Thank you for picking up a hitchhiker outside Anniston, Alabama. Even though modern wisdom warns against this, you followed your heart.

Thank you for holding the door for an old woman at Cracker Barrel. You must’ve been fourteen, you were with friends. You were laughing and carrying on when you saw the old woman, pushing a walker. You jogged ahead. You beat her to the door. You held it open.

She thanked you. You yes-ma’amed her. And you made my day, kid.

My whole day.

And thanks for giving money to a homeless man in Birmingham, Alabama. You don’t know me, but I watched you.

I was at a stoplight. You were outside UAB School of Medicine campus. You wore green scrubs, and carried a backpack. You gave money. Then, you gave a cup of coffee and a fast food to-go bag.

Thanks for sitting with that young girl after work. She was seated on the sidewalk outside the bar. She was waiting for her ride.

It was two in the morning. She didn’t need to be alone at that hour. So you sat with her. You might not think you did much, but you did.

Thank you for filling that backpack with food, then leaving it in a tenth-grader’s locker—anonymously.

You know who you are.

Thank you for picking up a hitchhiker outside Anniston, Alabama. Even though modern wisdom warns against this, you followed your heart.

When the hitchhiker stepped into your car, you could tell he had mental illness. But you didn’t try to fix him, you didn’t try to be a hero, you didn’t try to DO anything. You were just nice to him. And he appreciated that.

Thanks for driving a kid named Peter to baseball practice. After his father died, his mother has been working double shifts. Peter has been babysitting and cooking supper for his sisters since his mother started working longer hours.

Peter had to drop out of baseball because he didn’t have a ride. But you stepped in and saved the day. He’s a good baseball player.

And you’re a good human being. Everybody wins.

Thanks for taking care of Miss Caroline’s dog while she was away, receiving chemotherapy. Miss Caroline is a little reclusive, she doesn’t have many friends. That dog is her baby. She didn’t want to leave it alone at home by itself all day. She had no options.

So thanks for watching the dog. And a double thanks for stocking Miss Caroline’s refrigerator. I wish you could’ve seen the look on her face when she opened the fridge to see casseroles, hams, and grilled chicken.

And before I go, thank you for reading this. You might not know who I am—why should you? But I sort of know you, and you’ve changed me.

Yes, you. Remember the time you sent me an anonymous envelope with three hundred dollars in it, right after I lost my job?

Or how about the time you talked to me in the waiting room, when I was nervous about my wife’s biopsy.

There was the time you cooked for my mother, my baby sister and I, after my father died.

And who can forget when you told me I was special, after you finished teaching my college class. You said I had a lot to offer this world. Those words stuck with me.

The time you helped me change a tire on a busy highway in Mobile. The time you bought my lunch. The time you called just to check on me.

So to Miss Deena—who sells parched peanuts on the side of the road in Andalusia. To Jason—who drives a van for an autistic day camp. To Billie Jean—who leaves money at gas pumps just for the fun of it.

And to the kid who held the door open for the old woman at Cracker Barrel.

Thank you.

37 comments

  1. Karen Greatrix - May 6, 2019 6:47 am

    Thank you for reminding us about those kinds of people.

    Reply
  2. Steve Bailey - May 6, 2019 9:31 am

    Beautiful.

    Reply
  3. Karen - May 6, 2019 10:05 am

    Thank you for showing us how to be better people. You teach us how to love each other. Every day.

    Reply
  4. Jean - May 6, 2019 10:47 am

    These are the people who touch my heart. Thank you too Sean!

    Reply
  5. Gee - May 6, 2019 10:58 am

    And thank you to those three elderly ladies at the big store parking lot who asked me how I was doing .I was so shocked and surprised all I could do was nod my head and say “fine”. Not everyone feels comfortable talking to a stranger in a wheelchair .Thank you .

    Reply
  6. Dianne - May 6, 2019 11:48 am

    Sean, you are a constant reminder of how many good and kind-hearted people there still are in this world. Thank you for these reminders!!

    Reply
  7. Allison Nist - May 6, 2019 11:59 am

    Thank YOU. And… you’re welcome! You’re SO VERY welcome.
    Please become my friend in FB to see MY story! — Allison Nist

    Reply
  8. Sissy cooper - May 6, 2019 12:02 pm

    Beautiful and meaningful! Today I will try to do something for someone!! Thank you!

    Reply
  9. Jim - May 6, 2019 12:39 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for the bright spot of every morning.

    Reply
  10. Barbara Pope - May 6, 2019 12:40 pm

    You make us better by showing how the little things can change someone’s world.

    Reply
  11. Jo Ann - May 6, 2019 12:54 pm

    There are so many people that do little acts of kindness that mean everything to the recipient. Thanks, Sean, for reminding us that there a lot of good people out there.

    Reply
  12. Jon Dragonfly - May 6, 2019 1:12 pm

    “Thank you for holding the door for an old woman at Cracker Barrel.”
    I saw those same boys; I was the old man wobbling along behind her (She cranks up that walker and GOES). And we appreciate every kindness shown us. We always say ‘Thank You’, but it often seems inadequate.

    Reply
  13. Shelton A. - May 6, 2019 1:33 pm

    Thanks for telling us about all these people. Makes a random act of kindness today sort of a must do job. God bless you and thanks again.

