“People are [beeping] awesome,” the young man’s email began. “People are really, [beeping] awesome.”

The author’s name is Denny. He’s an 18-year-old a single dad in Charlotte, North Carolina. He works triple overtime just to pay for babysitting and food. He lives in a one-bedroom apartment. He earns squat for a living.

Times have been tight for Denny, his checking account is on E. And ever since his wife died, Denny has been struggling.

For dinner that night, he was going to make a frozen chicken pot pie for himself, and a feed his daughter a PBJ with pureed spinach. Gag me.

When Denny got to the checkout-line conveyor belt, he met a teenager cashier. The cashier asked Denny if he would allow her to pay for his groceries. Denny refused, but the cashier kept insisting.

Finally, Denny relented and let the young woman pay so he wouldn’t attract any more unwanted attention. When the transaction was finished, the girl told Denny flatly, “My father gives me this money and tells me to help anyone who needs help.”

Denny thanked the young woman and said, “Your dad sounds like a great guy.”

The cashier winked. “He thinks the same about you, sir.”

On the way out to the car, Denny’s vocal 2-year-old asked him why he was crying.

“Daddy’s just really happy, sweetie,” he said.

Meantime, 413 miles north, in the sleepy hamlet of Canal Winchester, Ohio, we have Jenni. Allow me to introduce you.

Jenni is early 50s, born in Ethiopia, but immigrated to the U.S. when she was in her 30s. The first thing you should know about Jenni is that she is a bit of an underachiever.

After earning numerous college degrees, raising kids, and carving out a rewarding career with a major technology company, Jenni took a side-gig—why not?—driving for Uber on weekends.

“The reason I drive Uber,” she told WSYX ABC Channel 6, “is to help others.”

Which is putting it mildly. Among the reasons for Jenni’s side job was earning extra cash to send to Ethiopian orphanages. Simply put, Jenni is that rare kind of person so saintly she makes Santa look like a jerk.

One spring day, Jenni got a call for an Uber. On the phone was the aged voice of an 88-year-old man named Paul. Jenni felt an instant connection.

After giving Paul a few Uber rides, they really hit it off. Jenni took a special interest in the old man. She started hanging out at his house. She began visiting on weekends, or just to shoot the bull.

Not long thereafter, Paul started going downhill healthwise. His dementia became worse, until it was soon obvious that Paul needed round-the-clock care.

The decision was a cinch for Jenni. She quit her job with Uber and became Paul’s caregiver. She took a 50-percent pay cut without hesitation.

Currently, Paul and his new caregiver spend a lot of time together. They visit the supermarket together, they run errands, they visit doctors, and they often finish out their days at O’Charley’s, eating platefuls of saturated fat.

When asked why Jenni chose to become a caregiver for a total stranger, Jenni answered:

“Sometimes you don’t know what you’re created for. I am created for taking care of others.”

And now let’s travel 1,032 miles southward into middle Florida (state motto: “Ask about our grandkids!”).

Meet Mason. Mason is 46 and lives in an average subdivision, with an average suburban lifestyle. He has a beautiful wife, a Mr. Coffee machine, two-point-six kids, and he actually owns a genuine picket fence. “I just like the way it looks,” says Mason.

One day, Mason caught a young woman behind his garage, stealing water from Mason’s hosepipe.

The girl bolted. She carried a bucket of sloshing water down the street, sprinting away from him. Mason chased the kid until they reached a ramshackle house several blocks away.

Mason’s middle-aged quadriceps were about to rupture, and his glutes had already gone to be with the Lord. He confronted the young woman and asked why she was stealing water, but the answer became immediately clear.

The young woman’s family was living in a dilapidated house without running water or electricity.

The next day, Mason made a few visits to local utility company offices and, voila, the needy family’s power and water was restored.

Mason tells me, however, that he has no idea where the 82 random bags of groceries anonymously left on the family’s porch came from.

“Beats me,” said Mason.

Let me close by saying this: Yesterday morning I made the mistake of watching cable news while eating my Cornflakes. A journalist with a perky haircut eagerly informed me about a high-school-age shooting, numerous car wrecks, rapes, drug busts, and about how a woman was charged with murder for allegedly kicking a pregnant woman.

To finish the broadcast, the news anchor capped things off with a feel-good story about the world’s lengthiest recorded lightning bolt, clocking in at 477 miles long.

Yippee.

Before I had finished my cereal, I felt like someone had slapped me with a rolling pin. I began to wonder how this world could possibly become any uglier. I freely admit, I was feeling pretty low.

But then my phone dinged. It was an email from some guy named Denny. “People are [beeping] awesome…” his message began.

And the heck of it is, I know he’s right.

