Honorable Mensch-ion

The Kindness Advantage

The Chofetz Chayim was the owner of a small grocery store. All their customers were greatly impressed with their honesty and the high quality of merchandise. Anything that was even partially spoiled was immediately removed from stock. All the weights and measures were accurate, and prices set according to halacha. Because of his integrity, the residents of the town flocked to the store. Instead of being pleased with his success, however, the Chofetz Chayim was worried that he might be taking away business from others and he kept the store closed in the afternoon.

The Torah teaches that we must uphold our brothers and sisters when their means fail them. Maimonides explains that to find someone work instead of simply giving him charity is the highest form of tzedakah. This week we had the good fortune of hearing from Dr. Dale Atkins, psychologist and author of The Kindness Advantage. She explained that we are all made btselem Elohim, in the image of God and each one of us is unique. Within that uniqueness, we must find out passion to allow us to perform acts of kindness.

Sometimes kindness is easy, but other times it is not a natural thing to seek out. Studies show that the kinder we are, the happier we are.

The Chofetz Chayim closed his shop in the afternoon. It was a kind thing to do for others, and it made him happy. What will each of us do this week to lift the spirits of others, in turn making us kinder and happier?

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