What Happens Next?

I received an anxious email from 26-year-old Candace, who, among many other things, writes:

“I’m so [expletive] mad right now… America is a [double expletive] trainwreck… And why are people are so evil? What’s going to happen to us?”

At first I was not sure how to answer this message, since I’m no expert. But then it dawned on me, I can actually answer her question.

Which is rare for me. Many times I am asked questions I cannot answer. Questions such as: “What is the capital of Ohio?” “Are you Episcopalian?” and “Why didn’t you pull over when I flashed my blue lights, sir?”

So I’ll answer your question outright, Candace. I’ll tell you exactly what’s going to happen to America next. Play by play.

The first thing that will happen tomorrow is that at 6:42 A.M., in my hometown, the sun will rise. It will rise at 7:11 in Boston; 7:42 in Atlanta; 7:17 in Saint Louis; 6:51 in Las Vegas; and in Seattle meteorologists expect to see the sun in mid-July.

After sunrise, people will stumble out of bedrooms, yawning, dressed in pajamas. Well, technically, only 52 percent of Americans will be wearing pajamas, the other half will be buck naked.

I’m completely serious. Roughly 48 percent of Americans sleep unclothed, or partially clothed. And in the coming years this statistic will change because a survey recently discovered that two-thirds of millennials sleep “in the raw.”

So after we Americans stagger from bedrooms, wearing nothing but the Joy of the Lord, do you know where this country will be heading next? That’s right. The coffee pot.

Currently, 150 million Americans drink coffee. This means that each morning, as a nation, we fiddle with Japanese manufactured coffeemakers to brew the sacred life-juice that nurses our stimulant-deprived animal brains into low-level awareness.

What happens to our nation next? Glad you asked. Something urgent. While coffee perks, 85 million U.S. household pets scratch at the back door in unison. Sixty-three million of these pets are dogs. And each one needs to pee.

Think about this national scenario, Candace. Tomorrow morning, in this wonderful country, 63 million canines will simultaneously trot outdoors to write their names on the lawn, so to speak.

I’m not necessarily saying this is living in national harmony, but it’s a start.

When the coffee is ready, a mere 23 percent of Americans will read paper newspapers. Sadly, few subscribe to physical newspapers anymore. Which means that most Americans will be consuming news on…


Approximately 96 percent of Americans own cell phones. Most read their news on these electronic screens. And here’s something else. When Americans browse these morning headlines, can you guess where they are usually sitting? Most Americans—and I’m not trying to be gross—read the news in the bathroom.

These are just the facts, Candace. You asked what was going to happen to us. I’m telling you.

And the fact is, 98 percent of Americans report visiting the loo daily between 6 A.M and 10 A.M. That’s an overwhelming majority. So in other words, we Americans might not agree on much, but roughly 321.4 million of us definitely agree on this precious four-hour window.

After we Americans finish our nationwide moment of deep reflection, what happens to us?

This. Most of us will eat bacon. Again, this is all true. In a recent study based on U.S. Census data, about 82 percent of America regularly eats bacon.

This might not sound impressive until you consider that 10 years ago, hardly anyone admitted to eating bacon publicly. In fact, if you told your doctor you ate bacon, he would immediately start showing you casket catalogs from the local funeral home.

Not anymore. Today, 268 million Americans eat bacon. And 21 percent say they plan to eat bacon every morning of their lives.

This is partly because in 2016, U.S. nutritionists began suggesting that cholesterol in food may not affect your cholesterol negatively. Which was a real breakthrough for amateur pork enthusiasts like me.

And this is also why people started eating eggs again. Remember when eggs were once blacklisted by the medical community? That’s all over now. Groundbreaking research recently proved that eggs aren’t bad after all.

And this is exactly the kind of scientific research we need to fund in America right now. All those in favor of university research aimed at uncovering the benefits of Anheuser Busch products raise your hands.

So I’m running out of room here, and I still haven’t fully answered your question about “what happens next” in America. I haven’t even gotten past breakfast. I’ve only named a scant few marvelous things happening in the U.S.

I haven’t told you about the amount of Americans who will donate to charities this year (6 out of 10 households give significantly to charities).

Neither have I told you how many annual kids are fortunate enough to attend college (18.2 million).

Or about the 3.2 million abused animals that are adopted each year.

Oh, and I could also tell you that each year 135,000 children get adopted. I truly hope you think about this number for a moment because this means that, on average, 15 kids per hour are finding forever homes.

