People — like flowers in a garden — make our world a more pleasant place. They give to us. They enrich our lives. Even when they annoy, irritate and exasperate us, they help us. They help us grow. They help us reach for greatness. More important, though, we need to focus on what we owe them — what duties we have towards them. These are two.
One: we may not hurt them in any way. We may not hurt them physically and, even more so, we may not hurt them emotionally. Any word we say to embarrass them is a crime. Worse, if we disgrace them in public, this is similar to murdering them. We must treat them with care.
Two: we need to help them — influence them — for their good. As much as we are able, we should improve their circumstances, their lives, their selves. In a sense, they are our children — our responsibility — and we must care for them.
 Rabbeinu Yona, Avos 3.15. Mesilas Yesharim, “Pratai HaNekius”, Eshkol Publications, p.52
By Rabbi Avraham Tzvi Schwartz
Excerpted from “Be a King“. To buy this book as an ebook for $4.95 click here.
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