There Will Never Be Another You

Out of the 7 billion people in this world, I saw you.

It was yesterday. You let a lady cut in line at the supermarket. An elderly lady. She was wearing a plastic COVID face shield, toting a fanny-pack oxygen cylinder. I watched you follow this woman to her Nissan Altima and load her groceries.

And last week I saw you. You were mowing a lawn. You, your teenage son, and your friends had all organized a weekly lawn maintenance schedule for a man whose legs were amputated due to diabetes. You work free of charge.

It was also you who returned my neighbor’s dog when the animal went missing. You hiked through four miles of backwoods with a pocketful of dog treats, calling its name. You aren’t even from our town. Someone told me you were vacationing here from Oregon.

Oregon, of all places. The Beaver State.

You sent money to 16-year-old Sara, a terminal cancer patient, as part of an online fundraiser. Altogether Sara raised nearly one hundred thousand bucks before she died. And while you couldn’t save her life, you certainly showed the world how beautiful her life was.

You adopted a baby with fetal alcohol syndrome even though you are 56 years old and have already raised three children.

You donated blood.

You donated a stack of Louis L’Amour books to our local library. For which I can’t thank you enough.

And those are just the apparent things you did. What about the itty-bitty everyday things you do? Things nobody sees?

Like when you held the door for the gal walking into the Dollar General.

Or when you handed a few bucks to the guy outside Walmart who held a handwritten sign reading: “Hungry.”

Or how about each time you put on your scrubs to work a double shift in the emergency department? You administer IV fluids, take patient samples, and supervise a junior staff of medical workers who all draw confidence from you.

You don a forest green polyester uniform, duty belt, and badge, and patrol my county. You take huge risks in the name of law enforcement.

You collect my garbage on Tuesdays and Fridays, and you always wave at me from your perch on the Waste Management truck bumper.

You deliver my newspaper. And I know from real-life experience what kind of private, sleep-deprived hell this occupation entails.

You. You are always there, making my life immensely better just by being you. And the greatest thing about you is, you don’t know how great you are. In fact, that’s part of your charm. Don’t ever lose it.

I wonder sometimes why you aren’t famous, considering all you do. But then, maybe the better question is: why do we applaud the wrong people?

Why do we pay so much attention to the popular, what makes celebrities so special? Why are we, the ordinary Joes and Josephines, so transfixed on celebs with flawless body parts and the emotional depth of coleslaw?

I ask you, who spent the night in the ICU with a 48-year-old woman dying of pancreatic cancer, holding her hand, simply because “chaplain” was printed on your nametag? That was you. You did that.

Who rescued a second-grade child named Gracie from a sexually abusive home; then taught her to overcome a speech impediment; then helped her graduate college; then attended the birth of her firstborn daughter last month? You did.

Who brought home an elderly basset hound named Al from a local shelter since nobody else in the county wanted him? You.

Who prepared hot food for my family after my father’s suicide?

Who wakes up each morning, makes coffee, cooks breakfast, and attempts to teach teenagers the art of conversation without playing on phones?

Who deals with laundry piles so big that, based on their size and weight, one might assume that there are people living in your house who you haven’t even met yet?

Who works hard to maintain a happy disposition even though life kicks the beef stew out of you sometimes?

You, yourself, and thou.

So please read the next paragraph slowly because I truly mean every corny, clichéd, EZ-cheesy word.

Thank you. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for not only for being who you are, but for being so incredibly human. I appreciate you. You are, hands down, the best part about living in this great big, often frightening, ever confusing, but stunning world.

And although the following statement is said often, it cannot be said often enough: God bless you.

All 7.674 billion of you.

63 comments

  1. Mark D MacIntyre - May 12, 2021 7:07 am

    Another cliche is, the cream always rises to the top. However, you, Sean, are the rarified intoxicating air above the cream who fills our hearts with such beauty and love. Bless you sir!

    Reply
  2. Sandi. - May 12, 2021 7:19 am

    What Mark said in his wonderful comment is so true. Thank you for noticing the details in seemingly ordinary daily life, Sean.

