Yom Kippur is when we come to terms with our humanity, and when we come to terms with our sins. We ask for forgiveness from G-d, and we ask from our friends, and we take steps towards being better people. Yom Kippur really concentrates on malicious acts done towards your fellow human beings, and one's repentance is supposed to be strongest in regards to acts against your fellow (and G-d).
I myself have definitely not been nearly as nice or as good of a person to those around me as I could have been over the past year. I've identified five areas I want to improve in. I am human and will not be perfect, but, by His will, I hope to improve in these areas.
Here they are, in no particular order:
1. Make my own judgments, and not so readily believe the judgment of others. I've too readily believed the judgments of others on people, often with negative consequences. I've developed bad impressions of perfectly nice people, and too readily took other's anger as aspects of truth. I need to make fewer judgments like this.
2. Gabber less, listen more. I sometimes overpower conversations and don't let other, very interesting things get said. I want to be more conversationally polite.
3. More chesed, less snark. Chesed is the Jewish term for "grace and loving-kindness." Oftentimes, where I should respond with this, I am instead snarky or really...uncaring. I want to be less hurtful, even if I don't hurt the person directly.
4. Less gossiping. Gossiping is bad. I sometimes do it. I'd really like to do it less. My dormitory is honestly extremely gossipy, so I will really have to have a strong will on this. I hate it when people talk about me behind my back, so I really should practice what I preach.
5. Defend my friends more strongly. I'm friends with sets of people who dislike each other. Sometimes, when someone starts saying unjustified things about another friend of mine, I just sit there awkwardly. Enough of that. Nobody is talking about the people I love and care for like that. I'm defending y'all.
I hope to keep these things up. I have other tasks (forgiving certain folks, volunteering a few times), but these are the things I really thought about. I hope that I am able to do them.
Gmar tov to everyone.
Speaking of improvements to one's own self, my friend Hillel has yet another blog - I've linked it in the blogroll. It's called Improving Myself to Death, and he's chronicling his quest to achieve certain goals. Hillel is amazingly reflective about himself in general, and y'all should help him by reading his blog and egging him on. You rock, Hillel.