Good

Jacksonville, Florida—a car accident. A crushed car, sideways in the median. Years ago. She saw the car and pulled over

She jogged toward it. It was instinct. She opened the door. The man wasn’t breathing.

She had been working part-time at a pre-school. Pre-schools have mandatory CPR certification classes. Only a few days earlier, she had practiced resuscitating dummies in a church fellowship hall.

She pulled the man out of the battered vehicle. She found his breastbone. Thirty compressions. Two rescue breaths.

He’s alive today. A father of four. He keeps in touch.

Athens, Georgia—nineteen-year-old Billy didn’t want to get into a fistfight. He’d never been in a fight before. He saw a younger kid being beaten by two large boys. He couldn’t stay out of it.

Billy, who’d never thrown a punch in his life, pushed himself into the conflict. He fended off the two attackers, but not without being beaten-up.

Billy took the kid to the emergency room. They became fast friends. He brought the kid home to meet his parents. The boy told them he’d been living with his uncle—who neglected him.

Billy’s parents invited the kid live with them. They fixed the guest bedroom. They bought him a Playstation. They fed him. They made him one of their own.

When Billy got married, the kid was his best man. When Billy had his first son, the kid became a godfather.

When the kid wore a cap and gown to receive a diploma, seven people stood and clapped for him.

Hoover, Alabama—Leigh Ann was your classic shut-in. She was too old and feeble to go anywhere.

Most days, she sat in a recliner watching her stories on TV. Sometimes she forgot to feed herself. She had nobody. She’d been lonely ever since her husband passed. Leigh Ann had no children.

One day, a young man who lived on her street noticed the street-address numbers on her house, falling off. He knocked on her front door.

He offered to fix the numbers. A conversation ensued. While they talked, he noticed the paint flaking off her home.

The next day, he dropped in unannounced—with five-gallon paint buckets, three friends, and ladders. They painted all day. That was almost ten years ago.

The young man and Leigh Ann became so close, he referred to her as “Meemaw” sometimes.

He read the eulogy at Meemaw’s final service.

Charlottesville, Virginia—Eliana had cancer. She was a young woman. It was a crushing blow. Two months later, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The next two years were hell. Think: operations, appointments, and treatments.

Then multiply that figure times two.

Their kitchen counter looked like a CVS pharmacy.

Eliana lay in a hospital bed; her mother was beside her. Her mother received IV treatments; Eliana was her shadow.

They leaned over toilet bowls together. They shaved their heads at the same time. When their brunette locks hit the bathroom floor they cried until their faces hurt.

Her mother prayed each night. “Take ME, God,” she’d say. “Just let my daughter live.”

Eliana prayed the same thing—only in reverse.

But life doesn’t always go the way you think it will. Today, they are cancer survivors.

So.

Dear evening-news journalists:

Thank you for stories on nuclear threats, terrorists, mass shootings, sex scandals, and senseless acts of politics. Thank you for digging up headlines that manage to break hearts and scare the Dickens out of anyone who watches.

But if you should ever find yourself depressed, and hopeless, and without faith in the baeauty of humanity, I know a few people you ought to meet.

60 comments

  1. Bev gates - February 2, 2019 6:43 am

    This is one of your very BEST! Thanks.

    Reply
  2. Rebecca Kinard - February 2, 2019 6:46 am

    So inspiring. Thanks for always finding the good in not so good situations.

    Reply
  3. Karen Greatrix - February 2, 2019 6:48 am

    Another name for you Terry, a man at a homeless/low income drop in center giving $20 for yarn so hats could be made for other people. 20 hats were made with that money. We live in the north so warm hats are really needed.
    Thank you for your good news stories.

    Reply
  4. Lucretia Jones - February 2, 2019 6:59 am

    Yes, Sean, yes !!! I thank you!!! Lucretia

    Reply
  5. Stan Perry - February 2, 2019 7:20 am

    God is good.

    Reply
  6. Brenda - February 2, 2019 9:23 am

    Oh Sean I so wish they could talk about people like you do!! At least one good personal report a day would help heal us all! Thank you sweet ginger man!!

    Reply
  7. Paula - February 2, 2019 10:45 am

    Thank you for seeing and saying. It helps give the world perspective.

    Reply
  8. Kristine Wehrheim - February 2, 2019 11:15 am

    This was good!

    Reply
  9. Jones - February 2, 2019 11:17 am

    Amen!!!

    Reply
  10. Barbara - February 2, 2019 11:40 am

    Bless your heart, Sean. Thank you for seeing and sharing good. How we need that viewpoint! Love and blessings.

    Reply
  11. chatfield84 - February 2, 2019 11:40 am

    Indeed… <3.
    thank you. again.

