Dear Sean

But as we just discovered, hatefulness goes against your very anatomy. Every cell in your human corpus is made with love.

DEAR SEAN:

I don’t like your writing because you are a dumbass.

Thanks,
I DON’T CARE IF YOU USE MY NAME

DEAR I-DON’T-CARE:

Let’s go back in time.

Now, of course, I don’t know your personal story, but let’s be theoretical here. Pretend your mother and father just met two minutes ago. The circumstances which brought them together don’t matter. Your parents probably feel something for each other.

This feeling is something I want to talk about. A feeling that gets stronger with each heartbeat. A warm, happy, thick, dripping, hot feeling.

Scientists might call it “energy.” We common folk call it “love.”

Whatever you call it, it is an intelligent thing, programmed into the body. A force greater than even your parents.

So one day, inside the dark and hushed womb of your mother, a fertilized embryo floats the white-water rapids of her insides. That loveable little egg manages to attach itself to a uterine wall.

Then, the Little Egg That Could, starts producing NEW CELLS. Each cell the SAME SIZE as its original zygote. And this eventually becomes you.

I know. This is almost too boring to stand. And to tell you the truth, I know about as much about science as a blind mule on a field trip to Dollywood.

So let’s use simple language here:

One small act of love made YOUR cells appear out of NOWHERE.

In other-other words: you’re a miracle. And it was love-energy that made you.

You are a walking talking collection of organs, a central nervous system, a conscience, and a receding hairline. Because of love.

You are a soul, and souls can be all sorts of things. They can be thoughtful, hardworking, ambitious, easygoing, understanding, kind, and certain souls are even lucky enough to be born as Cradle Episcopalians.

Souls have the power to be good, or not-so-good. Nice, or hateful.

But as we just discovered, hatefulness goes against your very anatomy. Every cell in your human corpus is made with love.

Every last drop of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, calcium, phosphorus, and interstitial fluid. Love. Love. And more love. You sir, are a steaming pile of love.

The love that made you is in your DNA. That’s not an opinion, it’s biology 101, pal. You carry an entire ancestry of love inside your nucleotides.

Don’t believe me? Look at your ancestors throughout history. Their offspring survived droughts, floods, flu, starvation, civil wars, hurricanes, tornadoes, disease, and The Lawrence Welk Show.

Something strong held their ancestry together. Some kind of glue. The same thing that holds this soil together.

The same thing that caused your daddy to fall in love with your mother. The same power inside every corpuscle of your body.

Now let’s talk about me for a second. I am many things. I’m a man. I’m a Crimson Tide fan. I’m a redhead. I’m a nucleic acid sequence encoded as chromosome pairs, wrapped in a mitochondria.

But you can call me Sean. I am the result of John and Janice Sue, who fell in love too young. Whose parents wouldn’t allow them to marry.

My father crawled on steel buildings. My mother worked hard hours. Doctors told my mother she couldn’t get pregnant, but she did. And one winter night at 10:06 P.M. I was born.

The same love that made you, made me. Thus, I am not a dumbass. And neither are you. We are sophisticated products of explosive energy that peppers the pea-picking universe. We are miracles of love.

So, by God, we ought to act that way.

Thanks for the letter.

77 comments

  1. Tana Newman Branch - October 19, 2018 5:48 am

    I love your writing. I look for your articles in my inbox the first thing every morning. If I am ever fortunate enough to see you in person, I’m gonna hug your neck until your ears fall off. So, there!

    Reply
  2. Karen Greatrix - October 19, 2018 5:54 am

    Thank you

    Reply
  3. Nicholas Curtis - October 19, 2018 5:56 am

    I-DON’T-CARE certainly was succint when he went low. Sean was anything but succinct when he went high. I guess sometimes it takes more effort, and more brains, and sometimes more words to go high; especially when you’re dealing with a dumbass… and a column to write.

