I saw you. It was at an old Piggly Wiggly. The kind with swinging doors and neon letters that don’t all light up. I watched you open the door for an old woman who used a walking cane.
You couldn’t have been older than twelve. You swung the door open, then wheeled an empty shopping buggy toward the lady.
You said, “Here you go, ma’am.”
She thanked you. You blushed. It was a fine moment.
I also saw you when you stopped traffic to help that dog. You were driving your FedEx truck, making your route. It was a mutt. Tan and white. A pup with hardly any meat on its bones.
You ran across three lanes of traffic, waving your hands at the cars.
I could read your lips. “STOP! STOP! PLEASE!” you were saying.
Three lanes of traffic rolled to a halt. Our vehicles formed a stand-still line while you coaxed a scared animal out of the center lane.
Once, I saw you help a child in the Home Depot find his mother. The boy was lost. He walked beside you.
When you found his mother, he ran to her. It was a Hollywood style ending. You stood back several feet to take it all in. Smiling.
And, by God, I saw you.
I saw you pay for that woman’s meal in the Mexican restaurant. The waitress seemed surprised when you suggested it.
She answered, “You wanna do WHAT, sir?”
You whispered, “I wanna pay for that lady’s meal.”
Then, you pointed to a woman across the restaurant. She wore a Hardee’s uniform. She had three kids. They were loud, rowdy, sipping dangerous amounts of caffeine and carbonated sugar.
You paid, then stood to leave. You never got to see the woman’s reaction. But I did. She was shocked. It was all over her face. Before she left, she placed a tip on the table.
Everybody won that day. Even me. It was something to see, sir. Yes, indeed.
Sometimes, I worry that you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle—whoever you are. You might believe the things you do go unnoticed. And for all I know, maybe you’re right.
After all, the world has its eyes glued to glowing screens. News outlets obsess over explosions, and blood.
Turn on the TV. Read a paper. Another day; another dogfight between angry old men wearing Italian suits and lapel pins.
But if you ask me, it’s all a bunch of horse pies. And I mean the whole thing. The scandals, the mass hysteria, the gore, the info-mercials.
You don’t care about those things. And good for you. You’re after bigger fish.
You care about old people, homeless vets, lost boys, terrified mutts, single parents, drug-addicted infants, prison baptisms, elderly chaplains, and animal shelters.
Friday-night art classes for the sexually abused, battered women’s shelters in Covington County, childhood cancer victims named Khai, Paisley, and Ike. Hard-working women in Hardee’s uniforms. Old women at supermarkets.
I know you. And I want you to know you’re a lot more important than you think. In fact, you’re the only bright thing left in this damned old world.
And I want you to know that I see you.
Connie - October 21, 2017 1:58 pm
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!
jswearen - October 21, 2017 2:00 pm
As The Elf in the Kitchen closes each of her blogs..Look for the GOOD, be an EXAMPLE of the GOOD, and ACT for the GOOD as HARD as you can, in as MANY WAYS as you can, EVERY DAY that you can.’ DO EPIC!”
Connie - October 21, 2017 2:04 pm
Thank you. Not only for seeing the good out there, but also for bringing it to us all and the reminder to look for it ourselves.
Sue - October 21, 2017 2:05 pm
Sean, thanks! You make me smile~you make me think. It’s a very difficult time in my life after a heartbreaking family loss. Thanks for your light!
TN Lizzie - October 22, 2017 4:22 am
Sue, I’m sorry for your loss. Maybe it will help a little to know that someone who doesn’t know you is praying for you tonight. God cares, and He loves you.
Laurie Bell - October 21, 2017 2:10 pm
Beautiful. Thank you for noticing the good. It’s all too easy to see the ugly.
Polly - October 21, 2017 2:12 pm
Sam Hunneman - October 21, 2017 2:12 pm
A breath of fresh air, Sean. Thanks. I’m passing it on.
Jo Ann - October 21, 2017 2:24 pm
Thank you, again, Sean. Please keep sharing your stories. You brighten our day.
Wendy - October 21, 2017 2:33 pm
Thank you, Sean. Again! I agree. Last night instead of watching the usual news shows on tv, my daughter & I found old reruns of comedy shows.
Nancy - October 21, 2017 2:42 pm
Thanks for the reminder. I’ll be looking for the good today!
Jan - October 21, 2017 2:43 pm
Beautiful, as always! Thank you for all you do. Blessings!
Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - October 21, 2017 2:50 pm
I loved reading this.
Bruno - October 21, 2017 3:05 pm
What a stout affirmation for all the off-radar good.
Anne Trawick - October 21, 2017 3:11 pm
Give yourself a treat. Take Jamie to see Same Different as Me.
GeeGee Chandler - October 21, 2017 3:25 pm
Mary Hennis - October 21, 2017 3:35 pm
You are so right again…………
Chelsey smith - October 21, 2017 3:41 pm
Anne - October 21, 2017 3:49 pm
You bring me to thankful tears nearly every post you make. A rare look at life that many people are too busy to notice. Grateful for my friend who kept posting your daily reflections so that I would read and want to continue to be a part. YOU are making a difference in this world!
