I know dogs who need adopting, I know children who need companionship, and priests in Dothan, Alabama, who cook turkeys for the unfortunate at Christmas.

She pushes a cart in the parking lot. She is a redhead. Pale skin.

There are four Hispanic girls with her. She says something in Spanish. They all laugh. She laughs.

These are happy folks.

She met them last year. She knocked on her Mexican neighbors’ front door one evening. She offered to babysit the girls free of charge, since the family was having hard times making ends meet.

Since then, she’s been watching the girls for three years. She also teaches them to read and write English.

Today, she’s teaching baking. She took them to the supermarket because they’re going to make gingerbread, yogurt-covered pretzels, cookies, fudge, you name it.

Then, there’s the old man. I saw him. He was walking to the public restroom, using a cane, holding a young woman for balance.

“Almost there, Daddy,” she said.

They reached the bathroom; she opened the door and followed him inside.

“No, Daddy, let me help,” I overheard her say before the door closed.

What a good daughter.

And the twenty-year-old kid, Jerod. I watched him play basketball. He was teaching other kids to play at the county foster-child facility.

He is an orphan who grew up in foster care. He teaches them because he is them. They trust him.

“I know what it’s like not having nobody,” he said. “I want’em to know somebody cares, that’s all everyone needs.”

Jerod seems too young to be so wise.

And the woman. She was ringing a handbell outside the supermarket. She was tall, angel-faced. She was wearing a Santa cap, singing.

She set her bell down to relax her hand muscles.

A kid approached and asked if he might ring the bell for her.

“Knock yourself out, kid,” she said.

He rang it in rhythm, and sang. His voice was loud, and steady. He closed his eyes to sing.

People tossed money in the bucket by the handful.


This morning, I am writing you from a hotel lobby. The woman at the front desk handed me a complimentary newspaper.

The headline turned my stomach.

I set the paper down and watched the morning news instead. A reporter smiled and talked for ten minutes about sex scandals, sex scandals, then briefly spoke on scandals involving sex.

Suddenly, I’m nauseous. And offended, somehow. I suppose that’s how they want me to feel.

Anyway, if you’re reading this, you’ve figured out I’m nobody. I’m Joe Sixpack with a mortgage. I am words on your phone-screen. And I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t know much.

But I do know a few things.

For one: I know foster kids who grow up to be heroes. I know babysitters who bake gingerbread with Mexican kids who call her “Tia,” even though she is not blood kin.

I know dogs who need adopting, I know children who need companionship, and priests in Dothan, Alabama, who cook turkeys for the unfortunate at Christmas.

I know daughters who help fathers in public restrooms. And I’ve seen college-educated women ringing bells in public, God-blessing anyone who will give her hand a break.

I don’t care what you see on TV. This world is more than sex scandals and crooked politics.

A hell of a lot more.

Merry Christmas.


  1. JOHN PASCHALL - December 7, 2017 9:35 am

    Bless you, Sean!

    • Carlin Brooks - December 8, 2017 5:36 am

      Right again Sean! I think you know more than you take credit for.

  2. Ellen Nichols - December 7, 2017 9:43 am

    Gratitude for the good we see, the good we receive, and the good we try or hope to give is the key to it all…for me.

  3. Cindy Spraggins - December 7, 2017 10:56 am

    Thank you for the daily reminder that there is still good in this world. I learned long ago to find joy in the simple things. Your writing helps me find that joy.

  4. james felder - December 7, 2017 11:01 am


  5. Kathy - December 7, 2017 11:23 am

    The world IS more than the ugliness we see and read every day. And that ugliness shouldn’t be treated or excused (or voted for?) as business as usual. We can be better that. Most of are better than that. Thank you, Sean for pointing it out almost every day. You often bring tears to my eyes.

  6. Pam Bishop - December 7, 2017 11:25 am

    I agree

  7. Lee Scott - December 7, 2017 12:12 pm

    The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5)

  8. Suzanne miller - December 7, 2017 12:50 pm

    Thanks Sean! That was needed❣️❣️❣️

  9. Fran Gaudsmith - December 7, 2017 12:57 pm


  10. Sue Cronkite - December 7, 2017 1:02 pm

    It needed to be said, and you said it perfectly.

  11. Dale Kocher - December 7, 2017 1:02 pm

    Enjoyed you in Luverne on Monday night. Remember, “southern fairy tale?” Great singing. Thought of the little mouse in the antimated story of Silent Night. Kocher is German. Kocher River. Anyway, thanks for the real morning news report.

