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The best opportunity you have to cultivate yourself is when you clash with someone who is hostile towards you, or refuses to go along with what you say. When we run into such situations, we can’t help but learn the lessons that people can be really difficult to deal with.

In contrast to those who casually respond “yeah, sure,” accepting whatever you say, when you butt heads with the type of people who argue every point and look for nothing but your faults, and earnestly work to reach an understanding with them, a loneliness and frailty, hidden behind their obstinate attitude, will slowly become visible. And once you know those people’s hearts, you will no longer be indifferent to them.

As a matter of fact, when you bump up against all kinds of people, attempt to engage them, and come to grasp the real nature of the human heart, you will develop a stronger nerve.

You will no longer shrink back in fear from anyone. This is what it means to gain the understanding that comes from broadmindedness.

Without understanding the depths of the human heart, you won’t experience genuine concern for others, and because of that, people won’t follow your lead.

Nikkyo Niwano

From Kaisozuikan 9 (Kosei Publishing Co. 1997), pp 64-65

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