I hope you have a good day. The entire day. Start to finish. Not the Best Day Ever. No, that’s too much excitement crammed into twenty-four hours. I’m talking about a plain-old, ordinary, run-of-the-mill good day.

I hope you wake up to smells you love. Like donuts, bacon, coffee, or halitosis from a kitty-litter-eating bloodhound.

I hope you have nothing pressing to do. No schedule. No appointments.

We do too much, you know. Long ago, our ancestors practiced the noble art of being worthless. A lot of folks won’t do that anymore. I’m doing my best to bring it back.

So today, I hope you’re as worthless as a waterproof dishrag.

I hope you remember your ancestors. Your grandparents, and their grandparents—even if you’ve never met them.

I hope you think about the simple things they passed down to us. A hamburger with pickles. Whittling. Hydrangeas. Will Rogers. Baseball games. Pajamas. Smacking ketchup bottles with the butt of your hand. Hank Williams music playing on kitchen radios.

Childhood porches. The smell of peach cobbler in the oven. The faded family photo album. The ancient Betty Crocker cookbook that once belonged to your mother.

I hope you close your eyes and recall the best pieces of childhood. The days when you played hard, and the best games only happened in backyards.

I hope your smartphone quits working—just for a few hours. I hope the absence of a digital screen takes you outdoors. I hope you hear the sounds of the earth all at once. I hope you see lots of trees.

I hope you sit for hours with nothing but a cold drink and your best ideas.

I hope you meet someone who inspires you. A kid who’s had kidney cancer. A girl who got pregnant too young, who just finished nursing school. The single father who lost his wife to suicide, but is still raising his four kids.

A woman who lost her husband to an overdose. A child whose daddy is in prison. A hillbilly who put himself through the GED course. A homeless woman, selling pencils on the side of the highway.

An EMT who saves lives every afternoon before supper. A school custodian who brightens the days of children. A lonesome grandmother, who is grandmother to an entire neighborhood. Anyone who’s adopted a child.

I hope you look at these human beings and feel proud to be one. After all, they are the only ones worth being proud about. People like them. People like you.

Heroes aren’t on television. They aren’t celebrities who have designer clothes, lots of TikTok followers, and silicone thighs. Neither are they the sorts of fools who use teleprompters and urge for your support.

Heroes aren’t athletes, news anchors, televangelists, pop stars, or reality-TV contestants with pink hair.

And heroes sure as hailfire aren’t the folks you see performing acts of charity for the benefit of Hollywood film crews.

No. You are the hero. You, the single mother in a single-wide trailer with the single income. You, the school teacher in No-Name-Town, Georgia, who inspires at-risk kids to become poets and artists.

You, the professors building schools in Africa. You, the 69-year-old woman delivering pizza to the cancer ward every Tuesday night.

You, the man buying KFC for the homeless veteran in Baton Rouge, just because. You, the volunteer greeter at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. You.

You are the real thing. I know it might be hard to believe, but it’s true whether you believe it or not. You make the world spin. You are the heartbeat of our earth.

The things you’ve gone through, the things you’re about to go through, the things you’re going through now; there’s meaning to them all. Your life means something. Today means something. This millisecond means something.

I don’t know you, but if you’re reading this right now, we’re here together. In this little moment within space and time, I’d like to give you a gift.

Sadly, I don’t have much to give. I’m not a particularly smart guy. And I don’t have a lick of credibility to go along with my hillbilly name. I have crooked teeth. A big nose. I have a list of life failures longer than a roll of Charmin. So this will have to do:

Have a good day, today. And if you can’t. Well, then help someone else have one.

Because that’s the same thing.


  1. Peggy - August 18, 2022 6:16 am

    Sound advice

  2. Ron Oates - August 18, 2022 6:50 am

    Simply wonderful!

  3. Chris - August 18, 2022 7:44 am

    Made my day 🙂

  4. Nell Thomas - August 18, 2022 8:33 am

    I feel blessed to being living next door and have access to the house that i grew up in. A house that was built by my grandparents and was home to many through the years.
    I have great memories of those that came to visit- some living close by and others far off. From stories told and collections of old photos- a connection was made with many that i never met.