    Reply
  3. Michael Reese - May 12, 2021 7:21 am

    Sean… I hope you and I can meet someday. Michael

    Reply
  4. Kirk E Chamberlain - May 12, 2021 8:28 am

    Love

    Reply
  5. Marilyn Ward Vance - May 12, 2021 8:34 am

    I have a lot of those ‘you’ folks in my life, too. Good is still out there, sometimes we just have to look up.

    Reply
  6. Stevie - May 12, 2021 9:09 am

    Thank you Sean. I’ve been in need of a Pat on the back lately. Squaring my shoulders, putting my game face on, and heading back out to a roomful of 7th grade boys who are as ready for school to be done as I am.

    Reply
  7. Nancy T Rogers - May 12, 2021 9:16 am

    Thank you Sean. It may be corny but this morning, I needed reminding of how truly marvelous I am. God bless.

    Reply
  8. johnsteinbach - May 12, 2021 9:43 am

    Thank you, Sean. Thanks for noticing all the little things we do and how truly magnificent we all are!

    Reply
  9. Hazel C King - May 12, 2021 9:46 am

    Love this. In these turbulent times, we need to remember that we are all human beings and that we can make a difference in the world, one kind deed at a time.

    Reply
    • Barbara - May 12, 2021 10:56 am

      Amen!

      Reply
  10. Laura - May 12, 2021 9:52 am

    Thank you for starting my every morning with your uplifting words even when they make my eyes leak!

    Reply
  11. TonJa - May 12, 2021 10:13 am

    You forgot one in your list of indivisible people that give our lives a purpose…Thank you to the red-haired country gentlemen from rural America that comes into our lives everyday and reminds us just how blessed we are. You make us laugh, you make us smile and you make us cry. You remind us that we are all different yet we are all the same. You remind us that we are not alone in this journey and that journey is worth taking. Plus you give great hugs.That is you Sean. God bless you.

    Reply
    • Jimmy - May 12, 2021 12:26 pm

      Amen and Amen!

      Reply
    • Jonni Webb - May 12, 2021 1:22 pm

      Amen!

      Reply
    • Peggy - May 12, 2021 1:37 pm

      Thank you Tanja and thank you Sean❤️

      Reply
    • Karen Holderman - May 12, 2021 8:53 pm

      Tonja, I appreciate what you wrote. it is write on the mark.

      Reply
  12. Leigh Amiot - May 12, 2021 10:19 am

    It’s nice to realize I’m sitting here smiling because of what I just read.
    Your words are so grounding, pulling us out of our own heads, out of tripe written on social media, out of news of warring political parties and a media with dirty hands intentionally dividing us—all for ratings. For all the distracted, you have rediscovered and re-presented the beautiful essence of who we can be on a one-to-one basis if we’ll just put out a little kind, courteous, and caring effort…a little goes a long way in this love-starved, sometimes to often rude and insensitive world. Your words have the power to give us back our humanity (as opposed to nose-in-devices automatons) As the young people “say”—#goals

    Reply
  13. Dianne - May 12, 2021 10:51 am

    Thank you and God bless you, Sean, for making your readers days brighter, happier, and more hopeful, while pointing out that mankind is still good and decent.

    Reply
    • Donna Bell - May 12, 2021 11:54 am

      Yep, what Dianne said!!! You’re the best Sean, you too Dianne!! 😉

      Reply
  14. joan moore - May 12, 2021 10:53 am

    And it is overwhelming to think about all of the stories we don’t know… Keep it up!

    Reply
  15. Jean - May 12, 2021 11:18 am

    God bless you Sean for telling us there are still angels among us.

    Reply
  16. Kathy Compton - May 12, 2021 11:22 am

    Thank you, Sean, for giving accolades to all the right people!

    Reply
  17. Irene - May 12, 2021 11:40 am

    I say ~ God Bless you! Everyday joy!

    Reply
  18. Peggy Thompson - May 12, 2021 12:01 pm

    Amen!! God Bless you! Thanks for reminding us life is still awesome!

    Reply
  19. Cynthia - May 12, 2021 12:24 pm

    And God bless you. Thank you for this beautiful testament.

