What does it mean to depend on others? (Translated by Jack Xu)

何谓求诸人?人同类而智殊,贤不肖异,皆巧言辩辞,以自防御,此不肖主之所以乱也。凡论人,通则观其所礼,贵则观其所进,富则观其所养,听则观其所行,止则观其所好,习则观其所言,穷则观其所不受,贱则观其所不为,喜之以验其守,乐之以验其僻,怒之以验其节,惧之以验其特,哀之以验其人,苦之以验其志,八观六验,此贤主之所以论人也。论人者,又必以六戚四隐。何谓六戚?父、母、兄、弟、妻、子。何谓四隐?交友、故旧、邑里、门郭。内则用六戚四隐,外则用八观六验,人之情伪贪鄙美恶无所失矣,譬之若逃雨,汙无之而非是。此圣王之所以知人也。

What does it mean to depend on others?

We are all human, but our intelligence levels vary greatly.

The wise and the immoral, although different, all use rhetoric to sweet talk and defend ourselves, which is why the unwise leaders become muddled in their judgement.

To assess a person: When he’s successful, observe who he respects. When he’s powerful, observe who he recommends. When he’s wealthy, observe who he helps. When he’s given advice, observe how he reacts. When he’s not busy, observe his interests. When he’s learned, observe what he says. When he’s impoverished, observe what he would not accept. When he’s ill-fated, observe what he would not do.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_philosophy

Make him ecstatic, to examine his conduct. Make him overjoyed, to examine his demeanor. Make him angry, to examine his self-control. Make him frightened, to examine his integrity. Make him sorrowful, to examine his character. Make him endure hardship, to examine his resolve. These are the eight observations and six examinations wise leaders use to assess a person.

But there are also six direct; and four hidden relationships that must be considered.

What are the six direct relationships? These are the father, the mother, older brothers, younger brothers, wife, and children. What are the four hidden relationships? These are friends, acquaintances, neighbours, and confidants. To assess a person’s inner character, use the six direct and four hidden relationships.

To assess a person’s outer character, use the eight observations and six examinations. Then a person’s sincerity, hypocrisy, greed, awfulness, virtue, and wickedness will all be captured without error – as if he were running through rain, where it is impossible to avoid the raindrops landing on him. This is how sagacious leaders value a person.

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