I appreciated the way someone brought a concern to me. It was about someone else, but it was obvious that gossip was not the goal. There was no lengthy discussion, just a simple inquiry as to whether I was aware of someone’s struggle, because he knew I had a good friendship with the person at one point. We hadn’t stayed in contact recently, but the past connection was enough foundation for me to reach out right away.
I’m glad I did. The reconnection is sweet, regardless of the circumstances behind it.
Bringing up someone’s name isn’t always gossip. Sharing a concern about someone isn’t always gossip. Motivation matters, of course, and we can’t always be certain of someone’s motivation, but respect is a good indicator. When truth and compassion is at the core of our concern for others, we will want to reach out. We’ll want to help others. We’ll want to help others alongside others. It’s a community thing.
Not everyone will experience respect (or the lack of it) for what it truly is. We’ll mis-assess it at times. But we can always choose it. Regardless of if we’re on the giving or receiving end of sharing information or reaching others, we can be respectful. It’s a common decency that, sadly, isn’t quite as common as it might have once been. But whether it’s common or not, you can choose respect today as live life alongside others.