    Reply
  12. Brenda Hill - February 2, 2019 11:44 am

    Thank you, Sean, we so desperately need to be reminded that there is still good in the world! Your posts are every morning appointments for me, keep up the good work.

    Reply
  13. Jean - February 2, 2019 11:54 am

    Amen!! Preach on brother! it is good to know there are still good, loving and caring people in this world! I totally agree about the news….I have given up watching it. Enough bad to deal with….in this life…I don’t need the constant hammering of all this news feed every day!

    Reply
  14. Gay - February 2, 2019 12:27 pm

    “Write on,” Sean. The magic of story telling is in pulling the reader into it — through senses or heart strings – and you do it so very well. “Write on!”

    Reply
  15. Sherry - February 2, 2019 12:28 pm

    Do you think if everyone quit watching the news, stayed off of their computers and phones, we could have a truly peaceful world? ‘They’ say research shows ‘we’ are less stressed when we reduce our time in front of screens….I say we try to prove that research and just care for each other and talk to each other! ‘They’ can talk to themselves!!

    Reply
    • Debbie Shiflett - March 3, 2019 3:28 pm

      Stay off our screens after we read Sean’s story everyday! 💗💗💗

      Reply
  16. Nellie Strange - February 2, 2019 12:40 pm

    Perfect.

    Reply
  17. Jennifer Hill - February 2, 2019 12:41 pm

    Thank you again for being a writer! I look forward to my email EVERY morning. My friend told me about you at the time I needed your writing the most. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  18. Karen - February 2, 2019 1:16 pm

    Amen. Thank you.

    Reply
  19. Arlene Stevens - February 2, 2019 1:27 pm

    Thank you for the news. Real news. News about the human condition. News that will change people when they read it. News that can affect a positive change in the way people treat one another. News that has the potential to alter the course of mankind. What an incredibly responsible way to use words. Out of a man’s mouth come the contents of his heart. Well done kind friend.

    Reply
  20. Becky - February 2, 2019 1:27 pm

    Thank you for reminding me that there is so much kindness in the World.

    Reply
  21. Sandra Stapleton-Thomas - February 2, 2019 1:30 pm

    We all need a little good news right now. Thank you.

    Reply
  22. Connie Havard Ryland - February 2, 2019 1:37 pm

    Your daily reminder of the good in the world is a balm to my soul.

    Reply
  23. Jo Ann - February 2, 2019 1:43 pm

    Thank you, Sean. I read your story every morning. I have a friend who considers your daily story as his devotional. I seldom read the news & never watch it on TV anymore. Your writing is the real deal. Thanks to you & blessings on you, your family, & all those you write about.

    Reply
  24. Heidi - February 2, 2019 1:47 pm

    Thanks, just thanks, every day.

    Reply
  25. Susan Self - February 2, 2019 1:54 pm

    Thank you for my daily dose of heart vitamins.

    Reply
  26. Elizabeth Edens - February 2, 2019 2:03 pm

    One of your best! Thank you!

    Reply
  27. Marilyn - February 2, 2019 2:11 pm

    That’s why we read your stories first! They are positive, good for the soul! Thank you Sean for a great start to my day.

    Reply
  28. flkatmom - February 2, 2019 2:11 pm

    ❤❤❤

    Reply
  29. Gale Smith - February 2, 2019 2:12 pm

    Sean, the people in your stories, the everyday, unsung heroes, are proof God has not given up on us yet.

    Reply
  30. John Kennedy - February 2, 2019 2:35 pm

    Beautiful stories of the TRUE human spirit. Thank you!

    Reply
  31. Patricia A Schmaltz - February 2, 2019 2:36 pm

    Crying and smiling at the same time. Thank you! Happy Ground Hog’s Day!

    Reply
    • Jennifer Whisenant - February 2, 2019 5:41 pm

      Truth, Patricia! Smiling through the tears!

      Reply
  32. BJean - February 2, 2019 2:39 pm

    Breath of fresh air, Sean. Thank you.😊

    Reply
  33. Carol - February 2, 2019 2:45 pm

    Oh how right you are. Thank you Sean. There is more good than bad. But it doesn’t make for headlines. That the news likes to keep us scared with.
    But as a Christian I know God is still in power!!!
    Love ya!

    Reply
  34. Annak - February 2, 2019 3:01 pm

    Again, thank you, Sean. You are the antidote to the hopelessness and downward spiral that the mainstream news would have us believe. We have the everlasting Good News of Jesus Christ and you are our daily reminder that there is good news everywhere when we stop and see it.

