sit on the pavement, and eat with his hands.

Mary has to re-apply mascara.

Jacksonville, Florida—an older man finds a cat in his neighborhood. The cat has a bloody stub where her right ear once was.

He takes her to the vet and gets the wound dressed. The cat sleeps on the man’s recliner. He names her.

One morning, before he’s even made coffee, he notices something beneath his easy chair.

He crawls on his hands and knees to look. Four newborn kittens.

“I’m a dad,” he writes me.

A granddaddy is more like it.

Shreveport, Louisiana—Anne is a young widow. Her car is giving her fits.

She takes it to a garage. The mechanic says it’s an expensive problem. She’s better off getting a new vehicle.

One of the young mechanics overhears this. He takes Anne aside.

He says he knows of a local scrapyard. He says he can find a used part and fix her vehicle for no charge. She agrees.

He visits her after work. He gets her car repaired in one evening. He stays for supper.

And now they have two children together.

While I write this, my wife is watching the evening news. The Barbie Doll on the TV screen is saying that the economy is in trouble, the government is crumbling, and mankind is dangling by a thread.

To drive the point home, there is footage of mushroom clouds and various crime-scenes. The broadcast ends with a story about a pregnant giraffe—I guess that’s supposed to make it all better.

Listen, maybe this world is in trouble. God knows, I’m just Joe Nobody, from nowhere. I have no right to tell anyone what to believe.

But, if I may, I’d like to speak to the friendly broadcast journalists who dig for the most appalling headlines they can.

Brothers and sisters:

The pregnant giraffe wasn’t enough.

Visit Dodge’s gas station.

33 comments

  1. Marilyn - April 5, 2017 8:13 am

    There are still good people in the world….we just seldom hear about them! Thanks, Sean!

    Reply
  2. Regina Peavy - April 5, 2017 9:25 am

    Thank you.

    Reply
  3. RoseMary Forstrom - April 5, 2017 10:16 am

    Thank you , I stopped following the news when I realized they are only showing horror. There are many stories about the good in our world. Thanks for a positive start to my day.

    Reply
  4. Meg - April 5, 2017 11:18 am

    God bless those caring souls whose stories you told. And those who have read their stories here. May we all be touched to pay a kindness forward where we see a need.

    Reply
  5. Nancy - April 5, 2017 11:19 am

    I chuckled. The man in the south did it again. The simple can be so profound.

    Reply
  6. Judy - April 5, 2017 12:25 pm

    Yup.

    Reply
  7. Rhonda - April 5, 2017 12:25 pm

    Spot On!! If you train yourself to look for “Good” you will find it, focus on it, and participate in it! There is good in everyone….we must choose to cultivate it then it becomes second nature. It is how I choose to roll! Great blog!

    Reply
  8. Carol DeLater - April 5, 2017 12:58 pm

    Well heck. I love to hear or read the kind of stories you have shared here. And I know you don’t get enough of them on the evening news. But my Liberal soul is telling me there is a hell of a lot to be fearful of with new developments every stinking day and a child mentality that eggs it all on. Keep writing Sean. The stories are good. They take the edge off, but I know something has to give.

    Reply
  9. Kathryn - April 5, 2017 1:13 pm

    I truly believe that there are many more people out there seeking to do good things than there are people who are not. We must never lose sight of the fact that even those things that seem small to us can be tremendous to someone else – and keep doing those things to help others even though it won’t be reported by the media. I wish we didn’t give the people who do bad things to others free press coverage.
    Keep writing, Sean. For me, your columns are one of those things that are “doing good”.

    Reply
  10. Tracy - April 5, 2017 1:19 pm

    Thank you for giving me an inspiring start every day. 🙂

    Reply
  11. Jan - April 5, 2017 1:28 pm

    Amen!

    Reply
  12. Marthajane Cassidey - April 5, 2017 1:47 pm

    Your column helps me when the news just gets worse every day.

    Reply
  13. Ruth Otwell - April 5, 2017 2:16 pm

    YES! ! Exactly this.

    Reply
  14. Catherine Weed - April 5, 2017 2:44 pm

    Barbie Doll. Really. 🙁

    Reply
  15. Sam Hunneman - April 5, 2017 3:37 pm

    Yup, used to call this, “counting our blessings”. A lot healthier than blaming everyone else for whatever goes wrong.

    Reply
  16. Pat Byers - April 5, 2017 4:51 pm

    You make my mornings better. And my eyes teary most days. We don’t hear enough of the good. You supply that. Thank you !