    Reply
  20. Linda Clayton - May 12, 2021 12:36 pm

    Your posting is the first thing I read every morning – even before I get out of bed – and today’s is one of your best. A great big thank you for your inspiring words. God bless you, too, Sean.

    Reply
  21. Pat Morgan - May 12, 2021 12:37 pm

    And the writer who sees the good in this nutso, screwed-up world. YOU are special, Sean. God bless you.

    Reply
  22. Betty - May 12, 2021 12:40 pm

    I enjoy your words a lot (I feel sorry of the English teacher who said you aren’t a columnist). You make me laugh; you make me feel better. And I forward many of your columns to my six kids and their spouses and my 17 grandchildren and their spouses. By their responses to me, they enjoy them too (and several of them have subscribed themselves). I really don’t care if your grammar isn’t perfect; your heart seems to be.

    Reply
  23. Liz Watkins - May 12, 2021 12:43 pm

    All I can say is “DITTO!” You hit it out of the park this morning!!! I have seen all of those people you just wrote about! Gods is everywhere and in everyone, some people just don’t know it yet!
    God Bless you, Sean! I love having coffee with you every morning!
    Blessings
    Liz❤️🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻😇😇😇

    Reply
  24. Joan C. Mitchell - May 12, 2021 12:44 pm

    I appreciate you Sean for reminding me of all these good people. Helps keep my faith alive and reminds me that I need to be one of them.

    Reply
  25. Debbie D., AL - May 12, 2021 12:52 pm

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  26. Bobbie - May 12, 2021 1:06 pm

    And YOU, Sean. You, who always sees the best in everyone. You, who has a heart so big, filled with so much compassion and love. It spills over in all you write and all you do that we never hear about. I pray it spills onto those who need a touch of kindness and selflessness in their hearts. YOU are a special blessing to so many. It can’t be said enough…God bless you❤️

    Reply
  27. Bob Brenner - May 12, 2021 1:06 pm

    Nobody and I mean nobody says just what needs to be said every single day. Thanks Sean! Your parents raised you right.

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  28. Debbie g - May 12, 2021 1:10 pm

    God bless you too Sean what a blessing you are to us

    Reply
  29. Ann - May 12, 2021 1:18 pm

    We do take soooo much and many for granted….thank YOU alll.

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  30. Cathy Boswell - May 12, 2021 1:24 pm

    “Ditto”, my Literary Friend 🙂

    Reply
  31. Frances Rogers - May 12, 2021 1:28 pm

    We don’t think of or hear about all the great deeds everyday Americans do for their fellowmen and animals. Thanks for reminding us that in this troubled world there is still good news. The most wonderful news is that God loves us and sent Jesus as our Redeemer!

    Reply
  32. Jim Rooks, MD - May 12, 2021 1:29 pm

    Every morning I read your column, and the world seems to be a better place. Mark twain has always been one of my favorite authors. Sean you are cut out of the same cloth only much better. Thank you for all you do to make all of us realize how wonderful this life is.

    Reply
  33. Tammy S. - May 12, 2021 1:41 pm

    God bless you, Sean. And thanks! 😊
    We see you (and Jamie) too!!!

    Reply
  34. Shelton A. - May 12, 2021 1:48 pm

    God bless you and Jamie.

    Reply
  35. Nancy Crews - May 12, 2021 3:08 pm

    ❤your writing. Thank you to all those people who do “the little things”, seemingly little things, that change people’s lives everyday.

    Reply
  36. Cynthia Russell - May 12, 2021 3:30 pm

    THANK YOU!! YOU DO THIS!!! YOU ARE THE BESTEST PART OF MY DAY – EVERY SINGLE DAY!! & ALMOST EVERY SINGLE DAY -YOU MAKE ME CRY.. YOU MAKE ME TRY TO BE A BETTER PERSON TO THE INVISABLE PEOPLE WHO HELP ME – WHO I SEE – BLESS – BUT GO ON MY WAY.. WILL BE RUNNING OVER TO DAIRY QUEEN TO GET 10 -$10.00 GIFT CARDS TO GIVE TO OTHERS.. BECAUSE THE BESTEST THING I CAN OFFER TO MY INVISIBLE PEOPLE WHO IS ALWAYS THERE WORKING FOR ME IS A PRAYER FOR THEIR LIVES & DAIRY QUEEN CHOCOLATE DIPPED CONE!! THAT’S MY FAVORITE – THE BESTEST TWO THINGS!! MY 3RD ONE IS YOU!!! THANK YOU SEAN OF THE SOUTH!!
    Cynthia Russell, A Mobile, Alabama girl stuck in Slidell La. in a Louisiana World with a Lafayette Cajun Man… READ YOU TOMORROW!!

