Sunday, September 12, 2010

A favorite story about Gandhi....

I’ll close with a metaphor attributed to Gandhi that illustrates the difference between posture and performance.

Imagine the scene in some remote village in India. Gandhi is in a small hut with a single table and the village people are lining up in the square to have a moment with him to tap into his wisdom and to make some sense of the challenges they face.

Eventually, a mother and son made their way to his table and the mother pleaded with Gandhi, “Can you please stop my son from eating sugar. It is affecting his health and I am worried.”

Gandhi got up from his chair and thought for a moment. He then said to the mother, “Come back with your boy to see me in two weeks.” The woman agreed and then she and her son left the room.

Two weeks later the woman returned with her son. Gandhi then spoke with the boy and the boy agreed. The mother, confused, asked Gandhi, “Why did you make me and my son wait to hear something you could have said two weeks ago?”

Gandhi then said, “You don’t understand. Two weeks ago, I too was eating sugar.”

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