Ignorant

Have you seen what’s on television? This country is in the worst trouble we’ve been in and you’re talking about happy-go-lucky (double bleep)…

DEAR SEAN:

I just read a few things you wrote, and I have to say that I refuse to see life through the rose-tinted glasses you obviously wear. I can’t agree with the bull (bleep).

Have you seen what’s on television? This country is in the worst trouble we’ve been in and you’re talking about happy-go-lucky (double bleep)…

The last thing we need is another ignorant redneck on Facebook telling everyone how great things are… So go back to your cornfield and just shut the (unprintable word) up.

Regards,

CALLING IT LIKE I SEE IT IN BIRMINGHAM

DEAR BIRMINGHAM:

Firstly: Nice to meet you. Remind me to invite you to my annual coon roast and rat-killing party. I’d like you to meet my uncle—who holds the national award for most tobacco-spit stains on a truck interior.

Secondly: I can bear being called a redneck—I come from a long line of men with farmer tans and bad handwriting.

But ignorant.

I would rather be quartered with a cheese grater and strung up in front of the A&P.

Look, maybe you’re right about the world. Maybe this is the biggest trouble we’ve ever known.

Maybe when my great-great grandaddy marched in the Battle of Cumberland Church—during a time of 620,000 civil soldier-deaths on American soil—it was only child’s play.

Maybe the Great Depression itself—a period when those fancy Birmingham subdivisions were once pinewood poverty shacks full of starving kids—was peanuts compared to this.

Maybe the Second World War—60 million deaths worldwide—was a walk in the park compared to your Facebook feed.

Maybe.

But does that mean I should ignore those like Kiera Larsen? She died shoving a toddler out of the path of an oncoming SUV. She ran in front of the vehicle, screaming. The toddler lived.

Kiera was 10 years old.

Or: Lourdes Sanchez, the black newborn whose drug-addict parents left her in a dumpster. She got adopted by a Mexican-American family. The father, in broken English, told the judge: “I am promising to love, yes, the baby, your honor.”

Or: my friend, Rachel, who contracted Hepatitis C. She thought her life was over. The doc gave her a pill, it was experimental. He told her not to get her hopes up, that it would be a miracle if treatment cured her.

And it damn sure was.

Listen, I don’t know about you, but I know I’m not going to be alive forever. And I’ve known too many men who’ve died with pissy attitudes.

Yeah. This world is a stinky place, I know that. I don’t need a news-channel to remind me. But on my final day, if I’m lucky enough to die from old age, I pray one of the first souls I meet is a 10-year-old named Kiera Larsen.

I’ll wear these rose-colored glasses until they lay me down, friend.

Thanks for the letter.

62 comments

  1. Amy walker - February 27, 2017 2:39 pm

    absolutely perfect response. the fear mongering negativity is rampant elsewhere. (B’ham should return there IMHO)
    I’m with you 100%, Sean!

    Reply
  2. Brent - February 27, 2017 2:43 pm

    Sean, there’s another guy in Birmingham who opens your emails everyday and is touched, inspired, and entertained by your wit, humor, and rose-colored glasses. Keep ’em coming, buddy.

    Reply
  3. Rhea Wynn - February 27, 2017 2:43 pm

    Thank you so much for your “rose-colored glasses.” If a few more of us would look for the good in life, maybe the bad would be less prominent. I love your posts and look forward to them everyday. Maybe Birmingham needs to just unsubscribe if he wants to remain grouchy, dreary, and negative. I teach high school, and I see hope for the future every day in my student’s faces. I even have one young man who signs all of his email – Future President of the U.S. I hope he makes it.

    Reply
  4. Cindy - February 27, 2017 2:51 pm

    Keep bringing the rose-colored glasses because God knows…the world needs more of you and less of “Birmingham.”

    Reply
  5. GeeGee Chandler - February 27, 2017 2:52 pm

    Sean is right. Good people and good living everywhere. Yes, some bad abounds, but in no way the way it has been in the eras that Sean mentions. The writer from Birmingham might educate himself by reading the hard lives of good Americans. I would suggest “Unbroken”, “Ghost Soldiers”, “Boys in the Boat”. That might be a start.

