Turn Kindness into a Habit
Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9 )
Here's a riddle:
I am your constant companion. Half the things you do you might as well turn over to me, and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly....
I am easily managed – but you must be firm with me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet...
Who am I?
We are told in this week's Torah portion to walk in the ways of God ‘all the days’ (Devarim 19:9).
The Sages explain that walking in the ways of God means emulating God’s kindness and compassion. God is the ultimate giver, building and sustaining our world constantly.
The Chofetz Chaim notes that the Torah is stressing that this must be done every day. It is a mistake to think that if one does someone a favor they have ‘covered’ their obligation to do kindness for the next few weeks.
Every day of our lives we need to go out of our way to do a favor for someone.
In the lead up to Rosh Hashanah it is a prime time to take on a small step to improve ourselves. The Torah is giving us a practical suggestion: perform a daily act of kindness and turn it into a habit.
As Antony Williams once said, ‘Kindness is not an act, it’s a lifestyle.’
(Extract from poem by Steven Covey, Torah ideas Adapted from Love your Neighbour by Zelig Pliskin)