The Midrash tells the story of an elderly man who was observed planting fig trees at the age of 100.
“Surely you don't expect to live to see the fruits of your labor?” questioned passersby.
“Have not my ancestors worked for me? Why then should I not work for the future generation in the same spirit of selflessness?” the man replied.
With so much going on in the world, we often feel powerless to make any real lasting change. How can our small actions make any significant difference? How can my good deeds help bring about the Redemption when our ancestors who were unarguably on a higher spiritual level and did many more mitzvahs did not see the Redemption happen during their lives?
But if we keep at it, even if we don't see immediate results, we are paving the way for the future, just as our ancestors did before us. Goodness lasts forever, and our deeds are accumulative. They all go into the same pile, building upon one another, higher and higher, until, together, we reach the ultimate crescendo.
on behalf of the Chabad.org Editorial Team