There is a very special rabbi in my life who helps me find my anchor when life tugs at my grip and loosens my grounding. There is a collective experience that is persisting and challenging us all on many levels. We feel it personally, we see it socially; it’s almost inescapable politically, and it’s happening, locally, nationally and globally. It is unifying and disunifying at the same time. To say it’s troubling is probably an understatement.

IOur rhythms have changed am almost certain that I am not alone in saying that the ways we have engaged our lives these last few months—in our homes and outside—has been altered dramatically, and for many, the impact has been quite jarring. In short, our rhythms have changed.

Recently, I had a powerful experience that I am still feeling days later. When I offered to drive a friend to a doctor’s appointment, I thought it would be just another ride there and back. Not at all.

I dropped her off and continued down a once heavily trafficked, beautiful, sophisticated shopping area that spans several blocks. I had seen on the news that this area had been attacked and looted a few months ago. Now though, I was seeing the lasting damage with my own eyes. My heart felt broken. My mind struggled to wrap it around the number of vacancies, the storefronts boarded up and covered with graffiti.

Where was I? Where were all the people who used to stroll on this stretch of city? How could this have happened? My anxiety started to wake up.

A few blocks later, I noticed a homeless person unlike any other one I have ever seen in my 36 years of living in and very near the city. I am no stranger to the homeless epidemic. This human being looked so malnourished and frail that I couldn’t believe she was even able to stand. I clutched my heart. I felt so pained. I gave her whatever change I had on me but still felt completely helpless. It was the sign that caught my attention even more and will stay with me forever. The sign read: “The termites ate my treehouse, the raccoons ate my tent and I have no place to live.” This is a human being, created by the same G‑d that created me, yet there was no sense of dignity. All I could do was take a deep breath and sigh aloud.

AIt is now a homeless village few blocks later was the icing on the cake. A beautiful field in a residential neighborhood where children once played, people relaxed and picnicked on blankets, fathers had baseball catches with their sons and families would stroll through with their dogs is now off-limits for public pleasure. It is now a homeless village covered with flimsy tents and flimsier people, who look like they haven’t eaten a real meal in more than many days.

The same G‑d that created me created them. It doesn’t make sense. Some things just don’t. My heart was racing, my skin sweating, my head spinning, and I felt angry, confused and basically overwhelmed with helplessness. What I witnessed, one thing after the next, are age-old problems that are now extremely magnified. The rest of the drive home I had a conversation with G‑d. I needed to share the burden.

What is going on here? Who is responsible for this? It looks like these lives don’t matter. This feels like a problem that might never go away. Could that be?

I felt sick. Where are you, G‑d, in all of this? I believe in you. I am full of faith. I’ve endured many struggles and sadness, challenges and losses, and yet I have always trusted that things will work out for the best. I must admit though, I am now having a very hard time finding that calm and acceptance.

I called my special rabbi, who listened to me share this experience and who reminded me of who I am. He listened with understanding. He grounded me. He encouraged me. He helped me find focus. He allowed me to release the emotional charge. He guided me to remember and acknowledge that I am the person who takes a situation that I realize I cannot solve and finds a constructive way to help the world heal in a way that I can. And so I will.

The timing is ideal. We’re in the month of Elul. International deep thinking month. Opportunity awaits. I feel charged with a task to bring connection, reflection, positivity, unity and healing. The action I am going to take may not solve the homeless epidemic directly, but it is the fuel that will fire a community effort to help people feel more hopeful and less helpless. I am taking a situation that I know I am not prepared or equipped to fix, and I will channel it in to a constructive opportunity for the women in my community, to bring unity and healing through the power of one.

The power of one takes me to the beginning. In the beginning, G‑d created one person. Why one? Why not 10 or 100? The Jewish sages throughout time have spoken about the power of one.

It’s so easy to think and doubt, how do my actions matter? Little ol’ me; will my prayers really matter? Will my acts of kindness really make a difference?

But the power of one points to the potential—the possibilities that every single person possesses. One person’s prayers do matter. One person’s voice does matter. One person’s kindness certainly matters.

In this spirit, I’ve invited 60 women in my local community to brainstorm on what we personally can do to help improve our world.

We will start by working on ourselves by practising an awareness of eliminating negative speech for one hour daily. There is a Jewish concept that when we do one mitzvah, it opens the pathways to do other good deeds.

In addition to practicingOne mitzvah leads to another the mitzvah of guarding our tongue, we will pray for the homeless when we light our Shabbat candles, and engage in the ritual of giving charity daily and especially before lighting. We will dedicate our giving and a portion of our prayers to helping those less fortunate than us. When we see the homeless looking wilted and hungry, we will work to give them food from our pantry, or dollars and coins sitting in our cup holder. Perhaps we can call our senator about opening a soup kitchen or work on finding a broader solution. One mitzvah leads to another.

While we might not eliminate the homeless problem, the origin of this group commitment is to increase our involvement in positive actions and diminish the negative.

The power of one. We never know how our kind actions will be translated to a new mindset and set into motion other good deeds. Each one of us has huge potential to affect the “goodness” in our hearts and homes, and our communities.

Ours is a unified path connected by a shared mission of reducing negativity in our minds, speech and actions, and building positive actions. Each one of has the potential to grow the mitzvah mindset. Each one of us has an evolving potential to impact how we engage others, and perhaps even how others look at their own purpose and connection to bring change and healing.

From one to many.