Your Television Is Lying To You

I watched a woman’s credit card get denied. Her three children had already finished their suppers.

Once, I saw a middle-aged man stop four lanes of traffic, just outside Atlanta. He did it for a confused dog. The frightened thing stood in the center of the interstate, panting.

When the man loaded the dog into his car, he said, “This old fella’s gonna be nineteen tomorrow. He gets mixed-up, but he’s a good boy.”

He looked like a good boy, too.

Shreveport, Louisiana: at Waffle House. I watched a woman’s credit card get denied. Her three children had already finished their suppers. The woman hung her head and actually offered to return later and wash dishes.

The cook stepped in. “Sweetie, supper is on me.”

Without hesitation, the man removed his wallet and paid for the meal himself. Fifteen minutes later, as if on cue, four truckers tipped that man four twenty-dollar bills.

Enterprise, Alabama: I saw a child climb too high in a tree. He froze when he got to the top. A slew of parents tried to talk him down. No dice. Finally, a teenage boy kicked off his shoes and scurried up like an acrobat.

“Get on my back,” said the teenager.

That teenager carried sixty pounds all the way to the bottom. It cut up his hands and legs, but it didn’t affect his ear-to-ear grin.

Or anyone else’s.

Pensacola, Florida: outside Walmart, an elderly woman fell on the pavement. She dropped her groceries, busted her jar of pickles, and smashed her Bunny Bread. Two employees came running. They bandaged up her bloody knees, then brought her Oldsmobile to the front.

“You need a ride home?” asked one employee.

The woman covered her face. “Maybe,” she said.

The man smiled, removed his vest, and clocked out for the day.

“Someone get her a new jar of pickles!” he yelled.

Listen, I don’t know sugar from shoeshine. And I don’t have the faintest idea how life works. Truth be told, sometimes I’m unsure what the hell I even believe. God knows, this world can drain the life out of you, then bill you twelve dollars for it.

But there’s something out there. Something that makes people choose goodness. I don’t know what it is, but it’s a lot bigger than our wallets. I don’t care what you call it, I believe in it.

Just like I believe in Waffle House waitresses, truck drivers, tree-climbers, Walmart employees, and nineteen-year-old dogs.

And love.


  1. Tish - April 15, 2016 4:46 pm

    What a truly wonderful collection of stories to show that there is goodness in people…. hopefully it will inspire goodness in many more.

  2. Maxine - June 22, 2016 5:14 am

    For reals… We are always shown the worst (on the news, etc) but as a real person living in South-eastern America, whether u like it or not, there’s a lot of good hearts. You know how southern people always say “bless your heart”? Well guess why? It’s not always a jab or a sarcastic comment…. It was obviously derived from a true place. From Southern people with good hearts who care about their neighbors and the people around them. Bless YOU Sean for sharing your beautiful gift of storytelling 😉 xo

  3. Heather - January 30, 2017 3:34 pm

    Thank you for writing this — more people need to see it! This is what the American people stand for: kindness and goodness and doing the right thing.
    I think I love you! ❤️

  4. Regina - January 30, 2017 4:10 pm

    I am a newcomer to your blogs but a cherish each and every one of them. I share them because I firmly believe they may help this country on its way to healing. Thank you.

  5. Peggy Perry - January 31, 2017 10:46 am

    When I was young enough that I and all four of my sisters were still living with our parents, several of us pooled our pay and took the entire family off to see the zoo in San Antonio. On the way home, we stopped at a large truck stop for supper. Chicken fried steak for everyone! We all came in chattering as we always did, settled our dad in a large booth and took off en masse to the ladies’ room, still chattering about our day. When we got back, we enjoyed a good meal and conversation. When we all finished we asked the waitress for the check. She told us a mechanic who had been in the booth behind us who had talked to our dad while we were in the bathroom, had covered our check and said we were to have dessert as well if we wanted. Apparently, he came from a large family and listening to our chatter made him miss them but brought back fond memories. It was the perfect ending to a terrific day. Not only had we enjoyed ourselves, we had brought happiness to a stranger. Life can be hard, but there is plenty to smile about, every day.

  6. Beverly - February 1, 2017 7:50 pm

    Where have you been all my life?? Great stuff!!

  7. Julia James Mcarthur - February 2, 2017 10:46 pm

    Very refreshing comments and stories of kindness!! They are refreshing and inspiring! Thanks!

  8. Kelly Wood - February 11, 2017 12:23 am

    So refreshing, glad I found you. It’s nice to read something positive for a change

  9. Dawn - March 4, 2017 1:52 pm

    I was just talking to someone about this! I think if you make a point to look for good that you will always find it.

  10. Dora Huelsbeck - May 11, 2017 4:09 am

    There are a whole lot of good people in this world. The problem is you usually hear about the bad ones. Thanks for sharing the good stories.


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