From the beginning of Elul, through Yom Kippur, we enter a period of introspection, when we seek to mend our relationship with G‑d and with other people. These 40 days correspond to the 40 days Moses spent on Mount Sinai, seeking complete forgiveness for the nation and receiving the second set of tablets after the sin of the Golden Calf.

Many of us review our year and consider what we have done that requires atonement. But perhaps we should also be reconsidering our inaction—our not doing something—and how we can remedy that.

1. Not acknowledging someone. Someone says hello to you on the street but you ignore them. Someone did a favor for you, gave you information that you’ve asked for, wished you well on a project, or sent you a birthday card. No acknowledgment.

Rabbi Arieh Levin, also known as “The Tzaddik of Jerusalem” was known to greet the street cleaners in the holy city. Why? Because they were doing the holy work of keeping it clean. And why else? Because they were fellow human beings! Not responding to someone is invalidating their personhood. We are exhorted to recognize other people as images of G‑d and as vessels of the Divine spark they possess by virtue of their having a soul. Ignoring them is tantamount to ignoring a messenger of G‑d. Whether it’s embarrassment, laziness, distraction, discomfort or displeasure that’s responsible for ignoring another human being, let’s resolve not to do it again. Make a resolution to answer (or initiate) all greetings, return all phone calls and respond to all direct questions even if the answer is no.

2. Not returning what you’ve borrowed. Lending possessions or money to another person is a mitzvah. If you’re not careful to return what you’ve borrowed, you are likely causing the person from whom you’ve borrowed to be less inclined to lend out things in the future. This can domino into a lot of bad feelings and ill will between people. Go through your possessions and make sure that you aren’t inadvertently holding on to something that doesn’t actually belong to you.

3. Not doing your job properly. Many things affect our job performance. Some of them aren’t our fault or responsibility. But if you come to work exhausted, come late or leave early, or are not totally present at your job, then you are in violation of not living up to your work contract. Obviously, there will sometimes be mitigating circumstances and some workplaces are more laid-back than others, but we have a responsibility to deliver whatever it is we are being paid for—and that goes for service people, landlords and employers, too.

4. Not keeping promises.So many times we blithely make promises—to our spouse, kids, friends, employees, tenants or parents. We promise and we don’t deliver. “A word is a word.” Let’s resolve to keep our word and promises to everyone, even if that requires being a little more reserved about offering or agreeing to things.

5. Not taking care of ourselves. Besides the Torah’s dictum that we must guard our souls, we have to take care of ourselves because we’re needed by other people. If we don’t eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, share time with friends and replenish ourselves with things we enjoy doing, then we will be unable to fulfill our responsibilities to our families, jobs and communities. If we really don’t take care of our physical health, our finances or our mental health, we can become burdens on others. Of course, things can happen that we have no control over, but let’s be diligent in making sure that we take care of ourselves.

6. Not intervening to prevent someone else from being hurt. “Do not stand on your fellow’s blood.” When we see bullying, harassment, violence or crime, we are naturally drawn to it out of curiosity. But then what do we do? Do we watch in horror or fascination? Do we run to protect ourselves? Or do we help? How is it possible for one child to bully another when there are 20 of his classmates in the vicinity watching? How can a boss mistreat one of his workers and the others don’t rally to his aid? How can someone attack a person in the street and no one comes to the victim’s defense? People are afraid to get involved, but that only encourages more pain. Resolve to help anyone in need of protection unless it clearly endangers your own life.

7. Not asking forgiveness. We sometimes falsely assume that either we have done nothing wrong or that the other person forgives us. Often, people who exhibit horrible behavior towards others justify it to the point of believing they have done nothing wrong or that the other person deserves it. By acknowledging the harm we have done and seeking to redress it, we can mitigate the damage.

May we begin the upcoming year resolved not only to desist from the sins of action, but also the oversights of inaction.