    Reply
  6. Peggy Perry - February 27, 2017 2:52 pm

    Poor guy. I’ve got some relatives who live like that, waking up grumpy every day and bitterly complaining about everything. People avoid you, and you complain about ‘stuck up’ folks. No, they just don’t want to be caught in that nuclear cloud hovering over your head. Life is good and bad times. You can’t change most of it. You can only change how you react to it. When I was diagnosed with a cancer with a 5% survival rate, I could have raged and wept and generally joined in the terror my family felt after losing my father and brother in law to cancer. But I refuse to let circumstances ruin my enjoyment of my life. I chose to see it as an interesting experience instead, and my cheerful attitude calmed my family’s fears and made my pain and discomfort easily ignored and soon forgotten. I’m a five year survivor so far. I may get it back, I may not. But I could also get shot in a convenience store robbery, hit by a drunk driver on the highway, or die in a tornado. Or I may die in bed, smiling in my sleep at 115 years old. I don’t know, don’t care, and don’t worry about it or anything else happening in this world. I could be miserable, but for the love of God, why would I choose to? Write on, Sean, and keep reminding us that not all of life is doom and gloom.

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  7. Juanita Ruth One - February 27, 2017 2:54 pm

    Sean, I grew up in Louisiana in a family of journalists and I absolutely LOVE your heart-felt positive outlook on life and your appreciation for the little things that mean so much! Metaphysics teaches us that what we focus on e-x-p-a-n-d-s in our lives and A Course in Miracles reminds us that in each moment of every day we have the ability to choose between love or fear. So, I support you in continuing to focus on the good in the world and choosing love over fear. Namaste.

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  8. Sandra Swindall - February 27, 2017 2:54 pm

    Well spoken! We must always look for and acknowledge those points of light that are all around us. If we do not, then the darkness can consume us . . .but only if we let it.

    Reply
  9. Toni Martin - February 27, 2017 2:55 pm

    Dear Sean,
    I love you and your rose colored glasses! We need more of this truth in our lives to counter balance all the negativity that CALLING IT THE WAY I SEE IT BIRMINGHAM is witnessing. Good does indeed win over evil, we all need to be putting more effort into good!
    One day I’ll write to you about growing up in Western Kentucky and raising a family in Southern Indiana, we’re abundantly blessed here and sometimes I swear you’re writing about my neighbors!
    Blessings, Toni
    PS – I’m praying for CALLING IT THE WAY I SEE IT BIRMINGHAM.

    Reply
  10. Sandra Marrar - February 27, 2017 2:56 pm

    Amen! You tell him!

    Reply
  11. Robert Barge - February 27, 2017 2:56 pm

    Sean,
    Only the blind disdain glasses – “rose-colored” or otherwise. This world needs more who bear witness to the good. Divisiveness and complaint have become common-place. Thank you for pointing to the light in our current darkness. God has given you a gift and I believe you honor that gift well. Would still enjoy catching a coke or a burger with you sometime in your journey. I am a minister who lives in Hillbrook, Alabama! God’s grace!

    Reply
  12. Linda Lyberg - February 27, 2017 2:59 pm

    BRAVO Sean (can you see me standing and clapping?)- keep fighting the good fight. The world with all its chaos and discord is still a divinely beautiful place filled with souls such as yours and those you write about.

    Reply
  13. Christi McCully - February 27, 2017 3:08 pm

    Thanks for the comment, Sean. If we all had the attitudes of this reader we may as well crawl in a hole and die. I for one want to see the good things, even if they are small good things in the minds of some. Because the small things will grow if we feed and water them. Your respondent’s attitude just strangles them. Bring on the rose colored glasses!

    Reply
  14. Trent Renner - February 27, 2017 3:09 pm

    Im grateful for you, Dietrich.

    I have a friend from Oklahoma. He would say of your pissy pen-pal…
    “He’s colder-n-a witches titty-n-a brass bra.” 😂

    It’s all about our focus. Thank you Sean for helping me focus on some good.
    Again, I’m grateful for you.

    Reply
  15. Sheron Johnson - February 27, 2017 3:10 pm

    Can’t wait to open your post everyday.

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  16. Eddie - February 27, 2017 3:11 pm

    Amen to that,great reply Sean,hope I can keep your attitude too.

    Reply
  17. Lisa Ware - February 27, 2017 3:19 pm

    Sean,
    I thank you for helping me to see the good in a fallen world. Your observations entertain & inspire me each day. As Philippians 4:8 states, “whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
    God bless you.

