“The world’s worse off than it’s ever been,” said the man at the truckstop.

He was a young man. Maybe 25. A truck driver.

It was lunchtime. He was eating chicken tenders, and dipping them in yellow mustard, so I questioned his judgment right off the bat.

“I don’t think this world is in trouble,” I replied.

He laughed. “Respectfully,” he said. “I disagree, dude.”

Meantime, the waitress was using a remote control to browse the news channels on a TV overhead. She stopped on a 24-hour news channel which broadcasted a train of unspeakable horrors. And when the reporters couldn’t find enough horrors to broadcast, they made some up.

“This world is falling apart,” said the man, running his chicken through more mustard. “You can’t change my mind, dude.”

Still, I wonder if the venerable dude at the counter, or the waitress, knows about Deputy Bussell in Johnson County, Kansas.

A few nights ago, Johnson County Sheriff’s officer Bussell pulled over a man for a traffic violation. After being stopped for speeding, a driver told the deputy he was undergoing some “personal challenges.”

After Deputy Bussell addressed the reason for the stop, he offered the driver words of encouragement and made sure the motorist was okay.

Whereupon the motorist began crying. Not just a light cry. But a heavy one.

The motorist timidly asked the deputy, “Can I have a hug?”

The deputy thought about it.

“I need a hug,” the driver added. “I don’t mean to bother you, but I’m sorry.”

Then they hugged. Long and hard. When the driver had sucked the snot back into his nose, he thanked the officer.

“The men and women of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office come in contact with people every day who are going through their own battles,” the department said. “We strive to be compassionate while serving our community. This is our pledge to you.”

I also wonder if the truck driver knows about Kathleen and Mark Reece. They are a mid-40s couple from the UK whose husband has been playing the lottery for years now.

One night, when Mark went to North Worcestershire to buy some milk, Kathleen and her daughter checked Mark’s recent lottery ticket online.

And they were shocked. Mark’s ticket had winning numbers.

Kathleen decided to call the number on the back of the ticket. She was on the phone with a representative from the National Lottery when Mark arrived home with the milk.

Kathleen told Mark they won.

“He looked at me in disbelief,” says Kathleen. “So I put the phone on speaker and the lady confirmed we’d won £100,770.”

I am no fiscal expert, but in US dollars, this is roughly enough to purchase the Lincoln Memorial. Although I could be wrong.

But anyway, what are they going to do with the money? Glad you asked. Mark and Kathleen have always wanted to foster children, but have never had the space.

“…It’ll no longer be a problem,” says Kathleen.

The UK couple plans on spending their winnings to convert their garage into bedrooms to foster kids.

And don’t forget about Connor Halsa, of Moorhead, Minnesota. He is 14. He was out fishing on Lake of the Woods, the sixth largest body of freshwater on the earth, the official Walleye Capital of the World. A place where fishermen, from all over the globe, come expressly to drink beer.

Connor and his father, however, caught no walleyes. Instead, Connor caught a wallet.

The wallet contained $2,000 bucks.

“My cousin opened the wallet,” said Connor, “and he said some words you probably shouldn’t say.”

Inside was a business card. Connor did some research. The wallet’s owner lived some 600 miles away in Iowa. A state where you can always tell when it’s prom season, because of all the tractors in the McDonald’s parking lot.

Connor traveled all the way to rural Iowa to return the wallet.

It’s important to note that the odds of finding this billfold were next to nil. Lake of the Woods is 1,679.5 square miles. That’s half the size of Yellowstone National Park.

Connor refused any reward, and said it was what any “decent person” would have done.

I told the truck driver and the waitress all of this. They both looked at me with blank stares.

The truck driver said, “Yeah, but, those are just random stories. They don’t mean nothing.”

Respectfully, I disagree.



  1. stephen e acree - September 7, 2023 10:34 am

    I think the solution to our negative vision of this world is for more people to commit acts of kindness. If we did it would snowball and create more acts of kindness. Lets call them AOK. And before you know it maybe everything will soon be A Ok……………I think there was a movie sort of like this about pay it forward………

  2. Sean Chatham - September 7, 2023 11:46 am

    “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others”. Philippians 2:3-4 Others before self – game changer!

  3. Dianne - September 7, 2023 11:59 am

    So thankful for every story you post that gives us hope in humanity. My husband and I love to read your work each day. We love you!

  4. pattymack43 - September 7, 2023 7:58 pm

    Your random stories speak more to and about the heart of the American people than any news broadcaster alive!! Keep on writing, Sean!! Blessings!!

  5. Don Fogleman - September 7, 2023 11:45 pm

    I saw the video, with the deputy, earlier today. Great act of kindness. There will always be good people, this we do not doubt. Good people naturally do good things. With that said, the trucker is not completely off base. The leadership of many countries (especially the US) around the globe do not have our best interest at heart. It is very easy to see little or no hope for the survival of humanity as we know it. I respect your writing and positive attitude. However, that does not change the grim facts.

  6. Rebecca Souders - September 7, 2023 11:59 pm

    Doesn’t “They don’t mean nothing” translate to “They mean something?”

    Nice column, Sean Dietrich. You continue to help us look on the sunny side.

  7. MaryD - September 26, 2023 8:14 pm

    Love this! Especially: Respectfully I disagree, Dude.
    FYI the amount in US Dollars is $134,570.24.
    All the very best, Dude 🤟


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