Chesed in Cheshvan - or a month of loving-kindness

There has been lots of difficult stuff in the news lately. For some balance, I'd love for you all to check out this article about a wave of kindness for seniors started by just one person:

Just one person created a ripple effect of so much kindness and goodness! Inspiring, isn't it? We can all do that.

We are now in the Jewish month of Cheshvan. It is the only month without any holidays (much to the delight of rabbis and congregants everywhere who need a break after all those Fall Festivals!). I think it's an opportunity to move our focus from celebration to chesed - the Jewish value of loving-kindness.

This month I'm trying to practice more chesed. The Jewish concept goes beyond kindness into the realm of caretaking. I'm thinking of how I am with my kids, trying to play and even set limits with a loving kindness. I'm also thinking of random acts of kindness and gifts for strangers I can plant around... a little note that says "Open me" and then inside says "Whoever you are, accept this $5 Starbucks gift card and have a drink on me. Love, a stranger". Things like that. I also definitely want to put loving kindness into how I am with friends and family -- listening attentively, loving fully, being present.

Happy Cheshvan! Let's make it a month of chesed.