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 working at Children’s of Alabama Hospital. Each one of you.

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 major. 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 to and from practice. 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 all day. She had no options. Then you came along.

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 know you. Sort of. And you’ve changed me. Yes, you.

Remember, about twenty years ago, when 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 I once met selling parched peanuts on the side of the road in Andalusia. To Jason—who drives a van for a day camp for kids with PTSD issues. 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.

62 comments

  1. June Pryor - September 18, 2021 6:57 am

    Thanks, Sean, for writing this column to remind all of us about caring and sharing and serving.

    Reply
  2. 🇿🇦Norma Den - September 18, 2021 7:05 am

    There is still so much good in this old world if we just care for others. I thank the man who bent down & picked up my parking slip when I dropped it. He looked older than I do. He patted my shoulder as I thanked him. He made my day. As we sang in Sunday School as kids Count your blessings, name them one by one. Thank you Sean for brightening the days for so many. God bless.

    Reply
  3. Keloth Anne - September 18, 2021 8:59 am

    Thank you for always finding the goodness in others and taking time to share it with us! Your heart is so big and full of kindness and love ❤️
    You are loved and appreciated—keep up the incredible work and making the world a much better place.

    Reply
  4. Marilyn Ward Vance - September 18, 2021 9:21 am

    …and thanks to YOU, Sean, for reminding us there is still good in the world!

    Reply
  5. Te - September 18, 2021 10:08 am

    We need that reminder of people who think of someone besides themselves when all we hear about is the awful, the failures, the greedy and shameful sociopaths. Thanks for being here and saying the simple things. It helps. It helps a lot.

    Reply
  6. Louise Todd - September 18, 2021 10:11 am

    Let’s all be a little kinder today!! Thanks, Sean!!

    Reply
  7. Marisa Franca - September 18, 2021 10:55 am

    You make me want to be a better person.

    Reply
  8. Debbie g - September 18, 2021 11:03 am

    Marisa is right Sean. Thank you for making us want to be better people
    And thank you for being one of those better people Love to you and all ❤️❤️

    Reply
  9. Brenda Badenhop - September 18, 2021 11:37 am

    Thank you for helping to make me a better person. I, too, see Ms. Deena most times I drive through Andalusia; she’s still there sitting in her chair on the side of the road.,

    Wonderful writings!

    Reply
  10. Tami Reist - September 18, 2021 11:41 am

    Thank you for this we all need to learn how to be kind! Can’t wait to see you next week at the AMLA Annual Meeting!

    Reply
  11. Karen - September 18, 2021 11:43 am

    Thank you for recognizing the good that is always out there if we just take time to look and listen above so much negative chatter these days.

    Reply
  12. Paul McCutchen - September 18, 2021 12:05 pm

    I think I will quit watching the news and just start the day with coffee and your column. Things just seem to work better when I am in a good mood.

    Reply
    • Marilyn - September 18, 2021 12:41 pm

      Over two years ago I decided to quit watching the news. I can pick and choose what to read about and am more at peace. Sean does have a wonderful gift with words, and we appreciate his willingness to share. God, coffee and Sean, a great way to start the day!

      Reply
    • Mariam - September 18, 2021 1:46 pm

      A great practice & habit to continue!

      Reply
  13. johnsteinbach - September 18, 2021 12:16 pm

    Your college prof was right, Sean: You do offer a lot to this world.
    And we thank you!

    Reply
  14. Karen Spracher - September 18, 2021 12:37 pm

    Good morning Sean. Perfect message to start the day. God bless you and your writing.

    Reply
  15. Virginia Russell - September 18, 2021 12:37 pm

    I just read about a study in which those who give benefit–by improved mood and immune system function.

    Reply
  16. Lulu - September 18, 2021 12:40 pm

    And thank you, Sean for your writing this day and every day! You are so encouraging and you light up our days…every day! I ‘count my blessings, one by one and I see what God has dong and still does. He’s the way-maker, miracle worker, promise keeper…light in the darkness. Hugs ‘n love to you and Jamie!

    Reply
  17. Forrest W Wilson - September 18, 2021 12:45 pm

    Took me a couple minutes to read this, much less than it took to be written. With that being said just a gesture, a thank you, a smile, and remembering folks who have helped you or someone you see or notice means so much. Thanks for a quality read Sean.

    Reply
  18. Shelton A. - September 18, 2021 1:05 pm

    Thank you, Sean, for showing us that in this seemingly divided nation, good things still happen. That people are still kind and thoughtful. Thanks for lifting our spirits. Blessings… How are Thelma Lou and Otis Campbell doing? Been a while since we got an update.