40 comments

  1. imcdbw - February 1, 2022 7:18 am

    Sean, I praise God for your columns. If I didn’t hear about the Dennys of this world, I’d think mankind was a lost cause. (Thank you MSM—-not!). But you find these points of need which provide points of blessings in this world that are amazing! These people that do good for those that need it are the best. And so are you. Give that sweet wife of yours a big hug.

    Reply
  2. Billie Padgett - February 1, 2022 8:02 am

    Sean, I think God put you on this earth to tell the “good news”…since the regular news sources aren’t!

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  3. Denise Walker - February 1, 2022 11:06 am

    Thank you for always reminding me that there are good people still ‘out there’. The world is a sad place not, and we could let it bring us down. Your stories always lift my spirits and remind me that God is still in control. God bless you, Sean.

    Reply
  4. Jana - February 1, 2022 11:55 am

    Thank you for the feel good stories. I don’t know if you find them or if they find you but thanks.

    Reply
  5. Carolyn Kelley - February 1, 2022 12:23 pm

    Love your stories, they are so uplifting.

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  6. Joann - February 1, 2022 12:36 pm

    This was so wonderful to read even tho afterwards I felt small and selfish and definitely under achieving in the helping department!

    Reply
  7. Joy Jacobs - February 1, 2022 12:40 pm

    Just don’t watch the news!! Of course you won’t know when a blizzard is coming your way (we’re getting one tomorrow according to my weather app) but otherwise you’ll be much happier. 😁😁

    Reply
  8. Chasity Davis Ritter - February 1, 2022 1:17 pm

    I don’t watch the news I just read Sean Of the South. It makes my world a whole better place ❤️

    Reply
  9. Paul McCutchen - February 1, 2022 1:25 pm

    I just about quit watching the news. I will have it on while doing something else and turn the volume up for the sports and weather.

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  10. Maggie Priestaf - February 1, 2022 1:26 pm

    Sean, thanks for the GOOD NEWS!!!

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  11. Jan - February 1, 2022 1:28 pm

    This one makes my heart sing! Thanks, Denny, Miss Cashier, Jenni, Mason & Sean!

    Reply
  12. Sally Patrenos - February 1, 2022 1:31 pm

    Your articles make reading email worthwhile! God speaks volumes through you!

    Reply
  13. Ann - February 1, 2022 2:02 pm

    You always leave us KNOWING the world is better than they are telling us. Thank you!!

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  14. Stacey Wallace - February 1, 2022 2:13 pm

    Sean, thanks for making my husband’s and my day get off to a great start. Never eat while watching the news. Also, only watch about ten minutes at a time, so that your blood pressure won’t increase.

    Reply
  15. Suellen - February 1, 2022 2:21 pm

    I haven’t watched the TV news for a couple of years now. My husband still listens to the highlights on the radio…what he can hear of it with my background commentary.

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  16. Shelton A. - February 1, 2022 2:24 pm

    That’s why I quit watching the news. So much bad stuff they just have to tell you about. I far prefer your news…it’s news I can get happy about and see God’s work in the world. Please continue to share good news whenever you can. You’re our source. God bless Denny, Mason, Jenni, you and Jamie (and your family…please give us an update on your sister’s preemie), and your 4-legged kids.

    Reply
  17. Cathy M - February 1, 2022 2:52 pm

    Do you realize that you have given each of your readers a gift today? We are all hungry for good news and God chose you to spread it. Please don’t stop. We are all holding on by a thread. You make a difference in my life every morning. What a way to start the day. I love you and Jaime. Yes to update on tiny baby. ❤️🙏🏻😇

    Reply
  18. Belinda Byrd - February 1, 2022 2:57 pm

    Such an uplifting story! Do unto others as you would have them do unto you! God Bless!!

    Reply
  19. Debbie - February 1, 2022 2:57 pm

    Love how you can uplift my day!❤️

    Reply
  20. Bill E. - February 1, 2022 3:05 pm

    Everybody has some good in them….everybody….

    Reply
  21. Gayle Wilson - February 1, 2022 3:07 pm

    Sean, yes, you restore our faith in humankind. And Sean, haven’t you learned…never, ever eat your corn flakes with the morning, noon, or evening news droning in the background.

    Reply
  22. Gordon - February 1, 2022 3:15 pm

    Thanks to may of your columns, we humans have hope for mankind. Thank you for sharing these wonderful,
    encouraging stories that brighten our days. Keep telling them!

    Reply
  23. Jim Thomssen - February 1, 2022 3:56 pm

    Thank goodness you and Denny are around. Sean, the TV news – heck all the media news – is depressing. I know there’s a pandemic (although the vaccination rate say I am in agreement with only 60% of my fellow Americans) and then there is Russia, Ukraine and the refugee issues. We have forgotten how to converse politely, act respectfully or communicate clearly and quietly. It seems that everyone is fashioning sound bites instead of thoughts. Have we really lost our ability to focus on an issue for more than 7 seconds?

