Av 3
Gemilus chassadim is very great (Succah 49b).
Some people do favors for other people to get approval. This behavior pattern is based on the assumption that if they do not help others, they will not be liked. This assumption in turn derives from a basic feeling that they are unlikable, and that they must do something positive to overcome this unlikability.Such behavior is fraught with serious consequences. If the object of their kindness fails to show approval, they are likely to feel angry, because in their eyes he or she took advantage of them by accepting the favor and not paying out the expected approval. In general, people who feel that they are unlikable do not manage anger well, for they feel that showing anger and resentment will alienate people from them. Their only solution then is to do more for people to overcome this new threat of alienation. This process sets up a vicious cycle that drains their energies as they continue to exhaust themselves in both doing for others and suppressing their increasing anger, resentment, and unhappiness.Therefore, we should not do acts of kindness to incur the favor of others. Instead, we should concentrate on doing kindness because it is right, and we can then show kindness even to our sworn enemies, who will never like us regardless of what we may do for them.Today I shall …do good deeds because they are the right thing to do, rather than to ingratiate myself.