    Reply
  19. Joretta Parker - September 18, 2021 1:07 pm

    And thank you Sean for all your words of wisdom. I don’t leave a comment often but I read your writings every day and enjoy them so much.

    Reply
  20. Linda Vaughan - September 18, 2021 1:16 pm

    Thank you for reminding us that there is still a lot of good in this world and that we can step up our own games to make good happen!

    Reply
  21. Pingback: Thanks – Virginia Belle

  22. Lifetime Chicago - September 18, 2021 1:19 pm

    God truly speaks through your writing. I have shared this with my pastor because he gets frustrated on how people want to get ahead through money, status and not about how that one kind moment without a gift in return can change a person’s life even older people like me. I always read your writing like this when I need it…another God moment.

    Reply
  23. Cindy Neill - September 18, 2021 1:21 pm

    Thank you, Sean. These last two years have been so difficult and do not seem to be getting better. Your columns are the bright spot in my day. Thank you from the bottom of of my Okie heart.

    Reply
  24. Cheryl Andrews - September 18, 2021 1:23 pm

    So beautiful and inspiring! Thank you,, Sean!

    Reply
  25. Carolyn - September 18, 2021 1:28 pm

    Helpful correction ” cooked for my mother, sister and me”
    Inspirational writing, Sean. Thank you

    Reply
    • Susie - September 18, 2021 7:10 pm

      Good editing catch, Carolyn. I’m sure Sean is wise and big enough to appreciate it. And, yes, always inspirational writing from this wonderful man, Sean. He always improves my day, as he does for all of us. Keep making our day, Sean! In some small ways, I hope we help make yours! ❤️❤️

      Reply
  26. Joan Moore - September 18, 2021 1:39 pm

    The question is, what will I do today to make someone’s day better?

    Reply
  27. Suellen - September 18, 2021 1:40 pm

    I went out for doughnuts this morning and bought an extra dozen to take to the guys at a local garage. They always check my tires for me at no charge because I’m no longer able to do it. There are still so many good people in the world.

    Reply
  28. Terry - September 18, 2021 1:51 pm

    Thanks for writing about all the good people do every day!
    Hope Jamie and you are doing well. I still thank about her mom and what a character she was or is in heaven now.

    Reply
  29. Kathy - September 18, 2021 2:07 pm

    Yes. I see them all, I see them all, I see them all.

    Reply
  30. Robyn - September 18, 2021 2:14 pm

    Thank you Sean…for writing every day. We need you.

    Reply
  31. Gayle Wilson - September 18, 2021 2:15 pm

    And thank you Sean for reminding us of all the good that still exists in the world. Theirs will a be a future glory that will shine bright…along with yours.

    Reply
  32. Linda Taylor - September 18, 2021 2:56 pm

    Once again your words centered me into a positive attitude to begin another day. Along with my morning coffee,it makes everything seem easier. Yours is the first email I open each morning. Thank you for restoring my faith In people i don’t know. You’re the best! 🙂

    Reply
  33. beachdreamer1 - September 18, 2021 3:00 pm

    Not much to add after reading all the positive comments, people who still appreciate kindness and respect for others. I would just like to add a couple of thanks of my own. I use a cane or walker now, and can’t believe how people respond…opening doors, offering to carry groceries, or just nod and smile. Yesterday while in the grocery store, was looking on the shelves for a certain item, unaware I was blocking the way for another shopper with her cart. I apologized when I saw her patiently waiting. As she passed she said, God Bless you. A seemingly small thing but so appreciated. The afflictions some carry aren’t visible, but everyone has something! We never know when just a kind word or smile can make someone’s day. A special Thank You to you, Sean, and your heartfelt words. God bless you❤️‼️

    Reply
  34. Tawanah Fagan Bagwell - September 18, 2021 3:20 pm

    Gives me faith that we humans are not all bad!

    Reply
  35. Dianne Shafer - September 18, 2021 3:25 pm

    Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    Reply
  36. Linda Moon - September 18, 2021 3:53 pm

    You’re welcome. Thank YOU for writing what I just read. Because I know you (sort of), I’ve been changed for the better. And I mean it!

    Reply
  37. Edna Isdell - September 18, 2021 4:07 pm

    One of your best columns..may it inspire all of us to look out for each other. Thank you.

