Good Stuff

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—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, Ga.—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, Ala.—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, Va.—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. Read: 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 journalists:

Thank you for stories on horrific tragedies, murders, sex scandals, and senseless acts of politics. Thank you for digging up headlines that manage to break hearts and scare the sputum out of everyone. Thank you for making people angry for no reason, all in the name of higher ratings. I know you’re just doing your job. And I know you don’t mean any harm when you say “Good evening,” then roll one hour of the worst footage from every corner of the world to prove that it’s not.

But if you should ever find yourself depressed, and hopeless, and without faith in the beauty of humanity, please put your phone down and simply look around.

I promise, you’ll see something else.

99 comments

  1. Mirim Pate Trainer - May 5, 2022 7:42 am

    I love you, Sean. I’m 82 and my family treats me like a 92. I miss the days of my youth and try to look forward to my remaining time. Your posts lighten my heart. I don’t mind the sad offerings because they always make my heart swell with joy. I’m the lady who had a husband that decided he loved a woman 25 years younger than me. His secret is the little blue pill which I believe should never been created. I consider her a gold digger because he has a large amount of money. Also, because he changed his will to benefit her and ignore jour 4 daughters. Everyone tells me I’m much better without him. I guess I am, but sometimes I miss him. like a dog misses it’s fleas. I guess I need to get a fly swatter.

    Reply
    • Christine - May 5, 2022 12:02 pm

      I’m so sorry about your ex husband. It’s his loss and he will regret what he’s done.
      It does get lonely and don’t feel alone. Put Our Father first in your life and live for Him. He will never leave you or forsake you.
      Love and Blessings

      Reply
      • Linda Willson - May 5, 2022 2:05 pm

        Best reply ever!!

        Reply
      • Kathy Hayes - May 6, 2022 3:05 pm

        I am always looking for happy and positive stories. You have done that. My happy note is i was found my Prince Charming. We met at my ex husband family reunion. Cant make up this stuff!!! My ex and i had been divorced 20 years plus and we are good friends. My sweet John is godfather to my four nieces. So we connected after several years. I have the man of my dreams and all of my specific prayer request. The Lord gave me the partner i have always wanted and desired. Such a great man.

        Keep the positive stories coming

        Reply
    • Debbie g - May 5, 2022 1:29 pm

      A fly swatter. Lovely idea 😂

      Reply
  2. Wanda Wilson - May 5, 2022 8:26 am

    Amen

    Reply
  3. Cathie Fowler - May 5, 2022 9:39 am

    Yes! Thank you for sharing that good news.

    Reply
  4. Larry E. Notestine - May 5, 2022 9:41 am

    It’s easy to get caught up in the constant wave of media. We must look for and think about the real world around us. Your daily entries are a reminder to stay grounded — and humble. Thanks, Sean, for the pleasant way you do that.

    Reply
  5. Debbie - May 5, 2022 9:54 am

    Thank you for the reminder.

    Reply
  6. Tim Smith - May 5, 2022 9:57 am

    Amen!

    Reply
  7. David Grant - May 5, 2022 9:59 am

    Yes Sean that is Great ‘Stuff’. Write on brother !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  8. Cindy Savage - May 5, 2022 10:28 am

    Thank you Sean! Today will be a better day because of you!

    Reply
  9. Marianne Bryan - May 5, 2022 10:30 am

    Amen. YES!

    Reply
  10. Julie Patterson - May 5, 2022 10:42 am

    We find what we seek, whether it’s goodness or evil.

    Reply
    • Debbie g - May 5, 2022 1:23 pm

      Good thoughts Julie. My dear daughter says I only see rainbows Aren’t I blessed. 😀😀 and I am blessed with you Sean. Every day love to all

      Reply
  11. Heidi - May 5, 2022 10:45 am

    Thank you for your heartwarming stories. You’re absolutely spot on about the news and we just have to turn it off most times. It just becomes too much. Definitely better to start my days uplifted! Keep reminding us there’s lots of good out there!❤️

    Reply
  12. Joy jacobs - May 5, 2022 10:50 am

    Good is around us every day. Thanks for reminding us. ❤️

    Reply
  13. Anne Arthur - May 5, 2022 11:00 am

    The world needs your eyes and your stories, Sean. Thank you for telling the good news.