  5. Cm - August 18, 2022 9:37 am


  6. Don Bedell - August 18, 2022 10:16 am

    What is a hero? The word has been changed so much. A real hero is someone who has risked their life or wealth for the benefit of another without any expectation of any type of repayment.

  7. Ed’s Art Link - August 18, 2022 10:30 am

    Right back at you Sean of the South!

    You do that helping others so well with your writings!

    Thanks and I love you brother!

    To Sean’s wonderfully helping Comments readers: Thank you for being so nice to me for my intruding here with Ed’s Art website links! You’re the reason I built Ed’s Art Net in the first place. The name “Ed’s Art Link” that leads this post is also a link to my website (make that YOUR website) if you decide want to browse it. I love hearing back from folks, hint hint!

    Ed (Bear)

  8. Oliver Rhett Talbert - August 18, 2022 10:41 am

    Yes, it is “the same thing.” I had a pastoral care professor who used to tell every class he had that you could do real, significant pastoral care, full-time, on most city sidewalks and just starting conversations with people you meet. Nice to know you (sorta), Pastor Sean.

  9. JUDY E KIRKPATRICK - August 18, 2022 10:43 am

    Bless you, Sean. But there’s a group you miss, and that’s the people who do hospice work. Nurses, chaplains, social workers, people who sit with patients in their last hours (we never let anyone die alone), volunteers who just go to visit and listen. I lost one of my patients Tuesday morning. I didn’t get there in time, but one of our nurses was with her. I had only met this patient twice, but it still hurt my heart. And I’m about to lose another. I may be the one sitting beside her bed as she takes her last breath. And I’ll cry. But I will get up the next morning and do it again if need be.

    • Dorothy - September 22, 2022 8:57 pm

      And I thank you Judy. I have been on the receiving end some of hospice wonderful work and you are all heroes.

  10. Gordon Walden - August 18, 2022 10:48 am

    You so understand the meaning of life and what is important! Thanks as always.

  11. Paula - August 18, 2022 11:07 am

    Thank you, we need to live simpler lives, which is what your post calls us to.
    I am originally from Texas and you remind me of my people and their attitude toward life.

  12. Donna - August 18, 2022 11:09 am

    Thank you Sean!!

  13. Carter Naugher - August 18, 2022 11:11 am

    Thanks for your uplifting and positive thoughts! It is encouraging to read your good messages!

  14. Sheilla - August 18, 2022 11:15 am

    love this

  15. Becky Moon - August 18, 2022 11:16 am

    Thank you.

  16. Ann - August 18, 2022 11:22 am


  17. Susie Porter Dove - August 18, 2022 11:38 am

    Thank you Sean for always putting this gs about life in perspective. I hope you and Jamie are doing well. We all love you. 😊

  18. Patricia Collins - August 18, 2022 11:40 am

    Here’s hoping you have the best day and smile, someone may need one that you can give away !

  19. Paul McCutchen - August 18, 2022 11:43 am

    I have things to do outside today but mother nature is going to force me to do nothing. I sat on the front porch and watched it rain then some time later I woke up. Sometimes I believe we do need to do nothing.

    • John - August 18, 2022 2:10 pm

      Paul. I’m jealous. We haven’t had rain in so long it’s hard to remember what it’s like. The over 100* days make them “stay indoors” days. Sort of hot weather “cabin fever”. I wish I could sit on my porch, watch it rain and drift off to sleep.

  20. bpdawson20gmailcom - August 18, 2022 11:50 am

    I wish you could’ve known my mother, a true hero that her family took for granted. Thirty-three years in a mill supported her parents, six of her seven siblings, and me (her mistake), and in her entire 85 years of living, didn’t ever even own a new dress.

    • Jo Henra - August 18, 2022 2:40 pm

      You might have started out as a “mistake” but you appreciated your mother and became a blessing.