    Reply
  17. Karen Bethea - April 5, 2017 6:53 pm

    Have to laugh because I still turn my computer on and find out if April has had her baby yet….I have decided to let her have it WITHOUT me watching….the trauma of watching the little thing hit the ground from 5 ‘ in the air and then struggle to walk is just too much after seeing what happened to 11 children in Syria…just want to see sweetness….sweetness….

    Reply
  18. Peggy Windham - April 5, 2017 9:14 pm

    I love ❤️ it! You are so spot on!

    Reply
  19. Jeannie - April 5, 2017 9:28 pm

    Boy, you hit the nail on the head with this one!! Our country is so full of people who do good deeds each and every day. People who love and care.
    I no longer watch the news. Maybe hit the headlines occasionally on Public Radio. Thank you for this important reminder that Life is Good

    Reply
  20. Gary Riddle - April 5, 2017 10:34 pm

    There are a lot of words that come to mind, as you speak of a world gone to hell in a hand basket, But kittens, old guys, and just people showing they STILL care for mankind speaks louder than any words could ever God will surely bless those of his children that have lived in the many that he wishes for us.

    Reply
  21. Jackie - April 5, 2017 11:43 pm

    Needed this reminder tonight! Thanks for speaking truth into my life! And the reminder to try Dodge’s chicken.

    Reply
  22. Melissa - April 6, 2017 12:16 am

    I am proud to be a native Pensacolian-born and raised. People born here very seldom leave. The generosity you witnessed at Dodges, happens every day in this city…at the grocery store, Starbucks, the gas station. We are a large city with a “small town feel”. It is a place I am proud to call home!

    Reply
  23. Patricia Dianne Gibson - April 6, 2017 8:55 pm

    Amen!

    Reply
  24. Marsha Hammac - April 7, 2017 12:35 am

    You write about the things God probably (I don’t know either…) wishes everyone would do for others. I could comment on everyone of your writings. I think that I have been reading your posts for about two months now and I really think that I can hear God’s voice more clearly, speaking directly to me. Not from what you write but what I feel and notice more about this messed up world that is beautiful if a person just looks for it. Thank you for making me more aware of things and people that are right in front of my face every day, thank you.

    Reply
    • Jackie B - June 4, 2017 2:58 pm

      Not probably…definitely…”what you do unto the least of these my breathren, you do unto me”. And no, that’s probably not a direct quote (but it might be, thanks to Sunday School), and I don’t know the chapter and verse (but hopefully, there won’t be a written exam). But like you, I know it, feel it in my heart.

      Reply
  25. Katherine Edwins Schumm - April 19, 2017 9:23 pm

    Beautiful. After this last election I was struck with how angry people were when it was over and how that “frustraation and anger” was manipulated by the news media.
    In seventh grade we were given an assignment to take a news article and analyze it….what does the article want you to think or believe? We need to have more people put their critical thinking glasses on and see thru the misinformation and emotional manipulation.
    There is a beautiful world out there and there are many good people. Good things are happening. In the end – you find what you are looking for. So I am guessing, you are always looking for the good. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  26. Ellen Evans - April 23, 2017 11:30 pm

    I go to that Dodges Convenience Store several times a week. It’s really a fried chicken store that happens to sell lots of gas and coffee. I get the same thing every time, a mocha coffee for my mother with dementia who is waiting in the car. It’s her favorite. One time I picked a cup a size bigger than usual by accident. When I went to pay I realized it, and before I could say anything the clerk said ” I think you grabbed too big a cup, it’s not your usual so I am only gonna charge you for I what know you usually get”.

    Reply
  27. Deanna J - June 4, 2017 1:07 pm

    Thank You!!!

    Reply
  28. Jackie B - June 4, 2017 2:59 pm

    So much this!!

    Reply
  29. Pat Jordan - June 4, 2017 3:57 pm

    I turned off the news when my daughters were 11 months and almost 3. My young husband had just walked out on us and I couldn’t bare to add all that pain and suffering to my present burden. I still do not watch the news. It’s still all shock and horror. Somehow I always know what’s going on in the world. I try to DO something each day to counter the horrors. My daughters are 42 and 44.

    Reply
  30. Jane Hampton - June 4, 2017 5:10 pm

    I know that I’m too sensitive, but with this story I cried all the way to church. Thank you for reminding us of all the good in the world. God bless you.

    Reply
  31. Ben Smith - June 4, 2017 9:45 pm

    Makes you think a lot about the things you see or have seen. Thanks.

    Reply
  32. Betty Sims Stewart - June 5, 2017 1:19 pm

    Wonderful!

    Reply

Have your say