http://revach.net/article.php?id=4593

Section: Stories   Category: Gadlus
The Alter Of Novhardok Teaches Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer To Get Dressed Up But Not To Dance
One of the main lessons of the Alter Of Novhardok was the problem of Nigius, self interest.  Nigius he said, insidiously crawls its way into every decision we make, contaminates the mind, and corrupts our minds and our ability to think honestly and clearly.

The Chaim SheYesh Bahem (Korach) says that Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer personally learned a lesson on the Nigia of laziness from the Alter Of Novhardok.  Rav Isser Zalman said that when a person needs to make a decision if a visitor to town is due respect and one must go greet him, the first thing he must eliminate to make a proper decision is Nigia of laziness which will skew the decision in favor of not going.

How can this be achieved, asked Rav Isser Zalman?  The Alter provided the perfect solution.  When a distinguished guest who may possibly deserve kavod arrived to town, the Alter would get dressed up in his finest clothing and go to the home where the guest is lodging.  When he reached the lodging, he would stand outside and only then decide if this person is deserving of this honor.  In that way he eliminated laziness as a consideration in his decision.

Thanks to this lesson, said Rav Isser, I have a practice that when someone asks me for a letter of recommendation I immediately write one.  Only after I have taken the time and effort to do this, do I then consider if he is deserving of it.  Only if he truly deserves it, do I give it to him.