    Reply
  37. Buddy Caudill - May 12, 2021 3:36 pm

    Thank you, Sean.
    I needed that column !
    It reminds me that if I just open my eyes, I can still see some good in this old world.
    Sincerely, A Friend You’ve Never Met,
    Buddy Caudill

    Reply
  38. Christina - May 12, 2021 3:37 pm

    Thank you for seeing each one and all of us!

    Reply
  39. Jan - May 12, 2021 4:30 pm

    I would definitely put your name at the top of the list of awesome people in this column, Sean! Thank you for always seeing the good in people!

    Reply
  40. Eija - May 12, 2021 4:48 pm

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  41. Patti - May 12, 2021 4:56 pm

    Amen. Amen! AMEN!!!!
    I really believe there is a tremendous amount of kindness and self-sacrifice in this old world; why doesn’t the media promote it?? I choose to read my Bible. And you, Sean.

    Reply
  42. Linda Moon - May 12, 2021 4:59 pm

    I know I’ll never find another you, Sean, so listen to the 1964 song by “The Seekers”. It’s groovy, man. We’re all uniquely one-of-a-kind. You are one of His blessings for me, and I bet you are for some of those other billions, too. Thank YOU for seeing all of us!

    Reply
  43. Dana - May 12, 2021 6:40 pm

    Thank you. I needed that today. I am parenting two teenage boys and another in his 20’s – love, blessings, and lots of patience 💕

    Reply
  44. Wendy Stillman - May 12, 2021 6:45 pm

    Love this Sean! Thank you for giving expression for how I feel….

    Reply
  45. Connie - May 12, 2021 6:58 pm

    I treasure your words. In a world where nobody really sees anybody, you do. And you celebrate all of us everyday. Thank you for looking past what constitutes beauty in the world to the true beauty of the world around you. Love and hugs.

    Reply
  46. Bill - May 12, 2021 7:20 pm

    Sean, you must be talking about my wife. Thanks….

    Reply
  47. Rebecca Souders - May 12, 2021 7:47 pm

    And you, who lifts us up every day. Thank you.

    Reply
  48. Sheri K - May 12, 2021 8:11 pm

    TonJa said it best! Waking up to your column is the best way to start the day! Our Lord gave me an extra dose of blessings when He made me aware of you!! God bless you Sean for all you do for us, your faithful followers.

    Reply
  49. Patricia Gibson - May 12, 2021 9:27 pm

    Thank you, Sean for reminding us of all the good in the world.

    Reply
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  51. Susan Kennedy - May 13, 2021 12:04 am

    I’m gonna hug yours and Jamie’s necks one of these days.

    Reply
  52. Teresa Exum - May 13, 2021 3:19 am

    I love your beautiful stories. They fill me with hope and love. Thank you for putting your feelings out there for all of us to feel. We appreciate you very much💜💜

    Reply
  53. Kathy - May 13, 2021 10:59 pm

    I agree.

    Reply
  54. Arleen Council - May 15, 2021 1:12 pm

    Arleen Council. : Thank you Sean of the South. This tells you about my brother Virgil Schumann and the type of person He was.

    Reply
  55. Elle - May 15, 2021 10:03 pm

    Thank you say “God bless you” and not just “have a blessed day”. I feel that every time I hear it, someone is not acknowledging Who it is exactly that is doing the blessing. And may God continue to bless you!

    Reply
  56. lyn5 - May 17, 2021 4:12 pm

    Standing O! This is our once.

    Reply
  57. Suzi - May 22, 2021 12:39 pm

    Ordinary Heroes!!!

    Reply

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