    Reply
  14. Ann T - May 5, 2022 11:14 am

    Thank you. Everyone Wins.

    Reply
  15. Deborah Blount - May 5, 2022 11:21 am

    I read your articles every day. It’s a ritual for me. Most days I find myself crying. Sometimes I cry for happy. Sometimes I cry for sad. The point I am poorly trying to make is, you have a wonderful abilty to move people. I do not comment on your observations on a regular basis, but wanted to let you know you are appreciated. I find myself very happy to be a part of the human race after I have read my morning fix. Thank you. Your life observations bring joy to my life.

    Reply
  16. Te - May 5, 2022 11:22 am

    Thank you.

    Reply
  17. Lucy Long - May 5, 2022 11:27 am

    Thank you Sean! We NEED the Good Stuff!

    Reply
  18. Paul - May 5, 2022 11:38 am

    And the whole congregation said: AMEN!
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Rusty - May 5, 2022 9:52 pm

      Amen

      Reply
  19. kenneth michael somerset - May 5, 2022 11:41 am

    AMEN

    Reply
  20. Tina - May 5, 2022 11:42 am

    Thank you, Sean! It’s great to focus on the good in life. I had to quit reading the newspaper a few months ago. It was too upsetting. I’m still informed though, because people tell me or post it on social media. It’s unavoidable. Not knowing all the details of the evil in the world lessens the blow. Thank you for the good news.

    Reply
  21. Gail Guinn - May 5, 2022 11:47 am

    Thank you for reminding us of the GOODNESS in this world, Sean. Would be nice is all medias with follow your leadership! Love your stories. Please keep writing. God bless you and your wife.

    Reply
  22. Jackie Cooley - May 5, 2022 11:50 am

    Awwweeeesooome point Sean!! Please keep sharing the good news! ❤️

    Reply
  23. Ellen Read - May 5, 2022 11:51 am

    You are a master.

    Reply
  24. Craig T Herman - May 5, 2022 11:53 am

    God Bless you Sean for “Getting it.” I quit watching the “news” several years ago for the very reasons you mentioned. I will “look around” more often and more carefully to be a part of the solution and not the problem. I look forward to your insight every morning. Thank you for bringing hope and reminders of a simpler life to folks like me! Craig

    Reply
  25. Paul McCutchen - May 5, 2022 11:56 am

    That is so true Sean. I usually just mute the new till the sports and weather come on. I get tired of the type of news that the networks call “needed”.

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

  27. Zapper (an old AF call sign) - May 5, 2022 12:02 pm

    Most excellent! That was a great way to start my day.

    Reply
  28. Marcia Starr - May 5, 2022 12:07 pm

    Today I needed the “good stuff”. Sometimes in the midst of sadness and tragedy we lose sight of the joy abounding in the world. Thank you. God bless.

    Reply
  29. Priscilla - May 5, 2022 12:18 pm

    Amen

    Reply
  30. Naomi Smith - May 5, 2022 12:28 pm

    Thank you for all of your examples of peoples best selves!

    Reply
  31. Pamela Williams - May 5, 2022 12:32 pm

    ♥️

    Reply
  32. Deacon Nick - May 5, 2022 12:36 pm

    We dumped the “news” after the last presidential election, including our local station. Highly recommend! We are reading books (especially the Bible), streaming good programs, and even bought the 8 seasons of the Andy Griffith show — per your recommendation. Sean, keep on keeping on! You are a gift from Our Creator!