  21. Melissa - August 18, 2022 11:52 am

    Thank you Sean! I hope you also have a good day.

  22. Ellen Spiceland - August 18, 2022 11:54 am

    Today’s piece gives me both strength and hope, and as I remember my childhood as you instructed, it gives me amazing joy. This one is a keeper and my new favorite. Thank you, Sir!

  23. Melissa Norman - August 18, 2022 11:56 am

    Amen, amen, and amen!!!

  24. Dodie Melancon - August 18, 2022 12:16 pm

    I’m a divorced teacher with 4 beautiful grandchildren and aging parents that lives in a trailer behind them. have been secretly reading your pieces for many years without commenting. Thank you Sean. Your words are strings from heaven. Don’t ever stop! Much love. Dodie❤️

  25. Rene - August 18, 2022 12:25 pm

    Oh Sean. You hit the ball out if the park with this one. Thank you, from the heart!!

  26. biglar48 - August 18, 2022 12:26 pm

    Sean, reading your blog first thing every morning makes each day (a good)’ day. You are God’s to us your friends and followers. We are thankful that you bless us daily ?

  27. robnrockin - August 18, 2022 12:32 pm

    Sean, not only have a great day, have a fantabulous day because you are a fantabulous guy! Robyn

  28. Odell Frye - August 18, 2022 12:33 pm

    Thank you.

  29. Ruth - August 18, 2022 12:39 pm

    Your column encourages me everyday. Thank you so much for doing what you do. Retired Nurse in Mississippi

  30. Kay - August 18, 2022 12:42 pm

    One of your best❤️

  31. Hosea Long - August 18, 2022 12:45 pm

    I just drove my wife’s car into the auto service center for an oil change. The guy who signed me in greeted me with, “How can I serve you on this fine day?” If he doesn’t come into the waiting lounge to try to sell me something, I will definitely have a good day.

  32. Carol - August 18, 2022 12:45 pm

    Well said, sir. As a new reader, I find myself looking forward far more than I expected to your essays. Certainly this one brings some tears. Thank you

  33. Suellen - August 18, 2022 12:46 pm

    We can all refute your statement that you don’t have much to give. You brighten all of our lives daily. You give us hope for better days and the will to go on when things aren’t great. That’s the greatest gift of all.

  34. Ava - August 18, 2022 12:59 pm

    Oh my. Loved this so much. Hope this goes viral. With all that’s going on in our country everyone needs to read this and realize what is really important. I just love what you write Sean. Please don’t ever stop. It’s the highlight of my day to read what you have written. God bless you❤️

  35. Sean of the South: I Hope | The Trussville Tribune - August 18, 2022 1:04 pm

    […] By Sean Dietrich, Sean of the South […]

  36. claudia331 - August 18, 2022 1:12 pm

    Every day, your message is amazing. Thank you.

  37. Joy - August 18, 2022 1:16 pm

    I feel like I’m in the same room with you while you say these words. I never knew anything about you until yesterday, when Susannah posted about you. I purchased some of your books and I have laughed and ugly cried my way through “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”. My husband’s childhood was very similar and this book has opened my eyes to the pain he never talks about.

  38. SLP - August 18, 2022 1:22 pm

    Thank You for sharing what is most important in every Day 😍 Such a encouragement 🤗🙏

  39. Gordon - August 18, 2022 1:24 pm

    I hope you have a great day as well, Sean.

  40. Debra Kay Shelton - August 18, 2022 1:28 pm

    Thank you for your daily commentary. I always appreciate the subjects, even the hard ones. I try to write in a journal every day, usually I’m just thanking the Lord for giving me another day and watching over my loved ones. I love your story even though it’s a heartbreaking one. Again, thank you and I hope you have a wonderful day as well.
    From: Raining in Oklahoma

  41. Frances - August 18, 2022 1:32 pm

    Have a good day yourself

  42. Patricia Gibson - August 18, 2022 1:35 pm

    Amen, Sean and same to you❤️

  43. Jo Anne Taylor - August 18, 2022 1:38 pm

    When I grow up, I want to write the way you do: giving people a view of themselves that makes the world a better place.

