Rabbi Zelig Pliskin shares a wonderful insight into the mitzvah to “love your fellow as yourself” and the barriers to its fulfillment. He teaches that the commandments of loving your fellow can be fulfilled at all times, every single second of the day. Any favor or kindness that you do for someone is a fulfillment of this commandment. But the commandment can also be fulfilled through thought.
When you are happy about the good fortune of someone else, it constitutes an act of loving your fellow. For instance, if you hear that someone just gave birth to a child and you feel happy, you fulfill this commandment. The difficulty of fulfilling this commandment, he writes, lies in the fact that most people are inclined to be jealous of others. When they hear about someone’s good fortune (for example, he became wealthy or received great honor), their jealousy is aroused and prevents them from being sincerely happy.
Therefore, it is extremely important for a person to work on rectifying their trait of jealousy. Another important factor that will enable a person to love their fellow is judging them favorably. For if even once you do not judge someone favorably, you will no longer be able to feel a complete love for him.
The Baal Shem Tov used to say: Love your fellow man as yourself. You know that you have many faults, nevertheless, you still love yourself. That is how you should feel toward your friend Despite his faults, love him.”