    Reply
  35. Debbie Balling - February 2, 2019 3:02 pm

    Wow! I am a new follower thanks to friends in Santa Rosa Beach who told me about you.
    Your articles make me cry, and laugh, and remember that humans can be wonderful.
    Thank you!

    Reply
  36. Elaine - February 2, 2019 3:06 pm

    Sean, you make me laugh, cry and inspire. It doesn’t get any better than that. Thank you!

    Reply
  37. Sue Riddle Cronkite - February 2, 2019 3:11 pm

    Another good one! Gave my faith in humanity a boost. Sure needed it.

    Reply
  38. Sarah - February 2, 2019 3:56 pm

    So powerful. Thank you, Sean,

    Reply
  39. Pat - February 2, 2019 4:02 pm

    Oh my! The tears overflowed before I even knew it when I read that mother and daughter each prayed for God to take them and allow the other to live……………..

    Reply
  40. Jeanne Butlet - February 2, 2019 4:14 pm

    Sean this made me cry and also happy. I love your stories. Unlike the news which I rarely watch , your stories make me believe in good people and that they are still some out there. Thank you. Love you❤️

    Reply
  41. Carol - February 2, 2019 4:30 pm

    I needed this today

    Reply
  42. Frances C - February 2, 2019 4:36 pm

    Thank you for your love for humanity & reminding me that each day is a blessing.

    Reply
  43. Anne Chandler - February 2, 2019 5:04 pm

    Beautiful! Thank you for reminding us of the blessings around us and for encouraging me to be one to someone today…and every day.

    Reply
  44. Betty - February 2, 2019 6:35 pm

    Bless you, Sean. I wish we could put you on the evening news. It would be worth watching again.

    Reply
    • Janet Mary Lee - February 6, 2019 4:58 pm

      Oh Amen. Betty!

      Reply
  45. Debbie Britt - February 2, 2019 7:33 pm

    And THIS is why you are so loved and popular! Have a happy day!😍

    Reply
  46. Jackie Darnell - February 2, 2019 10:48 pm

    I lost my hearing so It has been years since we have watched the news. I understand the negative part, it has been that way for a long time now.

    Anyway, you are spot on here my man. Thee is something wrong that needs to be righted, imma wondering if people will wartch anything but murder and mayhem!!!

    I liek some good news. Good stuff…

    Reply
  47. paynecounselor - February 3, 2019 1:00 pm

    This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing. There are many good stories to tell…stories of redemption…love and sacrifice. Bring us more stories.

    Reply
  48. Angela V Young - February 3, 2019 3:01 pm

    I was having a really difficult day in 1980. My new young husband had just lost his job, we had grim prospects. As I walked home from work , I saw this bumper sticker, “Look for the good and praise it!” It has been my life motto ever since. It has sustained me through a nasty divorce, a sick, child, the death of both parents. Life is difficult, but, by God, there is so much goodness in it!

    Reply
  49. Mary Ellen Hall - February 3, 2019 6:07 pm

    BEAUTIFUL, & SO INSPIRING!! WONDERFUL to hear about CARING, LOVING PEOPLE!!!
    THANK YOU SEAN!!!💙

    Reply
  50. Edy - February 4, 2019 12:35 am

    Amen!

    Reply
  51. Shelton A. - February 4, 2019 5:34 am

    Great stuff…I strongly suspect that you know several people I’d like to know. Truly inspirational…

    Reply
  52. Suzanne McElroy - February 4, 2019 5:03 pm

    Sean,

    I am thankful for your writing! The way you write about the positive not the negative is so encouraging in itself. But the way you show me the good things of life in the most difficult circumstances is amazing! Keep observing people, keep writing, and keep seeing the positive about life. Believe in yourself! You have a gift and you are a gift.
    Keep sharing every day.

    Suzanne
    February, 2019

    Reply
  53. Kathy - February 8, 2019 7:31 pm

    MAN:: I’ve started saying your email stories so I can read more than one… what a Pleasure to read them!!!!! Thank You

    Reply
  54. turtlekid - March 3, 2019 11:10 am

    Many years ago Anne Murray sang a song about needing some good news today. This column is what she, and all this planet, were wanting!! I no longer watch tv news, because hearing negativity is depressing. “ Nobody robbed a liquor store” is better for my soul. Thank you Sean Dietrich.

    Reply
  55. Bobby Roberts - March 3, 2019 1:04 pm

    You touch my soul every time I read your stories. God has given you a gift to touch hearts and for that we give him the glory. May God bless you forever….and a day. 🙏

    Reply
    • Debbie Shiflett - March 3, 2019 3:34 pm

      Amen!

      Reply
  56. Carolyn Kelley - March 3, 2019 1:13 pm

    Beautiful stories❤️🙏

    Reply

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