Heroes aren’t people on television. They aren’t celebrities who have designer clothes and silicone thighs. Neither are they the sorts of fools who use teleprompters and beg for your support. They aren’t athletes, news anchors, televangelists, pop stars, or reality-TV contestants with pink hair.

I hope you have a good day. The entire day. Start to finish. Not the Best Day Ever—that’s too much excitement crammed into twenty-four hours.

No. Just a plain old, good day.

I hope you wake up to smells you love. Like: donuts, bacon, a fireplace, or halitosis from a kitty-litter-eating bloodhound.

I hope you have nothing pressing to do. No schedule. No appointments.

We do too much, you know. Long ago, our ancestors practiced the noble art of being worthless. A lot of folks won’t do that anymore.

Today, I hope you’re as worthless as a waterproof dishrag.

I hope you remember your ancestors. Your grandparents, and their grandparents—even if you’ve never met them.

I hope you think about the simple things they gave us. A hamburger with pickles. Whittling. Will Rogers. Baseball games. Pajamas. Smacking ketchup bottles. Hank Williams music playing on kitchen radios. Childhood porches.

I hope you close your eyes and recall the best pieces of childhood. The days when you played hard, and the best games happened in backyards.

I hope your smartphone quits working—just for a few hours. I hope the absence of a digital screen takes you outdoors. I hope you hear the sounds of the earth all at once.

I hope you sit for hours with nothing but a cold drink and your best ideas.

I hope you meet someone who inspires you. A kid who’s had kidney cancer. A girl who got pregnant too young, who just finished nursing school.

A woman who lost her husband to an overdose. A child whose daddy is in prison. A hillbilly who put himself through the GED course. A homeless woman, selling parched peanuts. An EMT. A school custodian. A lonesome grandmother. Anyone who’s adopted a child.

I hope you look at them and feel proud. After all, they are the only ones worth being proud about. People like them. People like you.

Heroes aren’t people on television. They aren’t celebrities who have designer clothes and silicone thighs. Neither are they the sorts of fools who use teleprompters and beg for your support. They aren’t athletes, news anchors, televangelists, pop stars, or reality-TV contestants with pink hair.

And they certainly aren’t the kind of folks who do acts of charity for film crews.

No. You are the hero. You, the single mother in a single-wide trailer. The school teacher in Brewton. The woman delivering pizza to the Pensacola cancer ward every Tuesday.

The man buying KFC for the homeless veteran in Baton Rouge. The volunteer greeter at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham.

You are the real thing. I know it might be hard to believe, but it’s true whether you believe it or not.

The things you’ve gone through, the things you’re about to go through, the things you’re going through now; there’s meaning to them all.

Your life means something. Today means something. This millisecond means something.

I don’t know you, but if you’re reading this right now, we’re here together. I wish I could sprinkle fairy dust over you and remove every bad moment that’s ever happened to you. But I can’t.

So this will have to do.

I hope you have a good day. You deserve it.

44 comments

  1. Dolores S. Fort - April 29, 2018 5:48 am

    Thank you, Sean! I hope you ha
    ve a good day, too!

    Reply
  2. Beth Reed - April 29, 2018 6:39 am

    Have an awesome day yourself Mr. Sean who is a real hero to people like me who read your column and wish upon a star and thank that lucky star for a man like you who is a true Hero… Beth

    Reply
  3. Pamela McEachern - April 29, 2018 6:48 am

    I hope you enjoy some special old memories today, but most of all I hope this day will be on the list of some new special memories for you too. You are loved and you and Jamie are going to have better days ahead.

    Peace and Love from Birmingham

    Reply
  4. Linda Acres - April 29, 2018 8:59 am

    Thank you Sean, I hope you do too. I’m sorry for your loss. My sister lost an old dog this week, so I know your pain.

    Beautiful words, like a cool wind on a burn. Keep on trucking.

    Reply
  5. Donna - April 29, 2018 10:16 am

    Wonderful and inspiring words to read early this morning. I needed to read this – I’m in the hospital now and hope to have a good day. Actually having just a day is good enough for me but GOOD is much better. I won’t rush having a GREAT day just yet. I’m just grateful to have days right now.

    Reply
  6. Alice cooper - April 29, 2018 10:47 am

    Hope it’s a good day for you and Jamie too….love from Palatka!

    Reply
  7. Patricia Schmaltz - April 29, 2018 11:38 am

    I hope you have a good day too Sean. Fairy dust not required.

