When G-d first revealed Himself to Moses from the Burning Bush, He said to him, “Remove your shoes from your feet.” With this command, G-d impressed an important point on Moses.
That point was that when you walk down the road in shoes, you stroll easily. The shoes that you wear protect you from feeling the little stones and the sharp pebbles on the road.
However, when you walk down the road barefoot, you feel every little stone and every sharp pebble that you step on.
As Moses was being appointed to lead Israel, he was commanded to remove his shoes. This hinted to the fact that he had to walk through life “barefoot”, so that he could feel and understand every little pain and every little sorrow which was the lot of his people.
The true Jewish leader cannot isolate himself from the plight of his people. He cannot put on the figurative shoes of indifference, caring for himself, at the cost of feeling the distress of his flock.
Similarly, each of us should take off the shoes of apathy, and be sensitive to the even the smallest opportunities for kindness. We never know which minor gestures on our part could make a difference in people’s lives.