Good

“‘Bondad’ means ‘goodness’ in Spanish and it’s my favorite word.”

Nashville, Tennessee—Nathan is twelve. He is on his way to soccer practice. His mother is driving. He is in the backseat of the car. He sees something.

“Pull over, Mom!” says Nathan.

She does.

It’s a family, walking along the shoulder of the road. They are Hispanic. A woman pushes a stroller, two young boys walk behind her. None of them speak much English.

But this is no problem. Nathan has been taking Spanish in school. Nathan translates. He tells his mother that the family’s car has broken down.

So, his mother calls a tow truck. While they wait, Nathan’s mother treats the family to supper. They carry on choppy conversations in broken tongues. Nathan translates the best he can.

By the end of the night, two families have become friends. And to shorten a long story, today Nathan is a grown man who can say things in Spanish, and explain them.

For instance, Nathan tells me: “Did you know that ‘bondad’ means ‘goodness’ in Spanish? It’s my favorite word.”

Bueno, Nathan.

Katy, Texas—She is an EMT student. She doesn’t know whether she wants this for a career. She’s been on ride-alongs, sitting in ambulances, watching emergency workers. She has seen some terrible scenes.

“The first accident I ever saw,” she says, “was so traumatic, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for months. I just didn’t know if I was cut out to be a paramedic.”

One night, she is walking into a movie theater. She sees an old woman leaving the theater. The woman stumbles on the curb and falls onto her face.

Blood. Broken bones. Hollering. It is a mess.

The EMT in her kicks into action. The staff brings her an emergency first-aid kit. She dresses the woman’s wounds just like she’d been studying. She immobilizes the woman’s neck. She keeps her calm.

“I was cool under pressure,” she says. “It surprised me. I was like, ‘Hey dude, I can actually do this.’”

She rides with the woman to the hospital. She calls the family and tells them she is all right.

Today, she’s a ten-year first-responder veteran. A paramedical instructor. A mother of three. A hero.

Chanute, Kansas—Gary has no high school education, a minimum wage fast-food job, and not much money. He’s dropped out of school to become a full-time caregiver to his older brother, who is in a wheelchair.

Gary’s brother needs help bathing himself, feeding himself, and using the bathroom.

Looking after his brother is more important than textbooks and pencil sharpeners. Doctors don’t know how much time Gary’s brother has left.

And as it happens, Gary’s brother doesn’t have much time. He dies when Gary is twenty-four.

A few weeks after the funeral, a man shows on Gary’s porch. He is a distant cousin. He is a pipe-welder. He tells Gary he wants to pay for welding school if he is interested.

“No thanks,” says Gary. “I don’t wanna be a welder.”

“Think it over,” the man goes on. “Welders make good money.”

It is quite an offer from a half-stranger.

Gary takes him up on it. And as fate has it, he is a natural. He is not only good at welding, he is an expert underwater welder.

Today, he has seen almost every state in the Lower Forty-Eight, and even gone to Hawaii once. And as of last year, he just completed his college education. He majored in English. He likes literature and poetry the best.

“Welding school changed my life,” says Gary. “It’s funny, I wish my brother could see me now, I think he’d be proud of me.”

I have more stories I want to tell you—a lot more—but I don’t have enough room. So before I go, there’s something I received in the mail a few days ago. The letter was from Nashville, Tennessee, from a man who teaches Spanish for a living, and coaches soccer on the weekends.

A man who still remembers giving a ride to strangers once, when he was a boy.

The letter reads: “I truly believe there’s more good (bondad) out there than the television people want us to know about…”

I believe that, too, Nathan.

Gracias.

31 comments

  1. Jerry W Smith - June 1, 2019 7:07 am

    Sean, I can totally relate to the stories in your “Good” post today…..the son and mom helping Hispanic family, the girl who overcame her fears and became an EMT Paramedic (I did that here as a volunteer for 20 years) and the boy that used welding to propel to a bigger career…I grew up in Rose Hill, AL on a farm, worked my way through Auburn U. in a grocery store bagger and stock boy, book store clerk, bus driver, more farm work, etc. (50+ hours per week, with a full academic load)/ But, I got my electrical engineering degree in 1972. The old saying that “your attitude determines your altitude in life” is about as appropriate as I could think of when I read this…I sure want to meet you sometime before I get on the other side (brown side) of the grass…I live in Andalusia, AL and you have been here twice, at least….I had business commitments both times. Soon! Jerry

    Reply
  2. Sandi in FL. - June 1, 2019 7:23 am

    Yes, I believe that everybody has something good in them. Sometimes we just might need to look a little bit harder to find it. But if we purposely look for something good in each new day and in every person we meet, we will always find it.

