A Mother once brought her child to Gandhi and asked him to tell the young boy to stop eating sugar because it was not good for his diet or his developing teeth.
Gandhi replied, "I cannot tell him that. But you may bring him back in a month."
The Mother was angry as Gandhi moved on, brushing her aside. She had traveled some distance and had expected the mighty leader to support her parenting. But having little recourse, she left for her home. One month later she returned, not knowing what to expect.
The great Gandhi took the small child’s hands into his own, knelt before him, and tenderly said, "Do not eat sugar, my child. It is not good for you." Then Gandhi embraced the boy and returned him to his mother.
Grateful but perplexed, the mother queried, "Why didn’t you say that a month ago?"
"Well", said Gandhi, "a month ago I was still eating sugar."
How does Gandhi’s example exemplify character?
What if all were true to themselves in this way? How would the world be different? How would your department be different? Your company? Your Family? You?
Being true to character means your actions reflect your beliefs, and your beliefs are based on correct guiding principles. At the very bedrock of character is integrity, honesty, respect for others, and alignment with correct principles.
The impact of violating character–integrity, honesty, and respect for others –is devastating.
By having integrity, honesty, respect for others, and by centering his beliefs on correct principles, Gandhi found internal strength, peace, clarity, and direction. As a result he lead effectively despite an often confusing and troubled environment.
Einstein said, "Setting and example is not the main means of influencing another—it is the only means."
So as you work, communicate, and report make sure you do it with integrity, honesty, with a respect for others and align your character with correct principles.
Reporting untruths and dishonest efforts does no one any good. It makes no profit and promotes no good. It undermines individuals and those individuals that count on good information.
Always be true to yourself and follow the above guiding principles and by your example others will follow the same pattern.
Make BIG things happen and have a great day,
(I have written down a number and I will reward the person that makes comments on youngdashboard about Gandhi and these principles….The persons # comments that match my number will receive the reward.)
22 thoughts on “Gandhi”
I love the Ghandi example. It’s difficult to expect things out of others if we are not doing so ourselves.
Gandhi’s example is an incredible one. In order to give direction, and for it to be credible, we must first be the example/change we wish to see. This truly applies in every aspect of life!
Great story! It reminds me of some managers I have had in the past that would ask me to make a call I know they wouldn’t make themselves. I think that as leaders if we are always willing to show not just ask our team we will have greater results.
Looking up character in the dictionary it says character = the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. Not only did Gandhi have great moral qualities he also had great mental qualities. He could not tell someone to do something he himself was not adhering to. This is true character and what a true leader possesses, the ability to be an example and when finding fault in ones self, Making the change to show others what to do before telling them.
I agree with Jake. We can all probably think of a bad example in the past, the key is to walk the walk. A good rule of thumb is if you feel something is not right, it probably isn’t.
Gandhi is a great example of integrity. It is something that we should always strive to retain. This allows people to build a deep trust in you.
Great story. Practice what you preach. I took on my nephew and have practiced this way for some time now. The house runs smother and he participated in chores and other responsiblities with out being asked.
Leading by example: The principle that inspired a million clichés (with good reason).
The pressure applied by a micromanaging employer will never exceed that of a hardworking team that’s counting on you, and all of the ultimatums in the world won’t instill the devotion you feel to a partner or friend who is fiercely loyal to you.
So… Practice what you preach. Actions speak louder than words. Get your hands dirty. Don’t ask another person to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk. BE AN EXAMPLE.
Thank you, this is a good daily reminder.
“A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.” – Ghandi
We have control over very few things in life – integrity and respect are aspects that form our unique character in which we do have control over. Surrounding ourselves with others of integrity in our personal and professional lives is very fulfilling. We all must make a concerted effort to deliver what we commit to as we are all leaders in some way, shape, or form. Ghandi is an example of “actions speaking louder than words”. Awareness also comes to mind …
Ghandi’s example is all about Character. It is who he is. It is who we should be! Our integrity has to govern our actions always. I am reminded of the quote, “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: Integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.” Have a Fantastic Day! It is the Best Day Ever!
Nice comments everyone. Pondering good things is good exercise. The reward comment has not been reached yet. Have a great day.
I absolutely love this story. Thank you so much for sharing it. It is a good reminder that we should all lead by example. Just like the quote says “Respect is not given, it is earned”
We all have influence on others in our life and careers and we always should be tuned into that fact. Whether we report to someone or supervise others we have a responsibilty to learn and experience what others do before we offer judgement, counsel, or advise. This priciple should be applied in a 360 degree scope and not limited to those who you report to but all individuals in and around your space.
I LOVE this post! Thanks so much for sharing it! I’m inspired to be a better example personally and professionally. Thanks also to everyone involved in making youngdashboard.com a reality. It’s a powerful tool for a powerful group. Go YAG!
These are tried and true principals, we should be using these in all aspects of our life. Thanks for the great example and reminder! I had not heard that story before.
The thing that stands out to me is that everyone takes their cues from those that lead. If you pick up trash in the parking lot, fellow team members will do the same. Today is a good day for a good day!
There are a few things that really stick out for me. First, Gandhi had the courage to say no to the lady that brought her son to see him. As it stated, “Gandhi replied, “I cannot tell him that.”” It is often easier to go along with what others want us to do rather than doing what is the right thing to do. Saying no to others takes courage and conviction. The ability to say no is key to living up to one’s beliefs.
Second, Gandhi was honest with the lady. When asked why he did not say it a month ago, he replied “a month ago I was still eating sugar.” He showed by both his words and his actions of his character and convictions.
In work and in all aspects of life, we need to have the courage to not just go along with what others ask of us or say to us. Honesty, together with courage, help us to build character.
I am a wolf, and will keep posting until the prize is awarded.
Ghandi’s thoughts when first confronted by the mother could have been, “You know, you are right sugar isn’t that good for you”. And then he acted on that realization. Do we have similar opportunities for retrospection? Do we recognize, overlook, or just plain miss such opportunities for our betterment. Just thinking.
Great post and very true. As a lifetime Scouter I have high expectations for honesty and integrity, especially when those items are not convenient. I really like the idea Ghandi had, and the personal resolve in the story to make that change himself before recommending it to others. I think that is a big thing in the finance office as well. We’ve spoken about it many times in our meetings, to own the products that we sell. I can tell first hand the benefits that come from this principle.
Use a good quality leather conditioner.