Say What You Do And Do What You Say
October 4, 2021
One day a parent came to Mahatma Gandhi with his 10-year-old son. He told Gandhi,” Bapu, my son has an addictive habit eating a lot of jaggery. I have been telling him to reduce eating jaggery, but he does not listen to me. I know the entire nation listens to you and follows what you say. If you can tell my son not to overeat jaggery, I am sure my son will follow your advice. Can you please tell him”?
Mahatma Gandhi took a moment to think and asked the gentleman to bring his son again after two weeks. The parent was puzzled at Gandhi’s request but did not dare argue. He left and came back with his child in two weeks, as Gandhi instructed. Putting his hand on the child’s head, Mahatma Gandhi endearingly said, “My dear child, don’t eat jaggery too much. It can be harmful”.
After the conversation ended, the puzzled father asked Mahatma,” Bapu, this was simple. You could have said the same thing the first time we met you. So why did you ask us to come back in two weeks ?”
To which Mahatma responded,” I used to take jaggery till two weeks back. I needed the time to quit eating jaggery so that I could counsel your son with conviction”.
There are two types of people—those who lead by their words and those who lead with their actions. The ones who lead with their actions are leaders who walk the talk. Their actions and words are aligned, and they can influence people and get them to do as they desire based on their actions and not what they tell.
When you say what you do and do what you say, your power to influence others grows exponentially.
I suspect this is what Mahatma Gandhi meant when he said, “Be the change you want to see in the World.”