Q: I am in the position to mentor and influence others on their spiritual path to Torah observance. But I myself am far from perfect and have many faults that need work and issues in my life that I have to improve. Am I supposed to first rectify myself before attempting to influence others? Or should I go ahead and mentor, faults and all?
A: Previous generations used to demand that a person perfect himself before engaging in mentoring others. But the Lubavitcher Rebbe taught that this demand has changed. The Rebbe’s principle, with which he charged us, is to teach others as soon as we learn something new: If you have learned the letter alef, teach it to as many people as possible – and only then learn the following letter, beit. In addition and most importantly, from the moment that a person truly wants to rectify himself, in Heaven it is already considered as if he has completed the rectification as it relates to positively influencing others.