In Buddhism,the word “suchness” is used to mean “the essence or particular characteristics of a thing or a person, its true nature.” Each person has his or her suchness. If we want to live in peace and happiness with a person, we have to see the suchness of that person. Once we see it, we understand him or her, and there will be no trouble. We can live peacefully and happily together.

When webring natural gas into our homes for heating and we know the suchness of gas. We know that gas is dangerous – it can kill us if we are not mindful. But we also know that we need the gas in order to cook, so we do not hesitate to bring it in to our homes.The same is true of electricity. We could get electrocuted by it, but when we are mindful, it can help us, and there is no problem, because we know something about the suchness of electricity. A person is the same. If we do n o t know enough about the suchness of that person‘, we may get ourselves into trouble. But if we know,then we can enjoy each other very much and benefit a lot from one another. The key is knowing a person’s suchness. We do not expect a person always to be a flower. We have to understand his or her garbage as well.

Reference: Peace Is Every Step p. 68-69 by Thich Nhat Hanh