    Reply
  3. Marilyn - June 1, 2019 8:48 am

    Thank you for feeding us “good Stuff”!!

    Reply
  4. Sue Cronkite - June 1, 2019 9:44 am

    Fine lesson in loving our brother as ourselves.

    Reply
  5. Debbie - June 1, 2019 10:57 am

    I believe so, too. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” I we would just remember that.

    Reply
  6. Karen - June 1, 2019 11:17 am

    If we could just look for the good in everyone and live out that goodness in ourselves, this world would be a better place. If we could open our hearts to others, even when they are different. Thank you, Sean.

    Reply
  7. Bobbie - June 1, 2019 11:37 am

    Nathan is right. Thank you Sean for bringing us some good news this morning. Do unto others….
    God bless you.

    Reply
  8. Barbara Pope - June 1, 2019 12:22 pm

    Thank bondad!

    Reply
  9. Mark Stewart - June 1, 2019 12:35 pm

    Looking forward to when you share the rest of the stories!
    Thanks for the positive outlook on life!
    God Bless!!

    Reply
  10. Jo Ann - June 1, 2019 12:35 pm

    I agree! Thanks again, Sean.

    Reply
    • Sue - June 1, 2019 12:41 pm

      Thanks to God for the goodness in the world and thank you Sean for reminding us again.

      Reply
  11. Steve Bailey - June 1, 2019 12:56 pm

    Good stuff

    Reply
  12. Connie Havard Ryland - June 1, 2019 12:59 pm

    I have to believe it. There is so much bad everywhere that there has to be balance. I see good every day, even if it’s not glaringly obvious, it’s out there. Love and hugs.

    Reply
  13. Edna B. - June 1, 2019 1:04 pm

    It’s so nice to hear about the goodness in people. Thank you, and have a super day. Hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  14. Chuck G. - June 1, 2019 1:28 pm

    You stated: “The letter reads: “I truly believe there’s more good (bondad) out there than the television people want us to know about…”

    It not just the TV people. It is ALL media. They want to create chaos, unrest, stress, racial tension, distrust. There most certainly are a lot of bad people and bad situations – but as you have pointed out on a continuing basis, there is a lot more good.

    Reply
  15. Shelton A. - June 1, 2019 1:33 pm

    I don’t even watch the news on TV anymore, it’s so full of bad news. Thanks so very much for bringing some good, inspiring news our way. Please continue.

    Reply
  16. Linda Moon - June 1, 2019 2:37 pm

    Gracias, Sean.

    Reply
  17. Pat - June 1, 2019 2:59 pm

    Bondad!

    Reply
  18. Phillip Saunders. - June 1, 2019 3:02 pm

    A lot of the rest of us believe it, too, Sean. Keep preaching it, my friend, or as we say in the south, “Preach on, Bruthah!”

    Reply
  19. Marcy Gosselin - June 1, 2019 3:02 pm

    Wonderful and so encouraging

    Reply
  20. Jack Darnell - June 1, 2019 4:01 pm

    I always seem to like your “GOOD” stories. Like a magnet you attract them, put in the southern color and they come out as Beautiful (maybe even good!)
    From NC
    Sherry & jack

    Reply
  21. Tim House - June 1, 2019 4:22 pm

    <3 <3 There IS a lot of good out there. The individuals are seemingly small stories by themselves. It's when they are strung together the full impact shows. Unfortunately, the bad is often shown in large groups, and make the news…

    Reply
  22. Debbie Galladora - June 1, 2019 6:52 pm

    I love your human interest stories…

    Reply
  23. Jody - June 1, 2019 11:13 pm

    Gracias amigo

    Reply
  24. Estelle - June 2, 2019 1:30 pm

    In the news it’s “if it bleeds, it leads”. With such bad news everyday; it is wonderful to read the good. Thanks Sean !!

    Reply
  25. Joe Patterson - June 2, 2019 3:15 pm

    Thanks me too

    Reply
  26. Lori Brown - June 3, 2019 1:00 pm

    Well, goosebumps this morning – the good kind. Thank you, Sean. I love how you tell a story.

    Reply
  27. Carol - June 3, 2019 4:25 pm

    I know there is 🙏. What a shame the news media is trying so hard to destroy our Faith in God and human nature!
    But God will see that the good still comes out , no matter how much they try to destroy us!
    Love ya!

    Reply
  28. BJean - June 4, 2019 1:23 pm

    You lift me up with your stories, Sean. Thank you so much. Reminds me to keep my eyes and ears open to the people around me. 😊

    Reply
  29. Martha Martin Black - July 1, 2019 9:26 am

    Ciertamente el bien y la misericordia te seguirán todos los días de tu vida.

    Reply
  30. Sam Seetin - July 1, 2019 9:41 pm

    Munificent bondad story

    Reply

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