    Reply
    • Terrie - March 11, 2017 2:48 pm

      Amen Lisa!! And God bless you Sean. 💜

      Reply
  18. Jamie - February 27, 2017 3:27 pm

    I look forward to your posts every day. It is easy to find the ugliness in the world in these dark times. It takes a bit more digging to uncover the good. Cal Stewart was a recording artist in the early 20th Century. He was “Uncle Josh” the country rube who was always getting into conflict with “city slickers”. Anyway, in an interview he once said, “When I meet St Peter at the pearly gates I want to be remembered for the laughs I gave people rather than the heartaches.”
    If only more people lived that way…

    Reply
  19. Pamela - February 27, 2017 3:35 pm

    I hope you never take your rose-tinted glasses off, Sean. I always start my day out with your posts, and I’m NEVER disappointed. You always manage to make me smile, laugh and cry all at the same time. You have a special gift and I thank you for sharing it with us:)

    Reply
  20. gayle tucker - February 27, 2017 3:36 pm

    One of the many reasons I read your essays is the positive note of every story. I think many of us enjoy what you write because of your homespun goodness and positive spin on this world.
    Some folks like being miserable and I am sure you made this person’s day complete and more miserable by allowing them to spew vindictive remarks and disparage your take on life.
    Keep the good coming. The news media will keep us updated on the bad.
    A Montana Redneck

    Reply
  21. Mike - February 27, 2017 3:42 pm

    From the age of information and rhetoric, we have entered a new period which might be called the new age of confirmation bias where we have at our fingertips the ability to confirm any crazy belief that we can come up with. Flat earth anyone?

    Reply
  22. Sam Hunneman - February 27, 2017 3:43 pm

    Fairly obvious that ol’ CILISIIB stayed home the day they taught about counting blessings in Sunday School. You, on the other hand, took time out from dunking little girls’ pigtails in the ink to listen and listen well. My Pop talked about roasting one every time he skinned a coon, but we never did… maybe you could share a recipe one day. In the meantime, a blessing on you house, and a big ol’ mazel tov.

    Reply
  23. Jamie - February 27, 2017 3:43 pm

    Nice reply Sean. The world is in a terrible state, no doubt. But as I get older I am learning that God is in the little things. I’m trying harder to slow down and pay attention to the sunsets and my sweet old dog breathing while she sleeps, and the times I can catch my kids long enough to get a good hug. There is so much bad in the world, but there is so much good. Thanks and keep writing, it brightens my day and makes me smile.

    Reply
  24. Beckie Johnson - February 27, 2017 3:44 pm

    Great comments by all! I look forward to every post from Sean and my husband and I read them together and discuss them. I have a word of advice for the Birmingham writer: UNSUBSCRIBE. That will keep those of us who love choosing to focus on the positive wherever we find it without the possibility of being infected with your negative venom. May God bless you in spite of your view of the world!

    Reply
  25. Kelly - February 27, 2017 3:46 pm

    Yep. Because it’s my life and I get to choose. And I choose rose-colored glasses in my loving-and-learning-my-best-sandbox. I *choose* to watch the sunset and count my blessings over the evening news. Every day I’m still here.

    Reply
  26. Linda Hillin - February 27, 2017 3:53 pm

    Splendid! I’m new to your blog but I’ve enjoyed every post. I have an elderly Southern sister-in-law who waits every morning for me to forward a post that she then reads on her iPad. I marvel you can come up with such good material on a daily basis.

    Reply
  27. karen - February 27, 2017 3:58 pm

    you go boy

    Reply
  28. Kelly - February 27, 2017 4:00 pm

    Sean,
    I look forward to your “rose colored glass” view everyday for the mere fact that I need your positivity something fierce. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  29. Jane - February 27, 2017 4:03 pm

    Dear Sean– I live in Birmingham –and want to say “thank you” for the beautiful blogs your write. My family and I savor every word, every thought, and every nuanced phrase you pen. You touch our hearts in a time when too many hearts have been hardened and too many minds closed.
    Thank you, sir.

    Reply
  30. Regena - February 27, 2017 4:07 pm

    Your hauntingly heartfelt posts usually bring me to tears…. So many of them resonate with my past and how I grew up…and still live! When you grow up in poor, small, close-knit communities, you share both tragedies (small and horrific) and joys (tiny and huge) with the people around you. These communities are family. We fight and argue, hug and cry together. When something good or bad happens, we put hands and feet to our feelings with food or help. I love your rose-colored glasses….and mine.. God Bless you!

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  31. felecia lott carpenter - February 27, 2017 4:08 pm

    you are awesome…there will always be haters. putting others down is the only way to build themselves up. keep up the good work and keep on searching for the good.

    Reply
  32. donnalee - February 27, 2017 4:11 pm

    Sean,
    Once I discovered your blog, I was hooked. In a time when there is so much negativity everywhere, your posts are more important than ever. You can never go wrong looking for the good. There is HOPE in every story you tell. I’m digging through my junk drawer looking for my rose-colored glasses. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to find them.

