A pilgrim, dusty from travel, passed an aged countryman resting by the roadside. He asked: ‘How long will it take me to walk to the next village?’ The countryman remained silent, and the pilgrim felt: ‘Oh, well, not everyone is friendly’, and trundled on his way. No sooner had he taken about ten brisk paces, than the countryman called out: ‘Half an hour!’ The pilgrim turned back and said: ‘Thanks—but why didn’t you tell me before?’ ‘I first needed to know how quickly you walk.’

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This article is from the Spring 2016 issue of Self-Knowledge Journal.