  44. David Britnell - August 18, 2022 1:53 pm

    This is so spot on!

  45. Ruth Mitchell - August 18, 2022 2:12 pm

    Thank you for helping to make an ordinary day extraordinary!

  46. William Stocks - August 18, 2022 2:15 pm


  47. Betty - August 18, 2022 2:23 pm

    Perfectly said!❤️

  48. Richard Owen - August 18, 2022 2:33 pm

    Yes, still have the ancient Betty Crocker cookbook and Mary Margaret McBride Encyclopedia of Cooking from my mom. And I can still see the smiling face of our high school custodian, Proctor, greeting students in the mid-Sixties. So, thanks, Sean, for making this a good day with these memories.

  49. Eve - August 18, 2022 2:39 pm

    Sean Dietrich,
    I hope you saw the sun rise this morning. I hope you took a meandering ride in your truck with the windows down and country music playing on your radio. With your dog in the front seat.

    I hope you stopped at a Waffle House and ate your favorite breakfast while noticing a special human whose special story you could share with all your special readers.

    I hope the knowledge that your being able to genuinely connect with others has also helped give you the peace you seek for your soul.

    I hope you know that in Jackson TN this past Tuesday at the Library event – when we heard you sing and play your guitar and tell your stories. When afterwards so many of us met you, hugged you, and exchanged glad words – that we undoubtedly knew you to be that most delightfully real and gifted human we all connect with EVERY single day.


  50. William ( Billy Boy ) Burkett - August 18, 2022 2:43 pm

    This one nailed it. First let me say, I got my breakfast at Logans this morning lol. I retired at 57 with a check, survivor annuity for my wife and great health insurance. I work as a fill-in man for a company in my field, which means I work hit and miss. I also work for myself ( sometimes. ) I work when my stash gets low. I have unloaded and loaded tha dish washer. I have folded and hung my wife’s clothes. Besides cooking supper I think I am done for tha day. Well maybe not, I think I will wash tha towels and wash rags. Like ” Aunt Dorothy ” who kept tha area kids when I was little I can do house work and watch tv. ” In The Heat of The Night ” rerun is on now. ” Yo there Bubba there Chief there Parker there. ” I went to a family reunion ( my Mommas side ) on August 6th. 20 adults, one teen aged girl and 5 little boys. When I was in my teens you did not miss this. A couple hundred folks would be there. This was tha 98th annual ( except for the covid year. ) I am going to another family function ( my Daddys side ) this Saturday evening. My Dad’s older sister my Aunt Maxine will be 100 years old. She is one of only 3 out of 9 or more left. 2 uncles remain and they are 92 and 81. I have a flip phone. I don’t take pics or do videos. I was at tha Toyota dealership getting my car worked on Monday and Tuesday. I was tha only 1 who did not have a damn phone stuck in my face tha whole time. I don’t answer every time it rings. I may or may not text back. My son got me a laptop for retirement. I have to say I look at YouTube more than I want to admit. When my Dad retired he would watch soap operas around lunch which was something he demonized early in our lives. Then when he became less able to get around he started watching Jerry Springer and Maury so this kinda gives me an out on tha YouTube. My point here is I am a little different than a lot of folks. I hate tech until I need it lol. I try to live like your article today as much as I can.Sometimes I get in my car and just ride. Back in time to tha places of my youth. Tha lake, tha bluff hole, tha Mt. Olive Country Club and family cemeteries. Can’t get in some of them any more but I can ride by. I get home before my wife comes in from work. I need to be there when she comes in.This article hits home. Thanks for writing this one today. And by tha way, my wife is a high school custodian.

  51. Mary L - August 18, 2022 2:46 pm

    Thank you for being such an encourager. Your story today reminds me of that song Alabama sang “Forty Hour Week (for a livin’)”. Love to you and yours.