  12. Francis - December 7, 2017 1:16 pm

    Thank you

    • Amy - December 7, 2017 1:45 pm

      I look forward to reading your column every morning. Please continue to put ‘pen to paper’ for all of us each day. Your words are inspiring.

  13. Lois M Cockerill - December 7, 2017 1:45 pm

    Yes Sean, THANK you for showing the good side of humanity…which is ignored by the media. You give hope in your writing, bringing home biblical truth about the ‘ mere mortal’ examples of God. We sometimes forget and you remind us daily.

  14. Teresa Lucas - December 7, 2017 1:53 pm

    Thank you for reminding us that there are still good people out that and that we are not going to hell in a handbasket.

  15. Jack - December 7, 2017 2:11 pm

    I’m with Kathy!

  16. Brian Heinz - December 7, 2017 2:17 pm

    Although we see the ugliness of the world and are repulsed by it and by what many do we still see the love God has for us in the eyes and actions of others that lift the heart above the degradation that is staring us in the face.

  17. Rhea Wynn - December 7, 2017 2:21 pm

    I appreciate starting my day with the good of the world. Thank you for making me sentimental every morning. It shows I still have a heart and care. I love your column.

  18. Mary Clyde Teague - December 7, 2017 2:25 pm

    Thank you for this. It is true. I feel like I am in two realities. I look forward to your stories.

  19. Jean from Chatom - December 7, 2017 2:35 pm

    That’s the way I see it too, Sean. Keep on telling it that way.

  20. Deena - December 7, 2017 2:53 pm

    It certainly is more….. lots more. Merry Christmas.

  21. sandysewwhatever - December 7, 2017 3:02 pm

    Thank you so much. You are the daily news we need to hear.
    Sandy in the UK

  22. Connie - December 7, 2017 3:05 pm

    I have completely stopped watching the news. We watch TV that’s been recorded so we can skip commercials. Politics and world mayhem is too depressing. I read you for a daily dose of joy, or a thought provoking tidbit. Thank you for that.

  23. James Ham - December 7, 2017 3:08 pm

    Merry Christmas Sean, and thank you.

  24. Sharon Haggerty - December 7, 2017 3:17 pm

    Merry Christmas to you and thanks for your perspective. It always brightens my day.

  25. Phyllis - December 7, 2017 3:23 pm

    Regardless of all the bad news, there are still many many good people. I so much enjoyed this article as I do all of them.

  26. Lucretia - December 7, 2017 3:35 pm

    Yes, Yes, Yes !!! Thank you for voicing what rings from my mouth and heart. We are more, much more and we do not buy your goods!!! We are grateful for the good of which there is much. MERRY CHRISTMAS !!!

  27. Jane Hampton - December 7, 2017 3:46 pm

    Amen and Merry Christmas, Sean.

  28. Pat Byers - December 7, 2017 3:50 pm

    Every day. Every single day you write something that lifts us up…takes the world and American news away from the ugliness that slaps us in the face. The world should take notice. They would not be filled with such anger and hatred. A babysitter, a daughter of an old man, a grown foster child..these are the important things worthy of news.

  29. Ann Foley - December 7, 2017 3:51 pm

    I agree with you Sean ! Love your love for others!

  30. theholtgirls - December 7, 2017 3:56 pm

    Christians keep praying for PEACE ON EARTH. A seminary professor recently sermonized that there already is peace on earth, in the hearts of all those who belong to Jesus Christ.

    For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder. And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isa 9:6)

    Sean, thank you for looking through all the clutter of the world, seeing the beautiful pieces, and showing us the peace. Merry Christmas, my brother in Christ!

  31. Jack Darnell - December 7, 2017 4:03 pm

    I am glad I met you. You express my sentiments much better than I can. Also the sentiments of many folk I know. Thanks dude, shucks ‘You write real good!” You also write real, GOOD!
    from a gypsy, jac

  32. Brenner J. - December 7, 2017 4:30 pm

    Thank you for your daily dose of goodness and mercy. Reading your daily article is the highlight of my day. It starts my day off beautifully and makes me so grateful for what I have and for the people I have in my life. I’m not exactly a southern girl but was turned on to your column by a friend from AL. Your stories and expressions remind me of my people (originally from OK). Salt of the earth people.

  33. Kathy Cottle - December 7, 2017 4:49 pm

    Thank you, Sean. You are a breath of fresh air in my day. May God continue to bless you as you inspire and remind the rest of us.
    Merry Christmas

  34. Glenn Lemmons - December 7, 2017 4:57 pm


  35. Jana Frost - December 7, 2017 5:21 pm

    Thank you for your inspiration each day! I love the “good” all around us. We just need to change our focus. I know what I will be looking for today & hopefully sharing in it. Merry Christmas!

