http://revach.net/article.php?id=4763

Section:  Avodah   Category: Innocent Observations
A Not So Exotic Way To Live

Zachreinu L'Chaim, Ksov L'Chaim, B'Sefer Chaim.  These days we pray that we will make through the year alive.  Aside from Tefila we also engage in many traditional customs like Kaparos.  Further down the food chain and unfortunately performed with even more seriousness come many questionable exotic segulos that we treat like Torah MiSinai.

The serious people are looking for more substantial ways to ensure they make through the year, and are undertaking various Kabalos to improve in areas that they feel they weak.  Since the oldest and most reliable source is our Torah, and there are very few mitzvos in the Torah that promise long life, why not make a Kabala to improve in one of them?  

Improving our Shiluach HaKen is not really practical since the gemara in Chulin (139b) says that one need not comb the mountains looking for bird's nest.  However for most of us fortunate to still have parents, surely there is something we can undertake going forward to improve our Kibbud Av V'Eim.

Even the great Amora'im who treated their parents like royalty and surely never spoke against them, admitted that they did not even get to halfway where they need to be in this Mitzva.  We who live in a culture where the young feel superior to the old, surely have what to improve in Kibud Av V'Eim.  If we can't change our mindset we at least behave as we should.  

This year make one small Kabala about how you will treat your parents.  Make sure to call at regular intervals or make sure to speak only with respect or decide never to say a negative thing about them even outside their presence.  Whatever it is big or small, just do it!  And may we all be zocheh to a Chasima Tovah and many happy and healthy years to come.