    Reply
  33. Bill Sisson - February 27, 2017 4:20 pm

    Sean-
    Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your writing. I joined your blog site ( obviously…) after my sister sent me one of your recent articles. I immediately ordered several of your books from Amazon.
    Your articles are outstanding and I anxiously look forward to each one-
    they are funny, touching, moving, sad, sweet all in one; a few have gotten me teary- and I should be far too old for that kind of thing!
    As a native Southerner ( Alabama) I always immensely enjoyed the writings of the late Lewis Grizzard . I think that you have caught him, and passed him on my list of faviorites. Please keep up the good work, and thanks.
    Bill Sisson

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  34. Sue Watson - February 27, 2017 4:40 pm

    I love you more daily!

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  35. sandra carnet - February 27, 2017 4:52 pm

    Happy to be in the ranks of rednecks just like you. Treasure the day, look for the one good thing you can find and pass it on. Love my Southern heritage, thanks for the reinforcements, Sean.

    Reply
  36. Linda - February 27, 2017 5:01 pm

    What’s great about this country is that nobody is forcing anyone to read or not read your column, Sean. For those who do, you’re a bright and positive spot in our day. For those who prefer reading about doom and gloom, there are plenty of other places to find that kind of stuff. Methinks perhaps Mr (do we know it’s a man?) Birmingham’s better half asked him to read some of your columns, perhaps to improve his outlook and attitude, but he wasn’t willing to accept the “glass half full” philosophy yet. I’m sad for him.
    Keep up the great writing, Sean!

    Reply
  37. Eddie - February 27, 2017 5:34 pm

    Enjoy your writing, what Ive leaned so far in life, you find what you look for. So I ll just keep looking for God. Works for me and I find him all around all the time. God Bless…

    Reply
  38. Brian E. Horne - February 27, 2017 5:47 pm

    I started watching your blog a few weeks ago. And will continue until you stop, or I can’t read anymore. Rose colored glasses are OK in my book. They allow all of us to keep looking at all the bull#$%the in the world, and put it it the perspective God meant us to. You keep going, Sean.

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  39. Loree - February 27, 2017 6:06 pm

    Me too, Sean. Me too.

    And ignorance, my mama said, was most predominate in those who could only express themselves using bleep words.

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  40. Nancy Segovia - February 27, 2017 6:18 pm

    That poor man sounds so bitter and angry, and as a senior citizen I know how easy it is to become bitter and angry during the last years of your life. What is harder, so much harder, is to get up every day and put on those rose-colored glasses and love your neighbor the way the used to teach us in school and in church.

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  41. Scotty Merrill - February 27, 2017 6:37 pm

    I’m fairly new to your site, but I fully agree with you. I think the world could use more realistic but positive attitudes. Please keep it up.

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  42. Xan - February 27, 2017 6:58 pm

    I believe in Birmingham sees a bear behind every bush… And he’s busy planting bushes!

    And Sean, you are cultivating a whole group of potential “Sean-type” writers… Some of these replies or almost as humorous and on-point as your own essays.

    I wonder what Birmingham is going to have to say about that!

    Reply
  43. Penelope Brown - February 27, 2017 7:23 pm

    Thank heavens for somebody reminding us that a whole level of day to day life is going on, in spite of what tv, politics, etc. would have us believe. Not all of us are out cutting our neighbors’ throats. This is the reality. And yes, I’m mightily concerned, and do what I can on the political side. But sometimes I need a breath.
    I appreciate your window. For me that’s exactly what this column is. I live in Oregon, so have very little info on daily life there. These vignettes are super!
    Penny

    Reply
  44. Cindy Navarro - February 27, 2017 7:25 pm

    Thank you for your daily articles. To be honest, I seldom sign up for emails—and I often ignore the ones that I have agreed to receive. But I look forward to reading yours, and whether they make me laugh or cry, my day is made better for having read them. I appreciate you. May God bless you for the work you do.

    Reply
  45. Tony w lancaster - February 27, 2017 8:19 pm

    Perhaps the quote, “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness” applies here. Keep up the good work, Sean, to encourage those of us who are lighting candles!

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  46. Carol DeLater - February 27, 2017 8:33 pm

    Rose Colored Glasses? How funny. How sad. We would truly be in trouble if every single person could only see the bad things that happen. We see it all. We know what is happening across the globe. It’s only ignorant to think we don’t. I read a meme the other day that said something like “I don’t see the glass as 1/2 full or 1/2 empty, I see it as refillable”.