    Reply
  4. Sandi in FL. - October 19, 2018 6:39 am

    Sean, you are a much better person than that moron who wrote the rude letter. So glad you did not stoop to his level.

    Reply
  5. Garnet Faulkner - October 19, 2018 6:46 am

    Enlightenment 101…

    Reply
  6. Linda Hempfleng - October 19, 2018 6:54 am

    Dear Sean,
    I love your lengthy and thought-provoking response to “I Don’t Care…”. It is “spot-on” for this reader.

    Reply
  7. Pamela McEachern - October 19, 2018 7:11 am

    Dear “I don’t care,” I am so sorry you haven’t been cared for deeply enough to know what being loved feels like. Sean is the last person anyone would think of as dumb and gives us…including you, love through his daily thoughts on humanity. We still love you.

    Peace and Love from Birmingham

    Reply
  8. Steve Winfield - October 19, 2018 8:20 am

    I wouldn’t trade being loved for anything. Really. Anything. Giving & receiving love is what gets me up every day. I love my wife, my kid, my brother & all my other family who are dead & gone. I love Sean Dietrich & I’ve never really met him. I know all the people I’ve mentioned love me too.

    Reply
  9. Nancy Rogers - October 19, 2018 8:46 am

    Once again, “Faith, Hope and Love but the greatest of these is Love.” You sure there isn’t some Southern Baptist Preacher mixed into your genes somewhere?

    Reply
  10. Amy - October 19, 2018 9:36 am

    Amen!

    Reply
  11. throughmyeyesusa - October 19, 2018 10:00 am

    YOU, dear Sean, are anything BUT a dumbass!! Thanks for striking the dumbass….er, strike that, I meant nail….right on the head!!

    Reply
  12. Naomi - October 19, 2018 10:14 am

    Sean, I am a first-generation American. My father was born in Poland before WW I. My mother was born in Russia during the Czarist regime and she and her mother, sister and two brothers were still there during the Bolsheviks. My grandfather came to Birmingham, Alabama, (where my brother and I were born) ahead of his wife and children to see if he could earn a living as a grocer and kosher butcher. It took 8 years to get his family to the US. Thirteen members of my father’s family died in concentration camps and at least six members of my mother’s family. Others were murdered but I have no information about what happened to them. That said, I have no room in my heart to hate although there are some people I don’t like very much. You might be interested in knowing that my brother grieved for a year when Bear Bryant died.

    Reply
    • Barbara Wilson - October 19, 2018 10:16 am

      AMEN!!

      Reply
  13. Ruth Edens - October 19, 2018 10:27 am

    Fabulous, except for the Crimson Tide part:-) keep sharing the love!

    Reply
  14. Laura Lee King - October 19, 2018 10:37 am

    Well said sir. Once again you prove , without one bit of snobbishness, that you are a true gentleman. Keep on sharing your life affirming world views. We so need it now. Thank you.

    Reply
  15. Helena Shirley - October 19, 2018 10:47 am

    Great response to a very rude individual. I love that you say we are all a product of love. But are we all derived from a moment of love between a man and a woman? Sadly, in many instances, we are not. At times, a life is created after a violent act; when someone chooses to inflict their will over another. There is no love between that man and woman – but love creates every child. It’s God’s love that creates each child. If only we could recognize this fact and treat each being as His creation. Thank you for yet another thought provoking article, You are a master at your craft and created by Love.

    Reply
  16. Susan Moore Creel - October 19, 2018 10:48 am

    Sean – gotta say it, he’s the Dumbass. You are a part of all of us. You help us remember the good in this world and for that I am grateful. Your words touch my heart every day. There is to much negativity in this world. And, as I sit on my patio having coffee each morning (not too far from your beloved bay) I look forward to hearing you remind me how much good there is in people. In the aftermath of Michael, I see it every day. Neighbors helping neighbors, total strangers helping total strangers and I thank God for the high school drop out who almost didn’t graduate college. You speak of the places I know and love. I am a former Alabamian now living in the Panhandle. Please don’t ever stop reminding us how good life is. And, oh yeah, Roll Tide!
    Your friend in words,
    Susan Moore Creel

    Reply
  17. D. Green - October 19, 2018 10:48 am

    Most awesome rebuttal I’ve ever read. Makes my heart sing – and I’m going to save it. Thank you!