A few of these children write to me from time to time. Like the young man named Eric, who wrote a few weeks ago. Here is how Eric’s letter read:

“I have finally been adopted and am going to my new home on Friday… I get my own room and they got me some shoes so I can play basketball… Please pray for me, ‘cause I’m real nervous, but I’m so excited that someone really wants me.”

Yes, Candace, I know that things aren’t good in this country right now.

But people still are.


  1. Linda Chapman - January 14, 2021 6:45 am

    I love you, Sean……

  2. T. Gregory - January 14, 2021 6:48 am

    Yes! Thank the Lord, and please make it so. From the other end of the Bay… — Trey

  3. garwyo - January 14, 2021 6:49 am

    Thank you, I needed this, you have help renew my faith in this great country.

  4. DawnB - January 14, 2021 7:11 am

    Yes! Let’s get our attention off of the news. Turn off the TV, don’t read the news, get back to our families and nature! Look to the heavens and our God. Good is all around us, if we just look. 😊❤️

  5. Ann - January 14, 2021 9:34 am

    …..and good morning to you,Sean!
    I’ve always felt we can do whatever we want with numbers…and you did and in a wonderfully amusing and very positive way.I thank you. Have a glorious day and breathe deeply as the sun rises🌞

  6. Dale Edwards - January 14, 2021 11:19 am

    Alli can say is “WOW” you nailed it Sean! Love it! Thanks!

  7. turtlekid - January 14, 2021 11:24 am

    Sure needed this reminder!💜💚💛🧡❤️

  8. Sharon Brock - January 14, 2021 11:27 am

    This is genius Sean. I don’t know about Candace but I feel better. Thank you for giving me perspective.

  9. Dale Brandon - January 14, 2021 12:13 pm

    I’m no expert, but this is among your best! The sun will rise and Spring will come.

    Enjoy your coffee!

  10. joan moore - January 14, 2021 12:22 pm

    Sean: Have another piece of bacon and a second cup of coffee! You deserve it for that bouquet of words you deliver to us every day!

  11. Melanie - January 14, 2021 12:26 pm

    Yes! This is the real news. Every minute of ever single day times millions. Grand slam, Sean! ❤️⚾️👏🏻⭐️🌞🌎

  12. Cyn - January 14, 2021 12:35 pm

    Thank you for helping us to realize that there is a great deal of good going on in this country. We need to focus on that and work on and for the good. The rest will take care of itself with prayer.

  13. annie - January 14, 2021 12:56 pm

    And, Sean, you are one of the good ones!!!

  14. Earle W. - January 14, 2021 1:06 pm

    While I appreciate the detail with which you have listed the routine for most of America, some of us older folk have realized an egregious omission. Upon awakening, most of us elders are challenged to make it to the bathroom before wetting our clothes, for those clothed for sleep, or I guess wetting the floor and the rugs for those sleeping buck naked. That first of the morning relief may very well be the most satisfying part of the day.

  15. MaryPage - January 14, 2021 1:08 pm

    Thank you for the beautiful reminder of what I do each day. I would only add a 1 1/4 mile walk at 5am under the stars. Great start to my day. Written to you as I sit on the loo.

  16. Earle W. - January 14, 2021 1:13 pm

    I forgot to mention, I love the single-line illustration accompanying the column! And yes, I had to follow the line all the way through to be sure it was a single line.

  17. elizabethroosje - January 14, 2021 1:16 pm

    so true. I am a minority in that I will have black teas for breakfast, not coffee 🙂 love eggs for breakfast! 🙂

  18. Christine - January 14, 2021 1:23 pm

    So good to hear about the routines the majority of Americans have each day to welcome the new day ahead.
    Thank you for the reminder that the majority love God and USA and want to be useful and love our fellow Americans.

  19. Karen Howard-Goss - January 14, 2021 1:32 pm

    Another “turning words into smiles, calmness and positivity” home run, Sean—you rock. The capital of Ohio is Columbus, don’t be like that because Alabama won 😉

  20. Joey - January 14, 2021 1:34 pm

    So. Excited. For. Eric!!!!!!!!!

  21. Debbie g - January 14, 2021 1:43 pm

    You remind us it’s a beautiful day somewhere everyday love and thank you ❤️❤️❤️

  22. Jan - January 14, 2021 1:50 pm

    You bring the sunshine no matter what the sky outside my window says. I am so happy for Eric! Every child deserves to be loved! You give me hope each and every morning! Thank you, Sean!

