On a day like today, when you wake up to such terrible news as the mass shooting in Las Vegas, what is there to do? Of course I’m following the news for updates, but that’s so terribly paralyzing and unproductive.

Thankfully, I had scheduled a post on my Facebook page for this morning and when that notification popped up it reminded me: The thing to do is to spread a little kindness, to connect. I was sharing this most wonderful email from a reader (including this picture):

“I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your book. We were without power for a week, thanks to Hurricane Irma, and I felt very lucky to have just come back from the Decatur Book Festival. A good cross breeze and your family’s story were a lovely way to spend my time.”

– Rachael Zeligman-Leebrick

Isn’t this the most wonderful note? It’s just a little gesture–this reader did not have to write to me (Thank you again, Rachael!). And, she was actually replying to my latest newsletter, which I also didn’t have to send. And, of course, I didn’t have to write my book, either; I wanted to. So, all those voluntary acts of giving, of creating, of making something nice and positive and uplifting that wasn’t there before, these are the things that last, that make all our efforts of kindness worthwhile. They are the little things we can set against these big instances of destruction, evil, and horror.

Over Yom Kippur, which we observed this past Saturday, I like to reread Toward a Meaningful Life: The Wisdom of the Rebbe (Menachem Mendel Schneerson), and incidentally I read the chapter on Charity and Wealth where it says: “You should strive to be a giver.

[…] there will always be room to give encouragement, inspiration, and guidance. […] When it comes to giving of yourself, there is nothing too small, and nothing too great.” (pp. 106/107)

So today, if I accomplish nothing else, I’ll make sure to mail that birthday present to a dear friend so it arrives on time, and I will bake that cake from my book for the book club meeting where I’ll be the featured author today. #spreadalittlekindness