  52. Susan - August 18, 2022 2:50 pm

    Thank you. Needed this, this day

  53. Linda - August 18, 2022 2:52 pm

    I’m new to your blog and this is the first one I’ve received. God’s timing is perfection. I so needed this today. Remembering my grandparents, my great-aunts and great-uncles who were such an integral part of my life brought big smiles and a few tears. Thank you.

  54. sjhl7 - August 18, 2022 2:56 pm

    What a gift you give me each and every morning! Today’s gift is special because it came just when I needed it the most! Tears of thanks and joy!

  55. Donna Bandy - August 18, 2022 3:01 pm

    Thank you , Sean! I am happily doing nothing today.

  56. Mary - August 18, 2022 3:25 pm

    Thank you! We need reminders like that daily.

  57. Anne Arthur - August 18, 2022 3:44 pm

    Oh Sean, this is the heartwarming truth. Have a most beautiful day.

  58. Krista - August 18, 2022 4:02 pm

    Have a good day, Sean.

  59. McDonald R.N. - August 18, 2022 4:04 pm

    Seriously wonderful, touching stuff, this “I Hope” thread.

    My customary reply to all those well wishers espousing
    “Have a nice day” seems to apply:

    , , , Well, , , OK, , ,
    But I’ll have to change all my plans!

    This generally catches them off guard
    and produces a laugh as they look up
    to check out my smiling expression.

    I’d imagine somewhere down deep inside each of us already knows
    the best choice in any given circumstance. Too often we avoid
    this choice to circumvent the immediate notion of undesirable consequences.
    Choosing emotional short cuts which usually accumulate
    to a teetering heap of unintended consequences.

    I try to keep in mind everyone is doing the best they can
    and certainly has the capacity to make better choices
    with a little encouragement.

    Your expressions of identifiable notions affirm this, , , “I hope”.

  60. Carol Pilmer - August 18, 2022 4:05 pm


  61. Carol Pilmer - August 18, 2022 4:07 pm

    From the Bottom of My Heart….Thank You Sean!!! Really Needed That Reminder…Here’s hoping you have a good day as well!!

  62. Carol Pilmer - August 18, 2022 4:09 pm

    For some reason, I’m not seeing my comment posted….

  63. Beverly Smiley - August 18, 2022 4:10 pm

    YOU are the inspiration I need! And you are a hero in my eyes! God bless you!!!

  64. Long Stephen - August 18, 2022 4:54 pm


  65. Lynne E Reagan - August 18, 2022 5:02 pm

    Sean, I wasn’t expecting to cry when I read your post. I know it was meant to uplift but when I read, “The ancient Betty Crocker cookbook that once belonged to your mother.” I was a goner. My Mother in her last years suffered from dementia and one day had the local library pick up a load of books-one was the ancient Betty Crocker’s cookbook. It was the one with the Crisco and vanilla stains, the one that was always around. I called the library looking for the cookbook as well as the notebook with the pages of recipe clippings (probably including peach cobbler) and they reported that some books went to a used book store to sell. I never found them. I know that they aren’t that important but its another thing lost and thankfully the memories remain for now.

  66. MAM - August 18, 2022 6:16 pm

    How do you do it every day, Sean? You give us an uplifting message of hope. I’ve found that even the “bad” days generally have something positive in them and your messages often help me find them! My hope and prayer for you and Jamie is that you both have wonderful days every day!

  67. Melanie Johnston Levy, LPC - August 18, 2022 7:17 pm

    You are a hero in my eyes…thank you. I hope I can meet you and Jamie one day. I really do…

  68. Karen Snyder - August 18, 2022 7:41 pm

    Lordy, Sean, how you manage to put things in perspective, day after day. And how we love you for that!

  69. Debbie - August 18, 2022 8:31 pm

    Sean, this a beautiful to all of us. Thank you. God bless uou. Love❤️

  70. Linda Moon - August 18, 2022 8:40 pm

    Beautiful. I hope your day’s been a good one. Mine has, with your help and that of my kitties and a good neighborhood, too. It’s a beautiful day here.