    Reply
  14. Tim House - May 6, 2019 2:12 pm

    A lot of anonymous people out there, doing little things, and leaving a big impact. Thank you for directly to each one thanking them. Most don’t expect recognition, they just do it from their hearts. But they deserve to be acknowledged. So, thanks again, because you put it out there for all of us that want to thank them, too.

    Reply
  15. Bill Heaton - May 6, 2019 2:23 pm

    Thank you Sean. As you once said “The world isn’t always pretty, but it’s always beautiful.”
    Hey, when you can be kind or be anything else – always be kind.

    Reply
  16. Linda Moon - May 6, 2019 3:15 pm

    Thank YOU! And tomorrow I will have the opportunity to be kind to a ginger-colored-haired young man who reminds me a lot of you!

    Reply
  17. Mary T. - May 6, 2019 3:24 pm

    Thank you to a church in Gainesville, Florida who gave money to a family they didn’t know because their two year old baby had a stroke, and they were a long way from their home.

    Reply
  18. Edna B. - May 6, 2019 3:54 pm

    It doesn’t take much to bring some happiness into someone else’s life. it actually makes you feel good when you can put a smile on someone’s face. Thanks for the reminder that there still are a lot of wonderful folks out there. You have a great day, hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  19. Ala Red Clay Girl - May 6, 2019 5:23 pm

    Just think of what this world would be like if everyone did one nice deed for someone else or perhaps said one kind thing or even just smiled at someone – and then if everyone did this everyday. As Louis Armstrong sang, “And I think to myself what a wonderful world.”

    Reply
  20. Janette Mccollum - May 6, 2019 5:52 pm

    So heartwarming to know good people are still out there❤️ We need to remember this ant turn off the news!

    Reply
  21. Jody - May 6, 2019 7:43 pm

    There are so many blessings that come from thoughtful gestures. You have shown us a number of the opportunities we have to be kind and present to other. Thank you Sean.

    Reply
  22. Connie Havard Ryland - May 6, 2019 8:36 pm

    And thank you for making us all see the joy in doing those little things. Love and hugs.

    Reply
  23. Ann Marie Bouchet - May 6, 2019 9:04 pm

    Sean, YOU are special and I thank you…..

    Reply
  24. Linda Gray - May 7, 2019 12:16 am

    Thank you

    Reply
  25. Joe Patterson - May 7, 2019 2:34 am

    Thank you

    Reply
  26. Mary Ellen Hall - May 7, 2019 3:58 am

    BEAUTIFUL POST SEAN-THANK YOU!!!

    Reply
  27. Starla Burkitt - May 8, 2019 1:37 am

    Thank you for reminding us to be better.

    Reply
  28. Edy - May 8, 2019 1:43 am

    Yes, thank you for each act of kindness.

    Reply
  29. David - May 8, 2019 6:25 pm

    They’re everywhere. Thanks for making us look.

    Reply
  30. Wayne Hollinshead - May 8, 2019 10:18 pm

    “Thank you” for this message. There truly are a lot of “unsung heroes “

    Reply
  31. Mary Lee - May 9, 2019 3:50 am

    This is one of your best. I think you are a great writer and I thank the good Lord for giving me the eyes to read, and for the teachers who taught me to read. You give me and so many so much enjoyment. Thank you for that!

    Reply
  32. Estelle - May 10, 2019 8:57 am

    There are still a lot of good people in the South. I’m an old woman with fibromyalgia. And I appreciate everyone who opens a door for me; who gives up their seat in the doctor’s office so I can sit down. Thanks to all the people who say “hello” to me even if they don’t even know me. Sometimes someone acknowledge you are there is a blessing to one who is lonely. Thanks Sean for helping us remember that kindness helps the giver and the receiver.

    Reply
  33. Spurgeon Hendrick - May 16, 2019 9:41 pm

    ‪And, thank YOU, for reminding us those people still exist and for reminding us what we should strive to be.

    On a side note, I made a “C” or below in every English class I ever took. (The one exception: I made an A in Creative Writing my senior year in high school. But I don’t place much stock in that one. Our teacher, Mrs. Hendry, was a big Faulkner fan. She probably thought I used poor grammar on purpose.) Needless to say, grammar and I are not friends, we’re barely acquaintances, and I’ve never been good at writing. But, if I died and came back for a second chance at this world … I sure wish I could write as good as you. For this old man, you have made reading enjoyable again. I humbly bow in your general direction.

    Reply
  34. turtlekid - June 5, 2019 11:56 am

    God bless you for acknowledging these everyday folks. HE knows, but they appreciate your recognition!

    Reply
  35. Tina Harman - June 5, 2019 12:51 pm

    Wonderful article! Reminds us that there are kind and good people out there. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  36. Karen - June 6, 2019 9:49 pm

    Thank YOU, Sean, for reminding me to be a better person. I may not be destined to do great things in my life, but I can do small things everyday with great love for those I meet along the way. God Bless You.

    Reply
  37. Carolyn Skelton - June 11, 2019 12:02 pm

    I love you, Sean. You have a lot to offer. Thank you for sharing your heart.
    Carolyn in Montgomery

    Reply

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