    Reply
  33. Mary - May 5, 2022 12:39 pm

    Thanks, Sean. Always uplifting!

    Reply
  34. Martha M. Kelley - May 5, 2022 12:55 pm

    Amen!

    Reply
  35. Billy Moore - May 5, 2022 12:58 pm

    Amen! Thank you, Sean.

    Reply
  36. robnrockin - May 5, 2022 1:03 pm

    Amen Sean!!!

    Reply
  37. Bev Toews - May 5, 2022 1:07 pm

    YES! We need more positive stories in the news. There are lots of good and generous people around.

    Reply
  38. Jan - May 5, 2022 1:34 pm

    Amen and Amen!

    Reply
  39. Rita Weber - May 5, 2022 1:35 pm

    Boy, did I need this today! Thank you!

    Reply
  40. Ruth Mitchell - May 5, 2022 1:40 pm

    Keep these good news stories coming. We all need them desperately.

    Reply
  41. Patricia Gibson - May 5, 2022 1:44 pm

    Amen amen amen amen amen!!!!!!!

    Reply
  42. Pat Morgan - May 5, 2022 1:49 pm

    Sean, you are a national treasure! Don’t stop writing about good.

    Reply
  43. Linda Willson - May 5, 2022 2:02 pm

    And that is the very reason I no longer engage myself in the evening news….it’s far better to immerse myself in the good things happening everyday with good people and by good people.

    Reply
  44. Jennifer - May 5, 2022 2:08 pm

    Amen!!!
    Some people suggest naming one good thing. You’ve named four. Overachiever 😉

    Reply
  45. Shelton A. - May 5, 2022 2:11 pm

    I don’t watch the news anymore. Too much bad news and virtually no good news. I get my good news from you. Thank you for sharing news that makes you cry happy tears. I hope enough ‘journalists’ who report or cause all the division, hate, violence, and just nothing but news that makes you cringe saw this. That’s my hope. Blessings

    Reply
  46. Susie - May 5, 2022 2:16 pm

    Yes, we definitely need “good news”. But whatever you do, please pay attention and stay informed. The uninformed are very easily led and fooled by cons. Your best information will be gleaned from your local PBS stations. Quality news, they present both sides and don’t yell at each other. Can you imagine!?

    Reply
  47. AL - May 5, 2022 2:19 pm

    Amen Sean. Good people doing good things for their neighbors are everywhere we go BUT we are often too self-absorbed with our stuff to notice those acts of kindness. Please never rely on the TV’s so-called journalists to bring good news. Good news is not newsworthy. They just read the teleprompter which is filled with stories of the night’s killings, robberies, drive-bys, etc. in the city of Atlanta, in my case. I tune in for the weather and then mute it.

    Reply
  48. Sheri K - May 5, 2022 2:20 pm

    I love you! You make my day! Thank you for being my friend! God bless you always!!! And Jamie too!!! 💕

    Reply
  49. Elaine K Dempsey - May 5, 2022 2:24 pm

    Amen.

    Reply
  50. AlaRedClayGirl - May 5, 2022 2:37 pm

    My recommendation for a happier, less stressful life: turn off the tv news, unsubscribe to the newspaper, give up social media (or at least cut back on it), get on your knees & pray, study the Bible, and read Sean of the South every day.

    Reply
  51. BEX - May 5, 2022 2:40 pm

    Sean, PREACH, sir! YOU show the good that is all around us, every day. People now are afraid to watch the news….for the reasons you stated, journalism it isn’t! If people listen, really listen and LOOK around them, they will see opportunities to bring joy to someone else, whether it be a smile, an offer to help or just opening a door! PLEASE keep writing and reminding us that there is evil everywhere but there is also good! God is in control – all we have to do is get our heads out of our nether regions and look around! Opportunities abound! Your columns always make me see the good you see and make me want to do better! God bless!

