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Listen this week as Sean enters the studio to read current essays he’s written about the turbulent world we are living in.
My soul needed to hear this. Your gentle voice, your words, your insight has made my soul and I’ve easier to bear. Thank you.
I have listened to your doubt that you can go on with your podcast in light of the current appalling events taking place in our world. Sometimes we can become so weighed down with feelings of despair that there seems no way out. I know a little bit about you, having listened to your essays. There are things you know in the core of your being that are being obscured by the emotion you are carrying. Most people, I think, have an incorrect notion about what will make them happy. Maybe without realizing it they place great demands upon the world to be a place in their imagination that will once again return them to that tenuous state they define as happy. But it is a happiness that can so easily be toppled, and you will once again find yourself in despair. There is a very powerful tenet of Alcoholics Anonymous that states, and I’ll paraphrase, “If you want to be happy, do something in secret to help someone else”. Don’t look for recognition, thanks, or any other praise for having done this. The happiness that you will feel is simply a miracle that takes place all the time.
You have been blessed with a wonderful talent for storytelling, and I sense a bit of self-deprecation concerning that gift. I believe you would be better served by recognizing this gift you’ve been given and realize all the good that you do for the people who listen. To have missed this exchange, that is, the giving of your gift to many, many others and the joy and peace that your listeners receive from it, is not only a source of your depression regarding the world right now, but I think it is also a failure to recognize and give credit to the source of your inspiration. You’re pretty good at what you do (I’d say “excellent” but for giving you the big head), but your talent and the inspiration to use it come from a greater source outside yourself. It’s time you recognized a couple of things: that God is to be thanked for making you who you are, and that your gift is multiplied thousands of times over by helping the lives and attitudes of others through your essays delivered to us on your podcasts. That takes me back to the thought stated earlier, viz., doing something of value for others will bring you happiness and contentment. It’s pretty simple.
You’re considering quitting that which is your gift to others, with some perverted idea that peace will eventually return. Well, if you’re depending on the state of the world to provide you peace and happiness, you’ve loaded yourself and your family into a boat with holes in it. You ain’t gonna find it there! Yours is a problem of perspective, and I think a shift in perspective is the one thing that can bring you peace. Look at the comments you receive and really hear what they say. Take the one above: “My soul needed to hear this”. That’s powerful stuff, Sean! I think the decision to abandon providing the things that elicit such comments is above your pay grade. You can’t “fix” the world, but you can manage your corner of it. That’s all any of us can do.
That’s probably enough from me. There’s plenty to think about in what I’ve written, if you choose to think about it. I’m 72-years old, have had a heart attack, and have limited use of one of my arms, but if I have to find you and kick your ass, I’ll do it! Imagine your embarassment when your friends and neighbors ask you how you got dinged-up, and you have to tell them that an old man with a bad heart and a gimp arm kicked your ass! That’s just awful, and I’m glad I’ve never had to do that. I’m hoping we can just solve your problem with a written exchange – you know, like civil folk. But whatever it takes, I’m ready to go! Now git yur ass back on that couch and start typin’!
Sean, I am the author of the above screed that I certainly would not expect to be published as a reply on your site. Having read today’s entry, “Cheerful Heart”, I have paused to reconsider all that I wrote above. It now reminds me of a lesson about women that has taken me a lifetime to learn – I don’t need to attempt to “fix” every problem I see before me. Sometimes I just need to listen more and then respond as I feel that God is urging me to respond. That compulsion comes from being a man and also from being an engineer who has spent a lifetime troubleshooting problems and finding solutions. Equating your lack of inspiration to a lack of discipline was, well, just stupid of me.
I’m not going to leave it at that, though. I do actually have a couple of beliefs and suggestions to leave with you. I don’t think it is stated anywhere that your writing has to be humorous all the time. Different people are moved by different things. You won’t satisfy all your readers every time you write, although I imagine most of them take away something of value in everything you write. When I think about it, with this virus and watching our country burn around us, why in the world would anyone expect someone’s writing to just click along as if nothing had changed? I believe you to be a man of God. I also believe in being what God wants us to be. I believe that if you pray for God to inspire you to be and do what God wishes, that your writing can and will be inspired by the Holy Spirit to convey that which serves God’s purposes.
Referring to you as a “humor writer” seems so limiting to me. I think of you as a writer, and I think you can write anything that is on your heart. We are all somewhat in the same place that you are right now. Nothing seems as it should be, and we feel that. Having a talented writer reflect that to us is a very valuable gift at this time. Write what God puts on your heart right now, and then leave the rest to God. Don’t worry about having to fit into the mold that you may think is expected of you. Follow God’s lead, and then let go of the rest of it.
I think the fact that you can’t seem to write as you always have is expected in the world that we are experiencing right now. I would go so far as to label it inappropriate. The reader might actually think, “Does he not see all that’s happening?” This is more of a “me-to-you” thing, and yes, I have felt inspired to write this to you. I look forward to reading what you write no matter where your heart is. Trust me, you will reach many hearts and souls by just writing what God is inspiring you to write.
I wish you a deep sense of calm and the peace that only God can give.
I’ve listened to this already, but my comments from your written post today, “Cheerful Hearts”, won’t appear. So, I’m checking if this sends, but I’ll be listening again on a less sunny day, that requires my outside time!
So here’s my comment about “Cheerful Heart” (since it won’t post on that page): I know what you’re doing: making me feel better through your funny, poignant, or profound stories. Your written words can do that for me and 30,000-plus “fans” and “followers”. So reflect on this from one of Helen Keller’s friends: “I am only one, But still I am one. I cannot do everything. But still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” You, Sean Dietrich, have done many good “somethings” for me. Now, what can I do for you?
So can any of you listeners help me find out why my comments wouldn’t appear on the regular “story” page….internet problem, or spam, or blocked?
Beautifully said. From one child of God to another, “We are blessed!”