    Keep writing stories that take a couple minutes to read and fire up imaginations as you set a scene. It’s appreciated. I do thing the 477 mile long lightning bolt was cool though.

    Keep on Keeping on, as my old coach used to say (He still says it!)

    Reply
  24. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - February 1, 2022 4:12 pm

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  25. steveleachman - February 1, 2022 4:14 pm

    We would all be happier and better off if we stopped watching “The News.” “The News”, I don’t care if you watch FOX or CNN or another alphabet channel, is nothing but how awful everything is. “The News” has always been this way but now it’s 24/7 without a break. As an experiment I searched the major news of 2011. The three biggest stories in 2011, the economy, international tension & the president and his dealings with Congress. Nothing is different or better. Only the names & countries have changed. I’m not watching anymore.

    Reply
  26. Pingback: Sean of the South: Good | The Trussville Tribune

  27. Patricia Schmaltz - February 1, 2022 6:08 pm

    I don’t pay attention to the news anymore.. I just read your column. That’s about all the news I need! Thank you. (Ps. Please switch to Great grains cereal or something healthier… we need you around for a LONG time!) – Love – Patricia

    Reply
  28. Karen - February 1, 2022 7:07 pm

    A friend of mine always says, “Don’t let news steal your joy”. thank you for reminding us of the folks who are so caring.

    Reply
  29. Debbie g - February 1, 2022 7:53 pm

    Thank you for the joy !!!!!
    Love you

    Sean and Jamie and to us all

    Reply
  30. Janet W. - February 1, 2022 8:33 pm

    Thank you for the reminder! After last night’s news, I needed one!

    Reply
  31. MAM - February 1, 2022 9:23 pm

    I’m with Suellen. I try not to listen when hubby is listening to the radio news excerpts, because my commentary does annoy him! But the speakers are simply delusional! Not at all the news I want to hear. I also agree with Billie Padgett that God put you on this Earth to tell us the good stories, And thank you, God, for giving Sean the writing skill and talent! And thank you, Sean, for sharing it with all of us!! Give Jamie and the four-legged kids a hug.

    Reply
  32. Linda Moon - February 1, 2022 10:01 pm

    I’m sorry to read here that young Denny’s wife died. I’m glad the cashier and her daddy admired Denny. Then there was Jenni and Mason. You are freakin’ awesome to bring us some Good News here in your post. And, about the TV News: I recently told some family and friends how little TV News My Guy and I watch. They were shocked, somewhat skeptical, and even condescending that we’ve chosen to do that. So, keep the telling about the Good in people to us readers. Heck yeah! Denny’s right about most people!

    Reply
  33. Dee Thompson - February 1, 2022 10:16 pm

    I almost can’t watch the news, it’s so awful these days. Thanks for giving me something uplifting to read. I’ve had a really awful day. Please pray for my son. He is dealing with severe Depression…

    Reply
  34. Susan Marler - February 1, 2022 10:42 pm

    That’s why I turned off, reported and excluded negative posts on FB during Covid. I was beginning to think the whole world had gone to you know where in a handbasket. And it was dragging me down. I just wish I could have helped my best friend during all this. She isn’t with us since late 2021, and we all miss her terribly. She was one of those great souls that helped others all the time with a wonderful spirit and laugh. Now if it doesn’t inspire me, uplift me, educate me or make me want to be a better person, I don’t read it, listen to it, or encourage it. Thanks Sean, for making my “best of the best list”. I still miss her

    Reply
  35. Joe Graham - February 2, 2022 5:55 am

    It’s a true wonder of the world why good news doesn’t sell advertising!! Great story!

    Reply
  36. Rhonda - February 2, 2022 1:02 pm

    News stations do the world way more harm than goog

    Reply
  37. Ken M. - February 3, 2022 5:10 am

    Sean… I’m a church-going man, with an amazing bride, a wonderful family, and a wonderful life (filled with things that would cause your ear-hairs to wiggle), but sometimes I just get outright down and frustrated with people, society and the craziness that predominates our culture. Then you go and write one of your “Good” posts and I find myself teary eyed with joy. I counted 5 bad things that you saw on the news, but the 3 snippets you told about how GOOD people can be washed all the bad stuff away. I wish more people knew and understood that… there is GOOD in the world, there are GOOD people… and all it takes to upend the evil in this world is just for more people to be GOOD to each other, and LOVE one another. Thank you for what you do.

    Reply
  38. Dianne - February 3, 2022 11:32 pm

    Yes, people are awesome!! There are so many wonderful stories of people helping people that never get out to the public. Thankful for all of these awesome people!!

    Reply
  39. johnallenberry - February 18, 2022 4:05 pm

    Thanks for the booster shot of faith in humanity, brother! I really needed it!

    Reply
  40. Kathryn Kelly - March 11, 2022 7:53 pm

    Thank you Sean for helping me see the love in humanity!

    Reply

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