    Reply
  18. Susan Moore Creel. - October 19, 2018 10:51 am

    Ugh! Please fix my pet peace! To should have been too. You can miss it! Thanks, Susan Moore Creel

    Reply
    • Susan Moore Creel - October 19, 2018 10:53 am

      I give up. Apparently spell check is smarter than I am this morning….NOT!

      Reply
  19. Helen Trammell - October 19, 2018 11:02 am

    Amen fellow Miracle!!

    Reply
  20. Helen Trammell - October 19, 2018 11:04 am

    Hmmmm your clock is odd-it’s 6:03am at Mobile Infirmary Hospital; OMG you’re also a time traveler, Cool!

    Reply
  21. Karen - October 19, 2018 11:05 am

    You are a good writer and a good man. Roll Tide!

    Reply
  22. Camille Atkins - October 19, 2018 11:20 am

    Ignorance is…well it is not bliss! We live in a country now where more and more people feel emboldened to be rude and insensitive. When they go low, these folks go lower. I find it a sad commentary that we are teaching people, by the actions of the ones we used to look up to, to be openly hateful, crude and uncaring. There was a time when, if you did not care for something or someone, you just moved on-you did not strike out and intentionally try to destroy that person. Thankfully John and Janice Sue gave Sean the tools to weather the dumbass storms!

    Reply
  23. Gwen Monroe - October 19, 2018 11:43 am

    I think this is genius and I love you!!😊😊

    Reply
  24. Another pilgrim - October 19, 2018 12:08 pm

    Right on!

    Reply
  25. Brian Cardin - October 19, 2018 12:12 pm

    HI Sean,A great Southern Philosopher, one steeped in Southern lore and love once said “Some folks have been educated beyond their intelligence” – Jerry Clower

    Amen on the love……

    Reply
  26. Kay Reynolds - October 19, 2018 12:16 pm

    Sean, please don’t let one bad apple spoil the whole basket. Your writing is wonderful, and stirs my soul. In a day when everything has to be bad, and gruesome and political, you find the good. Even in I_DON’T_CARE. You found the good. Please don’t ever stop writing because I DO CARE.

    Reply
  27. Sandy Merritt - October 19, 2018 12:23 pm

    I DON”T CARE needs our love and prayers. – and ROLL TIDE Sean!

    Reply
  28. Susan Bradshaw - October 19, 2018 12:25 pm

    Best post ever!

    Reply
  29. Sue - October 19, 2018 12:27 pm

    If this person doesn’t like your writing, why were they reading it? I don’t think he was telling the truth. I hope you don’t believe what he said. For every one like him, there are hundreds more that enjoy your writing. Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  30. Connie - October 19, 2018 12:38 pm

    Love this perspective, let’s all pass the love around! 💜

    Reply
  31. Kay Britton - October 19, 2018 12:39 pm

    Thoughtful, deep, remarkable, perfect answer to an unthoughtful, shallow, flippant statement!

    Reply
  32. Mike - October 19, 2018 12:49 pm

    Dear I don’t care,

    Who asked you? Why do you feel it incumbent on you to initiate an exchange by calling someone a dumbass? Who cares what you think? I don’t. And I don’t care to know your name. I don’t think I would even like being around a person like you.

    Reply
  33. Denise - October 19, 2018 1:09 pm

    I love it that you always take the high road. You are a good man Sean!

    Reply
  34. paula jones - October 19, 2018 1:11 pm

    I wish you could see the standing ovation I’m giving you. Your response is just plain CLASSY! I will repeat that just in case you didn’t understand. You are a CLASSY dude Sean. Bravo!