  36. Laura - December 7, 2017 5:34 pm

    Like you, I could choose to be sick at all I see or read about the state of our country and the world. I could cower in fear at the threat of a nuclear war, lock every female I know in the house to keep them safe from sexual predators, never venture out myself (how could a nearly 70 year old grandma defend herself against the evil out there)…OR I could see the good out there as you do- people helping a stranger (me) get my 92 year old Mother into or out of a car or a young man who knew Mother when she cooked the best rutabagas in the country calling to tell me he is always available to do anything Mother or I need (since he knows we have no husband to help us) or an older white haired woman who sees an old and crippled woman struggling at Walmart and runs back 3 aisles to find pie crusts for her. There is a lot of good out there which we might miss if we choose instead to believe the world.

  37. B.e. Blue - December 7, 2017 6:02 pm

    Don’t let anything steal your joy. Merry Christmas.

  38. Pamela McEachern - December 7, 2017 6:24 pm

    Today is a day I am most grateful, I am free in a land that I love, Pearl Harbor is the reason we stood up to our enemies. We need to stand together and overcome this sad state we are drowning in, we can do it and I choose the goodness over the bad. God Bless us all and Merry Christmas.
    Peace and Love from Birmingham

  39. elainenkarrh - December 7, 2017 6:42 pm

    I love your words.Happy Christmas from one of your biggest fans in Scottsboro,Al.(and Roll Tide)….

  40. Amanda Smlth - December 7, 2017 6:57 pm

    Thank you so much for noticing and sharing all of the good you see in this world!! It fills my heart and warms my soul!

  41. Rick Reeves - December 7, 2017 11:23 pm

    Pop culture is a gross misnomer. If that is culture I’m happy being uncultured.

    Thank you for writing this.

  42. Jeanie Crutchfield - December 8, 2017 12:42 am

    Good job—hit the nail on the head. Merry Christmas and keep writing. I enjoy reading, some days makes me smile and some days cry but all is good.

  43. Patricia Schmaltz - December 8, 2017 12:48 am

    So true Sean. Thank you for continuing the see the greatness out there.

  44. Debra - December 8, 2017 1:21 am

    Thank you, Sean for shining a beacon through the daily muck we face. Merry Christmas and be blessed.

  45. Kim Stumbo - December 8, 2017 1:38 am

    Your posts are a bright spot in my day. I love that you see such beauty in ordinary. Thanks.

  46. Damain - December 8, 2017 1:47 am

    I concur

  47. jones - December 8, 2017 2:03 am

    Good does exist…thank you for reminding us with your real-life stories. Those are are stories worthy of telling and reporting. The news media should read your posts daily—and then read them aloud during their broadcasts!!!

  48. gingembre - December 8, 2017 2:15 am

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words and your focus on what is good in the world. We need your daily reminders to help keep us sane.

  49. Michael Hawke - December 8, 2017 3:24 am


  50. Hank Holcomb - December 8, 2017 5:14 am

    We are reminded to be in the world but not of the world!

  51. Sandi - December 8, 2017 1:51 pm

    AMEN! Merry Christmas

  52. Dianne DeVore - December 8, 2017 1:52 pm

    I always enjoy reading your stories about all of the good and good people in this world. You make us realize that plenty of good still exists if we just take a moment to look for it.

  53. Jeff Corkran - December 8, 2017 3:30 pm

    Having lived in Dothan for a few years, I do know there are a number of really good people there. Thanks again for your insights, Sean.

  54. Suzanne Crow - December 8, 2017 11:48 pm

    You are so right! Bless you.

  55. Cindy - December 9, 2017 2:32 pm

    Yes it is! Let’s spread the word. Thanks’

  56. Linda Chipman - December 10, 2017 6:44 pm

    Thank you for reminding us of the GOOD people. Merry Christmas Sean.

  57. Mary Ellen Hall - December 10, 2017 8:11 pm

    Such a “Blessing” to read!! SO VERY TIRED of ALL the NEGATIVE news!!
    THANK YOU FOR SHARING some of the POSITIVE, WONDERFUL THINGS that ARE happening in our world!

  58. Cecelia Arnold - December 12, 2017 9:59 pm

    I wish someone would get that fact through to those people who call themselves news reporters. They should be required to do one “Good” story about people trying to help for every bad story they write.

  59. Pam - December 13, 2017 2:45 am

    Amen, preach it brother!!


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