    Reply
  38. Edna Isdell - September 18, 2021 4:10 pm

    Please send me your mailing address for your free Atlanta Braves quilt.

    Reply
  39. Stacey Wallace - September 18, 2021 4:12 pm

    Thank you, Sean.

    Reply
  40. Christina - September 18, 2021 5:26 pm

    The powerful ripple effects of love and kindness 💜

    Reply
  41. Lauren Lopez - September 18, 2021 5:37 pm

    And thank you, Sean, for faithfully sharing your beautiful gift of writing!

    Reply
  42. Dianne - September 18, 2021 6:22 pm

    Thank you, too, Sean, for showing man’s humanity, love and care for man isn’t dead. It is still very much alive.

    Reply
  43. Jody - September 18, 2021 7:01 pm

    Thank you for the faithful gift of your morning column. Your observations of the good in life is a welcome and up uplifting start for the day.

    Reply
  44. Ann Gramlich - September 18, 2021 7:01 pm

    Thank You So much for your Wonderful words of inspiration !! We appreciate you SO much!

    Reply
  45. Bkr - September 18, 2021 7:05 pm

    Sean. Thank you.

    Reply
  46. Karen Snyder - September 18, 2021 7:13 pm

    Those who are going about life, looking out for others, doing good when and where they’re able, are NOT those with the loudest voices! Thanks for reminding us that they really do outnumber the attention-seekers! ❤️

    Reply
  47. Pierce B Tidwell Jr - September 18, 2021 7:20 pm

    Perfect. Almost. There was this one little teeny grammatical error: “you cooked for my mother, my baby sister and I”. I’m sure you see it now. I would not do this except for the fact that my high school English teacher would claw her way up from the grave, hunt me down and choke me if I let it pass without bringing it to your attention. Forgive me but better to have you upset with me than her. Peace.

    Reply
    • Susie - September 18, 2021 8:22 pm

      You’re right, Pierce. My dad was also a writer and he would share these little “crutches” with me, to help me check my own grammar. He would say split up the sentence…..you cooked for my mother….you cooked for my baby sister…..and you cooked for me. Because you would not say “you cooked for I, right? ie, it would be “you cooked for my mother , my baby sister and you cooked for me.” Cool, huh? So, Sean, I hope you don’t mind if I share my father with you.

      Reply
      • Susie - September 18, 2021 8:32 pm

        AGAIN, I needed to reproof my proofreading. 😂 In my last post, I meant to type “ie, corrected, it would be “you cooked for my mother, my baby sister and me.” ( I think maybe I got it this time.🙄) 😜

        Reply
  48. MAM - September 18, 2021 7:35 pm

    And Thank You Sean, for your phenomenal writing skill and reminders for us to be and do our best.

    Reply
  49. Rebecca Souders - September 18, 2021 7:55 pm

    “… a lot to offer this world” turned out to be a huge understatement, I think. Thanks, Sean.

    Reply
  50. Amy - September 18, 2021 8:13 pm

    Thank you Sean for your writings! They bless my heart more than you will ever know! ❤️

    Reply
  51. Lucretia - September 19, 2021 1:49 am

    Thank you, Sean for a bright corner of my heart tonight.

    Reply
  52. Bill Harris - September 19, 2021 2:48 am

    Thank you Sean.

    Reply
  53. Latane Barton - September 19, 2021 2:50 pm

    Your writing always has such a message that we all need. But, this one touched my heart and made me think. What can I do to help someone? I am 87 years old but I can still be of service to someone who needs me. God Bless You.

    Reply
  54. Lavonne Blake - September 19, 2021 2:54 pm

    Hopefully you wouldn’t correct someone in conversation, just enjoy his columns. I love everyone of them!

    Reply
  55. charlynecox - September 19, 2021 5:46 pm

    Thank you for reminding us to be thankful! I’m thankful for the guy who changed my flat tire when I was stranded along I-75 in busy traffic with two little girls. I didn’t know how to work the jack. I prayed that God would send someone nice. When the huge RV pulled up behind me, I was relieved to see a husband and wife. After he finished changing my tire, I told him “Thank you. I prayed that God would send someone nice to help me.” He looked shocked. I still pray for him.

    Reply
  56. Clara Edwards - September 20, 2021 4:29 pm

    Thank you Sean for being you! Your columns touch me in a way that I can’t even explain. I usually end up in tears, but it is mostly always happy tears. Keep writing for the sensitive people like me!

    Reply
  57. Janet W Moffat - September 25, 2021 2:35 am

    Thank you

    Reply

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