  71. Rebecca Souders - August 18, 2022 8:58 pm

    List of failures? No. No. No. Throw that away and start a new one: the names of hundreds and thousands of readers who love your words. Read it often.

  72. Karen - August 18, 2022 9:14 pm

    Thank you for another reminder of how wonderful people are. 💖

  73. Lynne Taylor - August 18, 2022 9:49 pm

    i love this story!

  74. Barbara hauser - August 18, 2022 10:27 pm

    Vey inspirational Sean. Are you writing a new book

  75. Carolyn - August 18, 2022 11:19 pm

    Amen, Sean.

  76. AlaRedClayGirl - August 18, 2022 11:26 pm

    Beautiful! Amen.

  77. Kelley Carter - August 18, 2022 11:30 pm

    I needed this today!!!!

  78. April McGough - August 19, 2022 12:20 am

    You are so real!

  79. Sara - August 19, 2022 12:49 am

    So many things are Heaven Sent! Most everything! The smell of dirt, carrot stems, green onions, even weeds… Sean of the South inspirations and hope for everyone he meets… me and you. Thanks.

  80. Debbie g - August 19, 2022 12:51 am

    Thank you Sean beautiful
    And all the good back to you and Jamie also
    Love to all

  81. Pat, eastern NC - August 19, 2022 1:04 am

    In this world of social media perfection and over-the-top everything, you have outdone that world with the simple sentiment of “a *good* day.” I get so tired of everything being “great, awesome, super.” It’s exhausting. What about “good or nice”? That you so much for turning things down to a normal, achievable, human level.

  82. Barbara L - August 19, 2022 1:47 am


  83. patriciasimmonstaylor - August 19, 2022 5:50 am

    Thank you Sean… You are one in a million! Love your stories…. you tell it like it is!

  84. Jerry Wells - August 19, 2022 11:50 am

    I have stage 4 non smoking lung cancer. My doctor gave me 3 to 6 months. That was 9 years ago. I am headed to Emory for a trial program which is pills and documenting every day that I take them. I am 71 years old, married 51 years, retired school teacher, raised 4 successful sons, have 14 grands and buried my 3rd son last year. I will never be complete again. Part of me is buried in the suburbs of Detroit. Jordan was his name and he was the sunshine of our family.

    • Eve - August 19, 2022 4:11 pm

      Mr Wells,
      My heartfelt sympathy in the loss of your Jordan. I understand – unfixable grief.

  85. Diane - August 19, 2022 1:35 pm

    You gave the city of Athens, Alabama a good dose of hope last night. Thank you for your wise words that alternately made us laugh,cry and sing. I am so happy the English Department at that cold cold school kicked you to the curb where the real heroes dwell. ♥️

  86. beachdreamer - August 19, 2022 2:33 pm

    Haven’t been reading recently. Having a really bad bout of Covid this week. Am 86 and a couple of at risk conditions. Your post left me in tears. Needed to hear this. Something like this awful disease gives a new perspective. God bless you for being able to write just what is needed. Would like to ask for prayer from anyone who feels led. Am getting so discouraged, but I know God hears. Thank you and God bless

  87. Sherri - August 19, 2022 2:38 pm

    Thank you….so happy to find you. Hope is every bit as strong as faith.

  88. Brenda - August 19, 2022 2:41 pm

    Thank you!

  89. Linette Wright - August 19, 2022 6:03 pm

    God bless you, Sean Dietrich!

  90. Sheri K - August 19, 2022 9:35 pm

    Beachdreamer – I’m praying for you! And I know that Sean and 98% of his readers will also. May God strengthen you daily.

  91. madeleine devlin - August 20, 2022 5:15 pm

    I remember my Grandma and me, taking naps in the afternoons while I rubbed her back.

  92. CHARALEEN WRIGHT - August 21, 2022 11:02 pm


  93. Cheryl - August 29, 2022 5:21 am

    AMEN and thank you ❤


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