The GoodNews Challenge

Photo courtesy of Kake  |  Creative Commons License at

Photo courtesy of Kake | Creative Commons License at

The Gift of Clean Water

by Trina Magi

(See below how YOU can contribute to this column)

I was home sick recently, and knew something was wrong when a torrent of water came blasting out of a retaining wall on the side of my front yard and began flooding the street. A water main had broken in front of my house. I called the Burlington Department of Public Works, and soon a team was hard at work. The temperature never rose above 10 degrees that day. The sun never broke through the gray clouds. For 12 hours straight the crew worked, sometimes standing in icy water. By 11 p.m., water to our homes was restored. As I watched the excavation, repair, and road patching from the upstairs window in my cozy bedroom, I was struck by the patience, stamina, smarts, and courage of people who do this sort of work. They labor under extreme and dangerous conditions to make sure we have things we take for granted—like clean water coming from a tap whenever we want it. My cup of chamomile tea tasted particularly good that evening.

P.S. A big smile and thank-you to the kind, anonymous person who left me a bus pass in an envelope pinned to the center bulletin board. Because my UVM employee ID card serves as a free bus pass, I’m planning to give it to some unsuspecting stranger next time I ride the bus. That will make their day!

About the “GoodNews” Challenge
One of the most important Shambhala teachings is the reality of basic goodness. When we open our eyes and pay attention, basic goodness is all around us. We invite you to share stories about basic “goodnews” in everyday life, whether it’s an anecdote about someone’s small act of generosity or kindness, or a newspaper story that touched you. Please send your “goodnews” to Trina at trinamagi(at)