A Twist on the Golden Rule

Here's a story from a book I've been reading this week. I've reviewed Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline in my book blog. Follow the link on the right.

A woman walked three days across India to see Mahatma Ghandi and ask for his advice. When she gained an audience with the old man, she told him her problem.

"I can't get my son to eat healthy food. He will only eat sugar. What can I do?"

Ghandi pondered and then replied that she would have to go home and return next week for the answer.

The woman walked home the three days, and then set out again the next week to see the Mahatma again.

When she reached him, he remembered her and had an answer ready. Turning to her son, he said firmly, "Don't eat sugar."

The mother was a little puzzled. "Why did I have to go home and return for that answer? Surely you could have told me the same thing last week? I've walked for nine days to hear this."

"No," said Ghandi. "You had to come back this week because it took me a week to stop eating sugar myself. I can't tell someone to do something that I myself will not do."

Food for thought. How many times do we tell our children, or others to do things that we either are not capable of, or not willing to do ourselves?