    Reply
  52. Rachel Siviter - May 5, 2022 2:58 pm

    Excellent — good people make good news

    Reply
  53. Janie F. - May 5, 2022 2:59 pm

    What a difference reading your words makes in our lives. My husband is 70 & I’m 67, we stopped watching the news a few years ago. Neither of us need to be brought down or to see every bad thing that happens on earth. We believe there are more good people in the world than bad and that the good things in life outweigh the bad. We’ve talked about what Walter Cronkite or Huntley & Brinkley would think about the fear mongering the news media seems to thrive on these days.
    Thank you Sean for sharing good news and lovely heartfelt stories. You are truly talented and an awesome example of how a good person can succeed.

    Reply
  54. Debbie - May 5, 2022 3:03 pm

    Love this! Please keep writing because I read your column every day.

    Reply
  55. Christina - May 5, 2022 3:11 pm

    There should be a daily “Good news with Sean” column on every newspaper.

    Reply
  56. Retired Outdoors - May 5, 2022 3:17 pm

    Sean, I totally agree with your challenge; however, the elites will never listen until they feel pain in their wallets. We dropped cable and the news many years ago. I disconnected from ALL social media several years ago. My entertainment now consists of bird songs, peaceful hikes, wild flowers, gardening, Bible studies, refreshing breezes, gentle rain, and your writings. Thank you.

    Reply
  57. lindadmiresean - May 5, 2022 4:07 pm

    Excellent, Sean. Excellent.

    Reply
  58. Sandi Krym - May 5, 2022 4:11 pm

    There are indeed many “bad” stories out there, but if we take a few minutes to look past all that “bad” stuff we’ll find a lot of really GOOD stuff too!

    Reply
  59. Vince - May 5, 2022 4:21 pm

    And this is why I read your blog everyday. First I read the ‘news’. Then come here to refresh my faith in humanity. You cannot be thanked enough for sharing your gift of story telling and using it to spread good news.

    Reply
  60. Mamacita - May 5, 2022 4:23 pm

    Yes. This. Yes.

    Reply
  61. Mamacita - May 5, 2022 4:30 pm

    In all things I (the apostle Paul) have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35
    This I read just before reading your offering today. Funny how things connect and resonate, right?

    Reply
  62. Ellouise - May 5, 2022 4:32 pm

    So true. But then , Sean, you’re a very good man who actually sees good. You are love

    Reply
  63. Renee Boyer - May 5, 2022 4:51 pm

    I love your stories about helping others. Makes me have hope that the world isn’t going to hell in a hand basket. I do what I can to help, been volunteering most of my life, even in jr high. It’s what the world needs.

    Reply
  64. Elizabeth Gardiner - May 5, 2022 4:58 pm

    Beautiful post about common people being super human. They are givers, love people, and so unselfish. Let’s try to be like these folks…look around and see what we can do for someone who needs us.

    Reply
  65. pattymack43 - May 5, 2022 5:09 pm

    “And all God’s people said, ‘AMEN!’ ” Thank you, Sean!

    Reply
  66. Cynthia Russell - May 5, 2022 5:09 pm

    LOVE YOUR HEART~!! THANK YOU SEAN!!

    Reply
  67. Ann Havicus - May 5, 2022 5:27 pm

    Our book club is reading The Incredible Winston Browne , and I am leading the discussion. What a marvelous book! I was talking about it in water aerobics when a new friend said that she has seen you twice, read all of your books, and looks forward to your blog daily. I am so happy that I have found you! My roommate at Auburn is from Colquit, Georgia, and she still looks forward to their local newspaper so she can know what is happening there, and I smiled and thought of her every time I read the Mohab Social Graces!

    Reply
  68. Susan W Fitch - May 5, 2022 5:33 pm

    AMEN

    Reply
  69. Rebecca Souders - May 5, 2022 7:30 pm

    My husband and I turned off the news decades ago and I’m convinced we were happier after that! Now I choose which headlines to follow, which isn’t very many, cuz frankly, the headlines are often worse than the news that follows them! Keep writing your fine stories, Sean Dietrich!

