Being sensitive to others is an ideal that the Torah demands of us. We are aware of this. Nevertheless, even when trying to be considerate of the person with whom we are speaking, we often forget to think about all the other relationships that others have with this person. It is important to try to envision the greater picture. This idea can be illustrated with the following moshel, told by Rav Yitzchak M’Volozhin: A person has two good friends who become embroiled in an argument. The argument eventually ends when one of them overcomes the other. When the mutual friend hears what happened, he may be both gladdened and sorry. Though he hears of the success of one person, he hears the pain and anguish of the other.
So too, Moshe Rabeinu told Yisro about the punishment of Mitzrayim and the salvation of Klal Yisrael. However, the Torah relates only:
וַיִּחַדְּ יִתְרוֹ עַל כָּל הַטּוֹבָה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה ה׳ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל
Yisro was happy for Klal Yisrael’s sake, but his feelings about the punishment of the Egyptians are omitted. This is because Yisro had once lived in Egypt and had a close relationship to the Egyptians. Therefore, he was saddened upon hearing their pain.
We learn from this that we have to think carefully about how not to offend someone, even when relating a generally “gladdening” thought. This idea fits perfectly into v’ahavta l’reiacha kamocha, which is a klal gadol batorah, and is worth keeping in mind this Shabbos as we read about kabbalos ha-Torah.