Sheron Johnson - October 21, 2017 3:50 pm
I’m ABOUT the 10 thousandth person who has told you this,but man, you have a talent for writing.unbelieveable
Gerrie - October 21, 2017 4:23 pm
And there’s this red haired guy who writes a blog that each day reminds us to see the good things that happen all around us. Thank you for those reminders and know that we see you.
Marty from Alabama - October 21, 2017 4:23 pm
Please, run for governor or even president. We need some good old own-to-earth reasoning in the upper levels. I’m not saying they are bad folks; they just can’t understand the ordinary people. The ones you mentioned today. They have never known the “where is money for groceries, utilities; who cares for me?” type people. They have been privileged.
Keep reminding us of the people that have made up this nation for many years.
God bless you.
Pat Byers - October 21, 2017 4:40 pm
ditto of Sheron Johnson. you ARE an unbelievable writer. More than that, you are an unbelievable human being. and i am pleased to know you…if only by words.
teachenglish67 - October 21, 2017 4:44 pm
Once again, a jewel of reading, thinking, and thanking for a day or longer. I have always believed one can tell the true character of someone by watching what they do when they don’t know they’re being watched and/or there is nothing in the act for them to gain. Of course, that would be other than a good feeling and/or a smile. God richly blesses those who do for others with no thought of gain or avarice for themselves.
You’re being richly blesses, Sean Dietrich.
Taylor Craven - October 21, 2017 4:55 pm
Sean, any chance you might be around Lower Alabama for the Frank Brown International Songwriter Festival?
Jack Quanstrum - October 21, 2017 5:56 pm
Powerful story on what’s really good about this world and the good people in it. Thank you for the reminder. Peace be with you and all those who do good that you acknowledge in your stories.
Beth Anne Ross - October 21, 2017 6:13 pm
And I see you, Sean. God Bless you.
Janet Mary Lee - October 21, 2017 6:14 pm
Dang but you just get better and better. I have a lump in my throat and can’t even swallow, and tears in my eyes and can’t even see. I am happy I could count myself doing a few of those things, and even happier to be witnessing it on some days. Keep that gift you have rolling!!
dkbfox - October 21, 2017 6:44 pm
Touches of kindness. It’s what makes the human race special. Thanks for another good one, Sean.
Judy - October 21, 2017 7:38 pm
Thank you for seeing and for sharing. And for reminding us that each of us can make a difference. You make a huge difference in so many lives with your stories. Thank you.
Linda Acees - October 21, 2017 8:36 pm
Keep it coming Sean! It never gets old.
bantybelle - October 22, 2017 12:34 am
Many thanks for looking and seeing!
Judy Ennis - October 22, 2017 12:52 pm
Your writings are so inspirational and encouraging. They give me a brighter outlook on people and life. Keep them coming!
Robin - October 22, 2017 4:33 pm
Tears. Big ole ugly happy tears. Life is Beautiful.
Edith Clark - October 22, 2017 9:36 pm
You may not go to church. But today this letter was partly read in church and many were deeply blessed by your writing.
May God continue to bless you and your writings.
Patricia Schmaltz - October 23, 2017 2:07 pm
Thank you for the tears that remind us all: how we treat each other matters. I concur with all the notes above. Also, this puts the ‘acts of unexpected kindness’ intentions into actions. Thank you.
kathi hill - October 27, 2017 4:27 pm
Deb Bettis - November 23, 2017 11:26 am
We need more of these good people. Let’s pay it forward, as much as we can. Shower the world with kindness. You remind us just how important these selfless acts are. Let me add one more …..buying a big bag of dogfood the other day, I was struggling to get a 55 lb. bag into my buggy, when a random stranger walked up and took it out of my hands and easily deposited it into my buggy. No words on his part, but I thanked him as he walked away. He nodded his head.
Mila Smith - November 23, 2017 1:10 pm
I’m reading this on Thanksgiving morning and counting all my blessings, of which there are many. One of them is reading your blog each morning. You mentioned a young boy named Ike from Texas who was fighting cancer and I came across his Facebook page and have been following he and his family on this journey. Several months ago he was declared to be in remission and is doing well at this time. You may already know that but I wanted to share with your other readers. So many of your readers, me included, pray for those you mention that are struggling in some way and I firmly believe the Lord hears and answers those prayers. Thank you for all you do to remind us of the abundance of good all around us. Prayers for a wonderful Thanksgiving for you and your family.
Valarie Aughtmon - November 24, 2017 7:00 am
Awesomeness like a clean house, sleeping kids, warm fuzzy socks and foldgers in your cup.
Beverly - March 3, 2018 2:03 pm
Made me cry.
Patsy - March 3, 2018 4:29 pm
I don’t have, as do you, the gift of expressing myself well in words! But, your writing in this blog gave me pause and reminded me to keep my eyes and heart open to not only look for the good, but to be the good! Thank
you for brightening my day once again!