The “GoodNews” Challenge



Silent Comfort From A Stranger: Therese Responds to the “GoodNews” Challenge

(Thank you very much for writing Therese!  Everyone: See below how YOU can contribute to this column)

I was driving in the Old North End in the midst of a very busy day, settled in a very hectic week, amidst lots of struggle in my life. I was carrying a lot of tension for days and felt miserable, but couldn’t seem to chip away at it enough to relax and was too busy to slow down. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, when trying to be mindful while driving, I dissolved into a much-needed puddle of tears right on the road. I pulled off to a deserted parking lot near a mechanic’s shop. Though already fearful someone would see me and ask for explanation and that I would feel embarrassed, I wanted to give myself a minute to just let it out of my system. Tears were streaming down my face and I was full-on sobbing to the point I was not sure I could stop if I tried. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a gentleman who seemed to come out of nowhere approach my car. Immediately I felt my spine tighten and was ready to be defensive and explain that I was OK and just needed a moment, or what I was doing on his property. Instead, with the kindest eyes and not a word, he reached through my rolled-down window, handed me a tissue, patted me on the shoulder, and just turned and walked away to jump back into his Pepsi truck, drive away, and let me be.

If his actions were to have words, it felt like he said “I see you. I get it. It’s OK.” The exchange made me sob harder, but helped me soften more, in a way I needed at the time. I was too upset to barely look at him, but his humble and kind act of compassion and presence in a time of struggle caused a surprising shift for me in that moment and likely the rest of my day, if not a bit longer.

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)