To know another…

The Jatila Sutta found in both the Udana (6.2) and the Samyutta Nikaya (3.11) gives a nice succinct guide on how it only through interacting with another person closely and observing them for a period of time that we can truly know that person:

“It is through living together with another,
      that his virtue is to be known…

“It is through dealing with another,
      that his honesty is to be known…

“It is through adversities,
      that another’s fortitude is to be known…

“It is through discussing with another,
      that his wisdom is to be known…

“…and even that is through a long time,
            not after a short time,
      by one who is attentive,
            not by one inattentive,
      by the wise,
            not a dullard.”

(Compare this with the advice given by Lao Zi in an earlier post.)

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