The more we act with kindness, the more it becomes our “automatic” response. We know it can be challenging to be kind to people. We make assumptions about why they act the way they do, they can push our buttons and we theirs, we can be tired or overworked and react unthinkingly. Some days it is hard to be kind to the ones we love the most. We get home and just want to focus on our own needs. And for many of us it is most difficult to be kind to ourselves. We know better than anyone else how often we feel we could have done more or done better. That is why we need to make kindness a habitual act. Mitzvah goreret mitzvah – one mitzvah leads to another. If we learn to cultivate kindness and compassion, starting with easy practices and moving on to harder ones, we are rewarded with the creation of community, love, trust, connection, and resilience. Kindness is the act that protects and grows our souls.
As we prepare to enter the New Year, may we be blessed to act with kindness in easy situations so that we may learn to instinctively act with kindness at challenging times. May we be compassionate in the world and may we bring that caring into our homes. May our actions lead others to acts of kindness. May we change ourselves and, in so doing, may we change the world.