(This is a translation of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu’s philosophical sayings about worldly matters originally written in Chinese.)
A person is established in character only when he truly knows himself. Why? It is difficult for a person to be aware of his own flaws, just as he cannot see his own back, though it is in plain sight of other people. It is quite natural for a person to hide his own flaws, but overdoing it will alienate the person from those around him. When the person realizes this and feels ashamed, he turns to seek knowledge and adhere to moral integrity so as to establish his own character and win the respect and support of other people.
One must know oneself before one can truly be a human being. What is the rationale behind this? Why must we know ourselves before we can truly call ourselves a human being? Although we all consider ourselves as human beings right now, the conduct of many of us is worse than that of animals. The essential character of some people cannot even be called the essential character of a true human being, because a lot of us fail to understand ourselves. Only by understanding ourselves can we truly be a human being. We generally cannot see our own mistakes. Even if we see our own shortcomings, we forgive them. It is difficult to understand ourselves because we all hold our own individual internal principles and stubbornness. It is just like the fact that we cannot see our own backside. No matter how hard we try, we cannot lean our head back far enough to see our backside, but others can see it very easily and clearly. It is the same with our mistakes and shortcomings. We cannot see them, but outsiders can see them from every angle without us knowing it. So to make others like us, we have to hide our mistakes and conceal our flaws. It is human nature. Some people try too hard to hide their mistakes or flaws. Their strenuous and fierce efforts are excessive. In the long run, no one wants to be with them or work with them. People feel they are too selfish, too negative. If we can acknowledge our inadequacies, understand our mistakes and shortcomings, and try to acquire knowledge with a humble mind, then our ways will naturally comport with ethical standards. You can then become a true human being. When people witness your behavior and state of mind, they will naturally respect you and help you willingly. Therefore, by knowing yourself, you will be able to successfully develop yourself. By successfully developing yourself, you will then receive respect and support, and everything in the world will then be complete.