    Reply
  8. Judy - April 29, 2018 11:55 am

    I have seen this several times…”Today is a good day to have a good day”. I hope you have a good day, today, and for many days to come.

    Reply
  9. Penn Wells - April 29, 2018 12:15 pm

    A day without Sean is like a day without sunshine. Thank you all the daily “good starts.” 😀

    Reply
  10. Gordon - April 29, 2018 12:16 pm

    Thanks, Sean. I hope you have a good day, as well. Thank you for being you and for writing from your heart and from your experiences.

    Reply
  11. Nix LaVerdi - April 29, 2018 12:41 pm

    You DO sprinkle fairy dust onto my head, everyday. You are magical because you are a human being with a heart wider than the Grand Canyon. Thank you Sean, for everything. Sincerely, Nix

    Reply
  12. Jan - April 29, 2018 12:51 pm

    I wish the very same for you, Sean! You deserve that and much, much more! May God bless you and hold you in the palm of His hand!

    Reply
  13. Scott Hilliker - April 29, 2018 12:58 pm

    Thanks Sean!

    Reply
  14. Rita - April 29, 2018 1:59 pm

    Thank you Sean and I hope you also have a good day. You and your words are so inspiring. I’m so glad I happened upon your site. Thank you and God bless!

    Reply
  15. Val Jensen - April 29, 2018 2:01 pm

    Thank you so much for your beautiful posts. They take me back to a simpler, gentle and kind way of living where family, friends, front porches and the corner store were the mainstay of my life with my parents and sisters. I miss those times very much.

    Reply
  16. Heidi - April 29, 2018 2:12 pm

    You bring sanity & joy in a crazy world. That’s about the best thing ever. Thanks & have a good day.

    Reply
  17. Simple Thyme Prims - April 29, 2018 2:45 pm

    Thank you for this blessing today Sean, really hits the day!

    Reply
  18. Sandra - April 29, 2018 3:35 pm

    Thank you!

    Reply
  19. Jack Quanstrum - April 29, 2018 3:55 pm

    Thank you! I hope you and Jamie have one to!

    Reply
  20. Dana - April 29, 2018 4:20 pm

    Thank you

    Reply
  21. Edna B. - April 29, 2018 4:51 pm

    Why, thank you Sean. And I hope you are having a great day too. I agree with you about who the real heroes are. They are all around us. We just have to open our eyes and see them. I hope some day, you travel to my little part of the country. I’d love to see you in person. You have an awesome day, hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
    • Sheila Robertson - April 29, 2018 5:52 pm

      Very uplifting on a beautiful Sunday…..I enjoy all your articles so much……

      Reply
  22. Garnet Faulkner - April 29, 2018 4:52 pm

    Thanks my brother!

    Reply
  23. Gaynell Lumsden - April 29, 2018 5:14 pm

    Wow! that is a wonderful insight in today’s world of robots. I am ahuman!

    Reply
  24. Kathy - April 29, 2018 6:04 pm

    Thank you. Keep mourning; keep healing. But don’t forget.

    Reply
  25. Kim - April 29, 2018 6:26 pm

    Just beautiful!!! And absolute truth!

    Reply
  26. Susan Parker - April 29, 2018 6:46 pm

    I hope that right in the middle of wondering how your day could be good, or wondering if it is OK to have a good day right now, you find yourself having one! You bring so much joy to me and to others. You brought so much joy to Ellie May. You should take a little for yourself. God bless you with joy and peace.

    Reply
  27. Pat - April 29, 2018 7:23 pm

    I hope you have a good day also brother…hope a puppy/dog adopts you really really soon!

    Reply
  28. Vaudy Holley - April 29, 2018 7:37 pm

    The best time I remember was climbing a 600 foot Oak tree near a creek near me. When I was young the tree was really 60 feet but it looked 600 to a nine years old. We would stay up there most of the day,and would take our lunch.

