Good Things

I was in a hotel room last night. I turned on the television and heard reporters say the world was falling apart. That's not all I saw. I saw crazed talk-show hosts, sex scandals, pharmaceutical commercials, and snow in Florida—as I live and breathe.

Birmingham, Alabama—the mall. Two kids. They were lost. Brother and sister. Black hair. Dark eyes. Mexican.

Keith found them. They were wandering, holding hands. They wore concerned looks. He sensed something was wrong.

“I got four kids,” says Keith. “I have a feel for these things.”

He approached them. He kept his voice cheery. He asked if they were lost. They couldn’t understand him.

No problema. Keith almost majored in college Spanish.

“Are you lost?” He asked in Spanish.

“Si.”

As it happened, they’d lost their father. They’d been hiding from him in the department store. They were only playing a joke, it was supposed to be a game. It became a disaster.

They were too scared to ask for help because their father wasn’t legal.

Keith promised he wouldn’t alert authorities. Instead, he searched the mall.

No luck. So, he bought the kids supper. Then he gave them a ride. The little girl rode in the front seat, guiding him through traffic by memory.

Turn here, turn there, take a right at the light.

She led him straight to her aunt’s apartment. Her mother and aunt came running. Tears were shed.

Lots of tears.

Charleston, West Virginia—Amy rode her bike to the school-bus stop. She was minding her business like a good eleven-year-old.

A boy was dropped there by his father. He was new to the neighborhood.

Something happened.

The boy had an asthma attack. His inhaler was empty. His face went pale. Amy kept calm—though, I don’t know how.

She helped the boy onto her bicycle seat. She jumped on her pedals hard.

“Hold tight!” she said.

He wrapped his arms around her while she sped to his house—a half-mile away.

Nobody was home. He couldn’t find his key. She broke a window. She gave him a breathing treatment. It worked.

They still made the bus in time.

Knoxville, Tennessee—Billy was shopping with his wife. Actually, he was people-watching, she was shopping.

He saw a woman in the parking lot. She was old, dressed in rags. She carried a plastic grocery basket with a gray cat in it.

He gave her a few bucks. She thanked him and said, “Now my cat can eat. Been a day since he ate last.”

Billy asked how many days it had been since she’d eaten.

“Three,” she said.

“It’s so cold,” said Billy. “Why don’t you go to a shelter?”

Homeless people have their reasons.

So, Billy called his friends. They compiled things from their own closets. They brought winter coats, mittens, hats, boots, blankets, and even a jogging stroller.

“What’s the stroller for?” she asked.

It was to carry the metric ton of food they’d given her.

I was in a hotel room last night. I turned on the television and heard reporters say the world was falling apart.

That’s not all I saw. I saw crazed talk-show hosts, sex scandals, pharmaceutical commercials, and snow in Florida—as I live and breathe.

A TV-scientist said the earth was freezing over. A TV-preacher claimed that mankind is going to be deep fried in peanut oil.

Shocking headlines abound:

Malnourished teenager’s parents imprison and torture her. A middle-aged man murders his young son. Terrorism. Explosions. Protests. Molotov cocktails. War. Dancing with the Stars.

Yeah. I know. They say we are going down the pipe. They say we are millimeters from hellfire.

But to anyone who wonders if there is anything beautiful left in this universe, to anyone who wants to know if kindness, charity, and nice people exist, I believe the answer is:

Si.

But you won’t find it on TV.

33 comments

  1. Sue Cronkite - January 18, 2018 8:51 am

    So very true. I’ve almost quit watching the news. If you try to find it online, there are so many commercials you can’t read through what is supposed to be a news article. There are lots of good people out there. But they aren’t in the news. Thanks for telling us how life is, and should be.

    Reply
  2. Beth Ross - January 18, 2018 8:58 am

    Si, Sean of the South. And Amen!!!

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  3. Gary - January 18, 2018 12:31 pm

    I do not watch the so called news anymore !! Good things still happen!!!

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  4. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way - January 18, 2018 12:34 pm

    Thank you for bringing good new, kindness, and gentleness into our lives.

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  5. Dianne - January 18, 2018 12:37 pm

    Sean, you are so right about TV. My husband and I hardly ever watch the news anymore, especially channels like MSNBC, CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS………it isn’t news, it’s the networks’ agenda, true or false. We have cable TV with umpteen million channels, and most of the time there isn’t anything but trash on these channels. Thank the Lord for good people who are still out there………..these are the people who should be headline news!!

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  6. Amy - January 18, 2018 1:03 pm

    This. Right here. This is why I open the Sean of the South email every morning. It feeds my faith in humanity. Thank you.

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  7. Joan - January 18, 2018 1:07 pm

    Yes, and now I can start my day with good thoughts. Thank you!

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  8. janiesjottings - January 18, 2018 1:29 pm

    I’d rather read one of your posts Sean than watch every news program. Thank you for writing about the good in the world while t.v.’s belch out gloom and doom regularly. Your writing reflects the goodness of humanity despite the news trying to convince us otherwise. I am so grateful we have your post to look forward to everyday!