    Reply
  35. Jean Tidwell - October 19, 2018 1:18 pm

    Sean, you could not have written a more perfect response. How gracious you are. Excellent job..I love reading your stories every morning. Thank you!

    Reply
  36. BJean - October 19, 2018 1:25 pm

    Just love this! HUGS to you, Sean. Hopefully, God is piercing this person’s heart with your words.

    Reply
  37. Peggy Bilbro - October 19, 2018 1:27 pm

    Best response yet to a hater. Thank you, Sean.

    Reply
  38. Anne Chandler - October 19, 2018 1:42 pm

    Beautiful and lovingly said! What a wonderful way to begin my day!

    Reply
  39. Debbie Taylor - October 19, 2018 1:45 pm

    Sean, your response is priceless!! Love it and you ❤️

    Reply
  40. Jones - October 19, 2018 1:46 pm

    Like I’ve said before, your writings should be Required Daily Reading” for everyone! Keep up the good work!

    Reply
  41. B. Daniel - October 19, 2018 1:47 pm

    For a Crimson Tide fan you are pretty smart. And, P.S. I love your writing.

    Reply
  42. Phillip Saunders - October 19, 2018 1:54 pm

    Sean
    Surely to goodness you made up the part about the letter so you could tell a great story about love (plus a short biology lesson). I just can’t believe any of your readers would call you that. You and I may be a lot of things, but we shore ain’t D-A’s. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  43. Jack Darnell - October 19, 2018 2:08 pm

    Well? Many times when I read you I feel like a Dumbass! I like the guys name though. :O I know it was a man/boy Girls don’t talk like that! 😉

    Reply
  44. Susan Mcclenney - October 19, 2018 2:42 pm

    Well done sir… Well done!

    Reply
  45. Sonya Jackson - October 19, 2018 2:47 pm

    Sean I’m a new subscriber. I have thoroughly enjoyed every single thing I’ve read of yours. The way you weave us through your life stories is just amazing. I love it. You are one class act. That poor man….. I think his momma didn’t love him enough to spank him when he showed rude behavior therefore his opinion doesn’t count. Life is too short to be that hateful.

    Reply
  46. PM - October 19, 2018 2:56 pm

    You reach out to those who are part of the unseen in this world, who go about their lives just surviving and not complaining but living life one day at a time. Thank u for seeing us. God love your heart!!!

    Reply
  47. Barbara - October 19, 2018 2:56 pm

    We need more people to act out of love not hate! Thank you Sean for always leading the way and making my day better.

    Reply
  48. Susan Kennedy - October 19, 2018 3:03 pm

    Beautiful, Sean.

    Reply
  49. Jan Bruck - October 19, 2018 3:04 pm

    God has given you such a beautiful talent for writing from the heart and touching the heartstrings of your readers. This “Sean of the South” is the best of the best! I second all of the positive comments above. What a special gift you have! Big hugs!

    Reply
  50. Edna B. - October 19, 2018 3:07 pm

    Well said! You have a super day, hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  51. swuppet - October 19, 2018 3:42 pm

    You are the flesh and blood embodiment of the Spirit of Christ on earth. So well said. Thanks for the reminder of what a kind response is to unkind words.

    Reply
  52. Nix - October 19, 2018 3:51 pm

    You
    Are
    Amazing.

    The End.
    –Nix

    Reply
  53. Dolores S. Fort - October 19, 2018 4:07 pm

    Wow! Sean, God has blessed us with His wonderful blessings He has bestowed on you! Thank you for such a loving response to a not so loving statement. I look forward every day to what you have to gift us with. I am still hopeful one day of meeting you.

    Reply
  54. Lisa - October 19, 2018 4:07 pm

    Very thoughtful reply!