    Keep pointing out the good you see and have experienced or simply a story you make up…no matter. It’s all good.
    xx, Carol

    Reply
  47. Pam Sharpe - February 27, 2017 8:36 pm

    I’ll take your rose-colored glasses everyday of the week – and I do. You remind us there are good things and good people and miracles (big and small) and God and love. You just keep doing what you are doing!

    Reply
  48. James (Buck) Godwin - February 27, 2017 9:01 pm

    Sean, I am an 82 year old widower who has just about seen it all. I have given up on television with their vile, profane and vulgar programming. I have turned to the internet and found much of the same, that is until i stubled upon one of your heart warming short stories. I have shed some tears over the sweetness of some and have laughed as I recognized some of my own family members in the character pictures you paint.
    I look forward to seeing what you have to offer each day, it keeps me well grounded so to speak.
    Don’t ever stop writing your stories, they make the world seem a lot more livable.

    Buck Godwin
    Montgomery, Alabama

    Reply
  49. Eddie Lanham - February 27, 2017 9:10 pm

    Got no respect for complainers who will not sign their letter. Whenever I open one of those letters, before reading I scan to the bottom to read the signature. No signature…no read. Trash.
    Eddie Lanham

    Reply
  50. Esteban Rudman - February 27, 2017 9:25 pm

    About 90 years ago Anais Nin wrote, “People don’t see things tbe way the ARE, they see things the way THEY are.” That’s part of being human. We humans are strange creatures. We can make heaven out of hell and hell out of heaven. Thanks for focusing on what is good and decent.

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  51. Sandy - February 27, 2017 10:31 pm

    Thanks for daily showing the awesome perspective through whatever glasses you are using. Keep them on, please.
    From England

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  52. Skip Harris - February 27, 2017 10:38 pm

    I feel sorry for the writer from Birmingham who has such a sour outlook on life. People like the writer try to bring others down to their way of thinking. Thanks to people like you who seek out the good in people, many will be inspired to do equally good deeds and not expecting anything in return but having the satisfaction of knowing they have mads the world a better place. Keep up the good work, Sean.

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  53. Winks Kelley - February 27, 2017 11:16 pm

    Amen to you and a big Amen for you Sean!!

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  54. Patty - February 27, 2017 11:44 pm

    Keep writing!! We need your viewpoint!!!

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  55. Dianne - February 28, 2017 12:28 am

    Bravo, Sean! I think you’re great…more of your perspective might change some of the “terrible” in our world. Like you, I prefer those rose-colored glasses any day!

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  56. Gail - February 28, 2017 11:19 am

    I realize that ‘Birmingham’ has issues, but I am blessed by each of your posts. They are kind-hearted and humorous, and are inspired interpretations of life. So, in this crazy environment of news, your writings are uplifting and hopeful. I eagerly read them each day. I thank you so much for them!!!

    Reply
  57. Julie Lawing - February 28, 2017 1:03 pm

    Thanks, Sean, for reminding Birmingham that the world has struggled through great horror and we will again.

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  58. larry wickman - February 28, 2017 4:09 pm

    I wish I could “tell someone off” like u do and without all the @#$%^&*$%^&* I think necessary…nice job “redneck”…..hell, my wife and I have always been Texans except for the 8 wonderful, retirement yrs, we lived n Destin area!! Had to give it up and move back to Tx so wife, only child, could take care of her 97 yr old, still driving until we got back, father.
    Now I guess people can call us “redneck”, ’cause we bought a beach house in Orange Beach ALABAMA and plan to move there when “the old man” isn’t around!

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  59. Barb - March 1, 2017 1:57 pm

    I think Birmingham is a troll looking for some attention. Maybe he’ll be happy-go-lucky now.lol

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  60. Elizabeth - March 5, 2017 5:28 am

    I thank the universe and my lovely friend Nancy for sharing you and your stories with me. I have cried, had chill bumps from the top of my head to my toes, laughter and forgotten memories remembered. As with you, I decided last summer to put on my rose colored glasses and adopt the Motto ” Be Good To People” ( An actual company that sells tshirs) and avoid the news. Life’s too short and I am glad to be in the company of a fellow rose colored glasses person. Thank you for validating my mantra and way of life. It’s nice to have company!! Write on with your inspiration and thoughtful looks at aspects of life we need reminding. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!

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  61. Donald Haynes - March 7, 2017 1:04 am

    Sean, I enjoy your daily posts. I teuly do.

    Reply

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