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  9. Lynn Windsor - January 18, 2018 1:40 pm

    Yes! Yes! And Yes! Keep sharing the goodness Sean🙏🏻🙌🏻

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  10. Jack Darnell - January 18, 2018 1:50 pm

    Thanks guy. I just sent that one to my family, I said use it for a heart warmer since it is so cold. Yeahm even 29 in Florida!

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  11. Mary Thomaston - January 18, 2018 2:05 pm

    Thank you. You find some goodness every day to share with us.

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  12. Patricia Schmaltz - January 18, 2018 2:30 pm

    Sean, you DO have a way of clearing out the clutter and getting to what matters. Thank you!

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  13. Debra - January 18, 2018 2:31 pm

    Beautiful truth. Love your analogies and I love seeing the world through your eyes.

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  14. Laura Stone - January 18, 2018 2:50 pm

    Thank you Sean for keeping our focus on beauty and truth!

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  15. Clara Edwards - January 18, 2018 2:55 pm

    And thank goodness for you! I need to hear the good stuff. You make my day, everyday. Just wanted you to know that you make one old lady happy for a few minutes each morning.

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  16. Meg - January 18, 2018 3:02 pm

    My goodness; how you are needed. Thank you. Light, no matter how small, always outshines the darkest dark. Your light shines pretty bright.

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  17. Judy - January 18, 2018 3:09 pm

    Amen. You speak … write… the truth well. You still find a way to be encouraging. Thank you.

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  18. Pam - January 18, 2018 3:36 pm

    Amen!

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  19. David - January 18, 2018 3:50 pm

    Sean you preach the Gospel of Christ better than any preacher I have ever heard.
    You are an antidote for all the craziness in the world. THANK YOU!!

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  20. Sharron - January 18, 2018 4:43 pm

    Your analysis is right on target. I am soon to be 70 years old. My parents died years ago but they always called the TV the boob tube. I thought at the time that it was funny….. unfortunately it looks like they had it right long ago. By the way, their definition of boob had nothing to do with breasts…
    Tu dices la verdad…. if I remember my Spanish correctly.

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  21. Jack Quanstrum - January 18, 2018 5:21 pm

    Thank you for the Beauty you write about. It makes a difference!

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  22. Ann Foley - January 18, 2018 5:42 pm

    Have you heard Luke Bryan’s new song? Give it a listen. I’m with both of you….there is a lot of goodness in this world, just not in the TV news.

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  23. Pamela McEachern - January 18, 2018 6:31 pm

    And that is why I start my day with you and the other commenters, better than any news I will hear all day.
    Peace and Love from Birmingham

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  24. Joan Workman - January 18, 2018 6:52 pm

    I keep hoping the “bad people” will soon GET IT AND START BEING GOOD GUYS. I would love to know that all the young children and teens will have a decent place in this world without having to look over their shoulders to be safe.

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  25. Brenda J Horn - January 18, 2018 6:53 pm

    Thank you for helping me keep my focus on the good

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  26. Helen - January 18, 2018 6:59 pm

    Sean, I try to read your post daily – but sometimes I miss. Today was not a miss. I see the comments here about not watching TV and or news. Well, I still watch the major Network News. The good is there if you look for it and also in the major Newspapers. Yes, sometimes it might be hard to find – but if all you see is the bad – I am sorry for you. Perhaps you (and me) need to get out and do more good so it will make the news. Thanks Sean for finding the good. You inspire me to do the same in my town. Good is there if we look. Blessing to you and your readers from Arkansas.

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  27. Donna PARTON - January 18, 2018 8:43 pm

    Preach Brother Dietrich Preach!

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  28. Barbara Schweck - January 18, 2018 8:43 pm

    +Thank you so much for sharing the wonderful stories of kind hearted people. You fill my heart with hope and faith in a world that is still filled with many, many wonderful, caring people.

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  29. Dave Sherrod - January 19, 2018 1:18 am

    Heartfelt

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  30. Celeste Sheppard - January 19, 2018 2:52 am

    Thank you Sean! You are so amazing! I love the way you bring the people in your stories to life. Your words soothe my soul and give me encouragement. Don’t ever stop writing. I love you!

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  31. Susan Hammett Poole - January 19, 2018 7:53 am

    You’ve done it again: hit the ball outta the ballpark with this one…left us filled with hope. Si, senor Sean. ¡Gracias!

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  32. Jody - January 20, 2018 1:55 pm

    Thanks Sean. Your words have been a blessing.

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  33. Dotti - January 21, 2018 2:32 am

    My son and I have stopped watching the argue shows. Both sides of a problem and they talk over each other, don’t listen and everone is angry. BBC and PBS is what we keep up with the world–both sides listen, and then speak when it’s their turn. Politics. I don’t watch local news where if it bleeds it leads. I enjoy your essays to find good things with your world and see it as mine. So glad you bring these lovely things to us. Helps my day be more positive.

    Reply

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