    Reply
  70. Linda Moon - May 5, 2022 8:06 pm

    Good Providential things happen in churches and other places, too…like those you mentioned. Some good just happened to me in one of them just before I opened and read this post! So I’ll be thinking about you and your promise for a while……..

    Reply
  71. Ann - May 5, 2022 8:25 pm

    Amen!

    Reply
    • Gwen Hughes - May 11, 2022 7:53 pm

      Your words make me happy everyday. I’ve been following you for about two years. Keep up your good words. Xoxoxoxo love from aneighty three year old woman from Mobile Al USA 🇺🇸

      Reply
  72. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - May 5, 2022 8:35 pm

    Reply
  73. Ruth Klarner - May 5, 2022 9:31 pm

    Bravo for this Sean, bravo.

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  74. Kathy Compton - May 5, 2022 9:33 pm

    Just this: I love this, and I needed it! Thank you!

    Reply
  75. Alice - May 5, 2022 9:41 pm

    Thank you for this!! You are so right. I quit watching the news. Never anything but bad news. There is lots of good in our world. Maybe if more was written about ut, people would be kinder to one another.

    Reply
  76. MAM - May 5, 2022 10:37 pm

    Yes, it’s why I, as a journalist, LOVE to post good stories and just tell the facts, without hyperbole. It’s not always easy, but I have a lot of readers who appreciate my work. Just as you, Sean, have a boatload of readers who appreciate the “Good Stuff” you report. Thanks!

    Reply
  77. Donna B Hart - May 6, 2022 2:32 am

    ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

    Reply
  78. Gordon - May 6, 2022 3:16 am

    Exactly what needs to be said these days. Thanks Sean.

    Reply
  79. Sheilla Boyd - May 6, 2022 11:09 am

    I look forward to your blog every day. This one is especially good. God bless you for sharing your word and thoughts with us all!

    Reply
  80. Wendy - May 6, 2022 2:13 pm

    Consider me officially uplifted. Thank you for this wonderful column today, Sean!

    Reply
  81. Cindy - May 6, 2022 2:21 pm

    This is so true! I’ve been at the beach this week and have not watched tv. It’s been a wonderful break from all the negative news. Thank you Sean, for your wonderful words each day. 🙏🏼

    Reply
  82. Susie - May 6, 2022 4:19 pm

    It’s good to take a break from the bad news. But do your part to make sure the newest endangered species ISNT the informed citizenry.

    Reply
  83. Cheryl - May 6, 2022 5:52 pm

    Sean, your columns touch my heart and so often bring me to tears—and other times laughter. I love Your work. Thank you!!

    Reply
  84. Bill C. - May 7, 2022 1:50 am

    Good Stuff and thanks, the national news is akin to a barbed wire inema

    Reply
  85. John Townes - May 7, 2022 11:44 am

    How true! Thank you for your uplifting, funny and sometimes sad life stories. They always make me smile or laugh out loud or shed a tear!

    Reply
  86. Joe Graham - May 8, 2022 4:40 am

    So, I’m not the only one who’s fed up with ugly only news! Good post!

    Reply
  87. Buddy Caudill - May 9, 2022 1:54 am

    Amen

    Reply
  88. Dale Parsons - May 9, 2022 3:34 pm

    Oh man. I have wasted such energy hating the media. I finally turned it off. Thank you.

    Reply
  89. Dianne - May 11, 2022 2:13 am

    Thank you, Sean, for showing the beauty, caring and love of people that is still with us in spite of the ugliness of the world around us. Your stories make my days.

    Reply
  90. Robin McDonald - May 11, 2022 12:49 pm

    Love this so much!

    Reply
  91. Karen Ridenour - May 20, 2022 8:23 pm

    Thank you for the many uplifting stories you write and pass on. The world needs more.

    Reply

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