    Reply
  29. Gene Bourque - April 29, 2018 7:57 pm

    Thank you, Sean! May you have the best day ever, too! Love, love your postings!
    May they continue forever. I am an Alabamian by birth. Taken to Texas by my family and have lived in Colorado the major part of my life. However, I love Alabama. I had family in Unions Springs, Demopolis, Brewton, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Ward and on and on. There is absolutely nothing like it and you most definitely capture its spirit. Thank you ever so much! Now back to my sweetened Iced Tea! Minnie Tate Bourque

    Reply
  30. Rose - April 29, 2018 8:56 pm

    Nowadays, I think of you as our “Johnny Appleseed”. You spread kindness and thoughtfulness like Johnny spread apple seeds. And, I do believe, there are lots of those taking root thanks to you. 🙂

    Reply
  31. Gwen M Lancaster - April 29, 2018 9:17 pm

    I grew up in Inverness, FL in Citrus County, college in Stetson Univ., but have been in Atlanta area a long time. Now, an hour north of the city in the trees and hills of Waleska, GA. Your honest, homey, grass roots style is refreshing in our too-easily-offended angry world. I thank you for taking the task of depicting our South in a warm and loving light. Your gift is like the admonition to hand out “random acts of kindess.”

    Reply
  32. waunette - April 29, 2018 11:49 pm

    Looking forward to seeing you again in person. Inspiration .

    Reply
  33. Beverly h - April 29, 2018 11:52 pm

    Love “parched” peanuts. I grew up hearing that. Thank you.

    Reply
  34. Lynda Gayle Knight - April 29, 2018 11:55 pm

    Just when I think you have done your best, here comes another one to bring a multitude of ideas pouring from your typewriter to my tablet! Thanks! I know your writing is not NO 1 on your thoughts right now. We your readers miss him, too. Even though we never met him. He had become our friend, too… Yet, you still think about us your readers and hope we had a good day. YOU MADE MINE MUCH BETTER JUST BY YOUR WONDERFUL ABILITY! Hope you had a great day. My goal is to one day, see you and hear one of your talks❣️

    Reply
  35. Bill Terry - April 30, 2018 1:52 am

    Parched peanuts. Haven’t heard that in 50 years. I think now you’ve pretty much touched all the bases.

    Reply
  36. Jack Darnell - April 30, 2018 3:00 am

    I did have a good day. Thanks…I hope yours was!

    Reply
  37. Beverly S. - April 30, 2018 3:10 am

    I just felt a little fairy dust of encouragement sprinkled over me. Thanks.

    Reply
  38. Lori - April 30, 2018 4:40 am

    Met that hero today. Served at church checking in the kids to preschool area. Checked in a young girl who lost her dad last week to a heart attack. Her dad’s best friend is now her guardian. He wouldn’t leave her when she was to scared to to join the other kids. He carried her in big church and held her the entire service. He showed her Jesus today. He showed us all Jesus today.

    Reply
  39. rick perry - April 30, 2018 3:01 pm

    Thanks. Enjoyed it very much.

    Reply
  40. Linda Hempfleng - May 1, 2018 6:31 am

    Thank you, Sean!!! Your style of writing is so soothing and comforting for the soul, my soul in particular. I look forward to your entries!!!
    Thanks again, Linda in Evergreen

    Reply
  41. Caylen Deller - May 2, 2018 9:24 pm

    I am that woman. That woman in a double wide. That foster child that dropped out and had a baby. That worthless non-absorbent dish rag. I am that. I am that lost and that hopeless. Fading like the bruises I cover and the fake makeup I hide behind. I am that junkie and I am that inmate. Prison is my life. What I mean is my life is prison.

    In a since I have told you what I am by expressing what I am not. I’m not one thing. I’m not worthless. I’m scared. I’m afraid. I’m angry and I’m Hurt.

    I need these heroes. I need to be around the like minded. I am strong because each day I convince myself to live until night. I’m afraid because I feel love. I’m lonely because I learned not to trust. I’m sad because I see the world’s anguish. I carry a frowns weight.

    I have a hole in me. Not from a bullet but from a bomb. An explosion took place when I watched death claim a man in my arms… I watched the blue drain from his eyes and the pink from his lips. I have felt birth and I have watched death. I verbalized agony with deep primitive sobs as my creations were robbed of my grip.

    Mommy loves you both! I sobbed violently.

    All hope lost.

    I hope… I hope God heals this broken heart. I hope the darkness surrenders to light. I hope mommy is a hero.

    Reply
  42. Susan - May 3, 2018 1:27 am

    Thank you everyday but especially today. I’m dealing with an elderly parent with dementia. And she has become mean. Some days are better than others. My head tells me she can’t help it but my heart tells me the sting of her words. I’m sorry about Ellie. I am thankful for you.
    Susan in Panama City Beach.

    Reply
  43. Jody - May 4, 2018 3:08 am

    Thanks for reminding us to look for the blessings. They are found in the humanity of others.

    Reply

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