  23. Susan - January 14, 2021 2:01 pm

    Thank you. I really needed to read these words this morning.

  24. Lisa - January 14, 2021 2:09 pm

    Thank you, Sean. Every…single…word. Thank you, much needed today.

  25. Carter Anthony - January 14, 2021 2:14 pm

    I had a similar discussion with a friend in Grady, AL, yesterday. People in Ramer and Grady aren’t mad with each other, they are busy trying to make a living, pay their bills and care for their families. I don’t know any citizens in Birmingham who are mad with each other. I don’t see any fighting going on anywhere except in D.C and in the news media. It seems both fight amongst themselves to justify their jobs. And Alabama beat both Notre Dame and Ohio State in the same year. Life is good!

  26. Lynne Hill - January 14, 2021 2:27 pm

    Thank you so much. I am starting my day with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. Of course and coffee!

  27. JACKIE LEON DARNELL - January 14, 2021 2:45 pm

    My feelings exactly. For some reason my comments aren’t taken. But I will say amen and try again. This is a great country, I served, and I am very proud to say I am an American!

  28. Lynda Gayle Knight - January 14, 2021 2:48 pm

    This kind of writing is EXACTLY what journalists & news media new need to be publishing every day! Flood the printed word with the good in people, especially Americans. Somehow good news is not “popular” as is bad news❣️

  29. D - January 14, 2021 3:15 pm

    Hallelujah Amen!

  30. Patricia Gibson - January 14, 2021 3:23 pm

    Amen and thanks,Sean

  31. Gail Bohlman - January 14, 2021 3:25 pm

    I am a new subscriber. A friend got me on to your blog and boy I really needed a well written, light perspective in the midst of all of the hopeless and frightening ones. Kinda like a gentle, open handed, slap on the cheek. People indeed, overwhelming, are good and we can only do the next right thing. Thank you Sean for sharing your gift of writing.

  32. Phil (Brown Marlin) - January 14, 2021 3:36 pm

    And the whole congregation said, “It’s gonna be okay!”

  33. Robert M Brenner - January 14, 2021 3:39 pm

    Spot on once again…Thanks

  34. Jannie Bryant - January 14, 2021 3:44 pm

    Thank you Sean! Love your writing. It is always a bright spot in my day.

  35. Gloria - January 14, 2021 4:04 pm

    And I too followed the single line.. it led me straight to the kitchen where I fixed my bacon and eggs!😀

  36. Becca - January 14, 2021 4:17 pm


  37. Lisa Marie - January 14, 2021 4:24 pm

    Bless you for the simple reminder. No matter how scary things seem we carry on and there is something centering about our daily routine 🙂

  38. Bob - January 14, 2021 4:40 pm

    Notes to me :
    1. adopt dog (wife not aware yet);
    2. turn weeds yellow every morning (don’t have much grass);
    3. continue reading Sean daily (something to look forward to).

  39. Linda Moon - January 14, 2021 6:16 pm

    If I had the audacity to send you an email, it wouldn’t be full of anxiety. In fact, my hypothetical email would be full of positivity….like family, laughter, and dancing. Your factual research in answer to Candace’s question is thesis-worthy. You are one of the best of the many good people, Sean Dietrich!

  40. Jane - January 14, 2021 6:34 pm


  41. Glenda Williams - January 14, 2021 6:42 pm

    Your articles lift me up, and countless others. God bless you!

  42. Suzanne Moore - January 14, 2021 7:18 pm

    In a time when so many of us are experiencing high anxiety about our country, the safety of out incoming President, Vice President, and members of Congress, etc., it is good for us to be reminded that the world is still turning, ordinary activities of life are still happening, and there are even small miracles occurring around us. Thanks, Sean.

  43. Chris - January 15, 2021 11:28 pm

    Loved your post. Your writing is so heartwarming.

  44. Bill - January 16, 2021 2:11 am

    Bacon. What would America do without it? I mean it it’s part of the ritual to start the day!

  45. Sunshine - January 16, 2021 4:18 am

    Amen to not looking at the news!

  46. Cheryl Peterson - January 16, 2021 5:34 am

    The entire world needs to see this. God bless you!

  47. Ted Leach - January 18, 2021 11:30 am

    Thanks for a word of clarity over coffee. 🙂

  48. Julie - February 1, 2021 12:40 pm

    Ahhhh, yes…good people. They are out there, and if you look hard enough, you will find them.


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