    Reply
  55. Dolores S. Fort - October 19, 2018 4:10 pm

    There is a five-hour difference between my clock and this site’s clock. It is now 11:07 here in Warrior, but your clock says it is 4:07. Interesting.

    Reply
  56. Jeanne Butler - October 19, 2018 4:44 pm

    What a great warm response to someone who didn’t deserve such a loving answer. We need more people in this world like you. Love you Sean. Your writings help me get through my awful days.

    Reply
  57. Marilyn - October 19, 2018 4:51 pm

    Absolutely LOVE your comeback to his note! Keep the love coming, Sean.

    Reply
  58. Julie B - October 19, 2018 5:00 pm

    Dear Sean,
    You epitomize this particular definition of HUMANITY as quoted from dictionary.com : “the quality of being humane; kindness; benevolence”.
    I am thankful for your gift of writing so that you can express your humanity, and not get down in the muck on a level with this poor unhappy human.
    Good lesson to be learned by all –
    Thank you!

    Reply
  59. Ellen - October 19, 2018 6:14 pm

    Absolutely brilliant. You are also way, way smarter than you let on, but I’ve known that for ja long time. I surely do hope your “hater” writes you back. Maybe he is really mad about something else, but in any case he could learn a lot by being friends with you. I’m guessing he’s not that bad either.

    Reply
  60. Wadena - October 19, 2018 6:30 pm

    You are my Hero!

    Reply
  61. Vasca Beall - October 19, 2018 6:36 pm

    Very classy response, Sean. I wonder why that person bothers to read your writings if he/she thinks you’re so terrible. Whatever, it’s sad that so much misery lives in a person who could really be helpful to others if they would only open eyes to the wonder that surrounds us. Don’t ever stop writing and sharing. You’re empowering us all to do better, be nicer and more loving to boot. Love you.

    Reply
  62. Sandra Smith - October 19, 2018 7:01 pm

    ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤!!!!!!

    Reply
  63. Kathy - October 19, 2018 7:51 pm

    Amen and amen.

    Reply
  64. Shelton Armour - October 19, 2018 8:26 pm

    Nice reply…glad you did it in love.

    Reply
  65. Jama Welsh Maenza - October 19, 2018 9:49 pm

    Booyaa!!! 😎

    Reply
  66. Edy - October 19, 2018 11:46 pm

    Thank you for a kind response. There are way too many people saying ugly things these days.

    Reply
  67. Robert Chiles - October 20, 2018 1:14 am

    Sir, (that is Sean) you are a gentleman.

    Reply
  68. Janet Mary Lee - October 20, 2018 1:26 am

    Oh my gosh, Sean…just when I have (often!!) read what I think is the best you ever wrote, you do one better!! I have such a mental picture of your little love egg, and God’s) in my head..well, I will never forget it!! Nor will I ever forget the beautiful words of your soul which follow it…I am now rendered speechless…. (hug!).

    Reply
  69. Michael Hawke - October 20, 2018 1:41 am

    Perfect!

    Reply
  70. Celeste Sheppard - October 20, 2018 2:52 am

    I love you Sean. You are not a dumbass!!

    Reply
  71. Travis Wilburn - October 20, 2018 3:00 am

    Excellent, my friend. Just excellent.

    Reply
  72. Angela V Young - October 20, 2018 3:54 am

    That, Sean, was simply amazing! Touche!

    Reply
  73. LVS - October 20, 2018 3:57 pm

    Hummm, maybe the point of this responder was to shead light on the marvilious works of God and how we were wonderfully made. So he used the word dum-to get our attention. Other than that this is a good reminder of where and what we should be thinking of when we are making cells move to the next generation.
    LVS

    Reply
  74. Gale Smith - December 10, 2018 10:41 am

    “A soft answer turneth away wrath.” ‘Idontcare neatly put in his place without today’s usual escalation of ugliness shown daily by news media. That takes genius.

    Reply
  75. Michele - December 10, 2018 1:14 pm

    Your writing is awesome.

    Reply

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