A man loading groceries saw the boy sprinting toward an oncoming vehicle.

Fayetteville, North Carolina—the middle of the night, on the interstate. She was on her way to start a new life in a new place.

She pulled over at a rest area.

It was dark. She was young. A man came from nowhere, forced her into a car, and held a gun to her. He told her what he was about to do to her.

Then, someone kicked open the window and pulled him off. There was a fight. Her attacker was never caught. Her hero was never found. She was unharmed.

“My mom thinks it was an angel,” she says. “I think so, too.”

Birmingham, Alabama—Daryl saw a man walking the highway. He offered the man a ride.

The man said, “No thanks,” and mumbled something nonsensical.

Daryl dove past him the next afternoon. And the next. One day he pulled alongside the man and said, “Please let me do SOMETHING for you, sir.”

The man said, “I’m so scared, dude. Help me.”

Daryl brought him home. He made contact with the man’s sister, who said her brother suffered from schizophrenia. He’d gone missing days earlier.

In a few hours, the family was reunited on Daryl’s front lawn.

“You saved my brother’s life,” said the man’s sister. “And mine.”

Flowood, Mississippi—on Tuesday afternoons, Mary instructs a gymnasium of women, of varying ages and fitness levels, how to dance hip-hop.

One of her students—an elderly woman—had chest pains.

The ambulance came. Mary rode with her to the hospital. She lied to nurses, claiming to be the woman’s daughter so they’d let her into the woman’s room. She called the family.

One emergency open-heart surgery later, the old woman is alive and moving.

“Anybody woulda done what I did,” said Mary.

No. They wouldn’t have.

Southside, Florida—a boy and his mother walked into a supermarket. He pitched a tantrum and kicked her. She let go of his hand. He ran through the parking lot.

A man loading groceries saw the boy sprinting toward an oncoming vehicle.

He chased the boy and pushed him aside. Tires screeched.

The man sustained a series of facial fractures from landing on the pavement.

“Yeah, it messed me up,” he says. “But I’m glad it was me, ‘cause it woulda killed that boy.”

“Glad,” was the word he used.

Anyway, I watched the news last night. It was a mistake. I could only handle a couple minutes.

A few headlines:

Teenager killed by best friend. Man murders wife. Woman raped in home invasion. Politician gets caught with hand in the cookie jar. Amelia Earhart found. Sex scandals. Wildfires. Bear attacks. Nuclear holocaust. Armageddon.

Listen, I know this world isn’t all confectioners sugar and honey bees. I know life is hard, I’m no fool. I know hatred is out there, just waiting to beat the hell out of another victim.

But I haven’t given up yet. I can’t seem to—no matter what the news anchors say.

I don’t mind telling you that I still believe in big things. I believe in people. I believe in kids. Teachers. Janitors. Stay-at-home daddies. I believe in aerobics instructors. Guardian angels at rest areas.

And I believe in you.

29 comments

  1. ccgoesdutch - June 2, 2018 6:43 am

    Without belief their is simply nothing.

    Reply
    • Sarah Barbour - June 3, 2018 8:49 pm

      Amen!

      Reply
  2. Linda Chapman - June 2, 2018 7:28 am

    Thank you for that! I believe, too…….

    Reply
  3. Jo Ann - June 2, 2018 10:32 am

    Thank you again, Sean, for the good news. I read your writing every morning to start my day in the right direction. Thanks bunches!!

    Reply
  4. Lydia - June 2, 2018 11:05 am

    And I believe in You!

    Reply
  5. Carl Wagner - June 2, 2018 11:32 am

    Thank you Sean. Needed this today.

    Reply
  6. Susan Harris - June 2, 2018 11:51 am

    I love reading your essays. They are full of the goodness of the world and are an antidote to the nightly news. Thank you.

    Reply
  7. Marilyn - June 2, 2018 11:54 am

    Thank you for upbeat messages to start the day.

    Reply
  8. Cheryl - June 2, 2018 12:07 pm

    There are still a lot of good people out there. We just don’t hear their stories enough. Thank you for reminding us.

    Reply
  9. Delynn Roberts - June 2, 2018 12:15 pm

    And we believe in you.

    Reply
  10. Edna B. - June 2, 2018 12:34 pm

    I believe in angels, and I believe there are a lot of good people too. You have an awesome day, hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  11. Jack Darnell - June 2, 2018 1:07 pm

    Me too! ME TOO!

    Reply
  12. Karen - June 2, 2018 1:15 pm

    Me too.

    Reply
  13. Bev Clark - June 2, 2018 1:29 pm

    ❤️

    Reply
  14. Charlu Kent - June 2, 2018 1:39 pm

    N I believe in you too. I believe in reaching a hand out n sayin Hi, not raisin a fist in anger or fear. A good Saturday morning read as I listen to NPR weekend edition. Thankyou 💙🐭❤️😎

    Reply
  15. Steve Heath - June 2, 2018 1:40 pm

    Thank you, Sean. It’s amazing how God sends encouragement when we need it. You’re a ray of Sonshine in gathering darknesss

    Reply
  16. KJV - June 2, 2018 1:53 pm

    Matthew 22: 34-40

    Reply
  17. Suzette Bowman - June 2, 2018 2:17 pm

    They need to put you on the news stations!!! How about some good news!

    Reply
  18. Lisa Perkins - June 2, 2018 2:41 pm

    Thank you Sean. I needed those words to remind me to look at the good, because nowadays it seems everything is bad and the world is going to heck in a handbasket. I needed to remember that there are angels and there are still good people in the world. Thank you.

    Reply
  19. Jody - June 2, 2018 4:16 pm

    Angels among us, not all have wings.

    Reply
  20. Donna - June 2, 2018 4:45 pm

    Thank You Sean! I believe your positivity IS spreading and “infecting” others with more kindness and focus on that which is good. Yesterday I was the surprised beneficiary of a Sean Dietrich-style anonymous Random Act of Kindness!!

    Reply
  21. Julie Jenkins - June 2, 2018 6:44 pm

    You’re an angel. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us.

    Reply
  22. Sandi in FL. - June 2, 2018 7:54 pm

    When daily/nightly news reports are filled to the brim with negativity, sincere thanks for bringing us good, positive, inspirational, encouraging news instead!

    Reply
  23. Shelton Armour - June 2, 2018 10:26 pm

    I believe there are people here on earth who act like angels when needed. I’ve met them and I am the better for it.

    Reply
  24. Kathy Daum - June 2, 2018 10:28 pm

    And I believe in you and Jamie, too.

    Reply
  25. Margaret Hunter - June 2, 2018 11:07 pm

    I believe in all good things too I am happy a man named Sean of the South sends daily reminders for all of us

    Reply
  26. Nancy Rogers - June 3, 2018 12:21 pm

    The world would be a whole lot better if we all believed in each other.

    Reply
  27. Steve - June 4, 2018 12:23 pm

    There are lots and lots of good people out there doing good things every day. Not for the recognition but because it’s the right thing to do. They think that anyone else would do the same.
    Thanks Sean for pointing them out.

    God bless all of them!

    Reply
  28. Tom - June 4, 2018 9:31 pm

    I also believe guardian angels are among us, doing tremendous good thiings. Why terrible things still happen to good people, I have no idea…but one thing I am pretty sure of is that the good folks, way out number the bad folks. We just never hear about them, the news media just thrives on hate and bad things! The more shock the better the ratings and the better the paper sales. But another thing I also beleive is that sometimes just regular peolpe can and do become guardian angels…its as if something or someone wispers in their ear at just the right moment and they respond with either kindness or courage in just the right moment…before they go back to being just regular folks.

    Reply

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