If from a vessel containing water a single drop is found to be brackish, it means that all of the liquid is undrinkable. We need a sample of only one drop to know with certainty what the rest will be like. Much the same is true of the human personality. It is like an over-brimming vessel, which keeps on shedding drops for other people to savour, to find sweet or brackish as the case may be. Small instances of an individual’s behaviour and quite short interludes in his company are generally sufficient to tell us what his overall personality is like. A thoughtless remark, an unfair manoeuvre, a failure to give much-needed sympathy or support, a devious transaction—all these are the plain indicators, like those brackish drops of water from the larger vessel, which indicate the lack of integrity or callousness of the person you are dealing with.
The human personality has the same homogeneity as water. A single human weakness cannot, therefore, be considered in isolation, as if it were an exception. It has to be looked upon as being representative of the entire personality. If an individual proves unreliable in one matter, he is likely to evince the same unreliability in other matters; if he is guilty of untrustworthiness on one occasion, the chances are that this trait will show up time and time again.
It is only he who has learned the art of moral introspection who will, in the long run, prove himself a person of inviolable integrity.