Image courtesy Nick Busse/Flickr.

Recently, a pinprick hole in an old pipe caused a flood in my husband’s office, which also serves as the guest room in our home at the Institute for Humane Education (IHE). Not only were the walls, ceiling, and carpeting ruined, but a huge repair job loomed.

My husband turned off the water to stop the continued flooding, and we called the plumber. They couldn’t do anything until the ceiling was demolished, which would enable them to get to the pipe that was the culprit. The plumber recommended a local mold mitigation company, and they were able to come over within two hours. Several really nice, really hard-working guys worked all afternoon and the next morning to solve the problem, and the plumber came back and fixed the leak so that we had water again in our home.

Another friend (who is a builder and who turned our old barn into a guesthouse for the students at IHE using found and recycled materials) came out right away to take measurements for replacing the flooring.

Meanwhile, the mold mitigation people have been talking to our insurance company on our behalf.

Meanwhile, my husband’s work as a veterinarian is flexible enough that he was able to get home from work to clear out his room and minimize the damage.

That night when we sat down to eat dinner and held hands for our nightly ritual, during which we share something for which we are grateful, I realized how tremendously grateful I felt for all the wonderful people who made what could have felt like a disaster not such a big deal.

It’s gratifying to feel gratitude, to know that in the midst of what might otherwise feel overwhelming and terribly upsetting, I can actually feel appreciation and thanks as my dominant emotions. That’s what I learned from our burst pipe.

~ Zoe

Zoe Weil, President, Institute for Humane Education
Author of Most Good, Least Harm; Above All, Be Kind; and The Power and Promise of Humane Education
My TEDxDirigo talk: “The World Becomes What You Teach
My TEDxYouth@CEHS “How to Be a Solutionary”

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