Child’s Play: It’s Not What You Think. It’s What You Do.
My daughter recently got into an altercation. Preschool style. There was a toy laptop involved. It wasn't pretty. My daughter's friend expressed his desire to get a turn with the toy. The dispute erupted when my daughter expressed her intention to never let him get close enough to smell it. Ever.
I objected. She overruled. But that didn't last too long because I'm the Mommy. So a moment later when snacks started getting passed out to the other children on the play date, I told my daughter if she didn't feel like sharing her toy, I didn't feel like sharing my food. She relented. I victoriously announced to her friend, "she changed her mind and decided to share!" My daughter barked back, "I didn't change my mind! You made me!"
She was right. I did. But it didn't matter much, because she still did the right thing, and in Judaism actions are far more important than intentions. Not that intentions don't matter. They do. But if you get yourself to do the right thing, even if you don't feel like it, even if you do it for the wrong reason, more than half the battle is won. The basic idea is do the right thing first and the right intentions will eventually follow.
And sometimes a snack will too.