As children, we receive messages that can be contradictory: DON'T LIE - BE GOOD. When we received a gift that we didn’t like, did we have to say HOW NICE and be GOOD or did we have to say, I DON'T LIKE IT, I’LL GIVE IT BACK and be BAD?
As adults, when we see that a very dear friend makes a decision that we think is wrong and that will harm him, but that friend is very enthusiastic and is asking for our approval, do we have to tell him THAT’S INTERESTING and be GOOD or do we have to tell him THIS IS A DISASTER and be BAD?
The dichotomy between being and feeling hypocritical agreeing with what the other wants to hear or being and feeling cruel for telling the other the whole truth and nothing but the truth requires learning double respect. Respect for one's own truth and respect for the truth of the other. The etymology of the word respect indicates that it comes from “backwards” (mirror, to speculate), insightful (to look through) Respect, in a deeper sense than consideration or looking, means to Review, to look back.
Indeed, explaining to a child that what is to be thanked when a gift is received is the loving intention of the person who makes the gesture of giving and not the gift itself, is difficult. But it’s more necessary than ever, in these times where we are all with a greater degree of irritability, of the need for understanding and protection, to practice respect for ourselves and for the other. How? Looking back, reconciling ourselves with the loving, genuine origin of the authentic (not Hippocratic) need for dialogue, to communicate, to establish intimacy, in the act of exchanging questions and answers (not cruel). In any case, at this moment in humanity it is clearer than ever what we don’t know. Therefore, it’s also more important than ever to value questions that are true.