The sugar story


-By Aditri Sahni

Advice is what everybody wants to give, but nobody wants to follow. Giving advice to others is certainly easy, but applying them in your own life is often the hardest thing to do.

Practice what you preach might sound difficult, but great masters from the pages of our history have precisely done that. They first followed what they advised others, and that’s why their wisdom is relevant even today. To make my point, let me tell you about a little incident from Mahatma Gandhi’s life. For the sake of continuity, let’s call this– The sugar story.


Not far from Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram lived a mother and a child. While the mother was always tensed, the child was a very happy one. The reason for their tension and happiness was a common thing–sugar. The child loved to eat sugar, and the mother constantly worried about her child’s health.

One day, the mother decided to take the child to Gandhiji to resolve the issue. The mother told Gandhiji that the child does not listen to her and it would be great if Gandhiji could advice the child not to have too much of sugar as it is harmful for health. After listening intently, Gandhiji asked them to come back after a week.

Once the week was over, the mother and the child visited Gandhiji again. Now, Gandhiji looked intently at the child and told him to stop eating too much of sugar as it could be harmful for health. The child promised that he will not do so.

The mother looked annoyed. She was not able to understand why Gandhiji took a week’s time to tell the child such a simple thing. When she asked Gandhiji about it, he said that he himself used to eat a lot of sugar till a week ago, and how could he have told the child to stop eating sugar when he himself did not practice the advice. He further said that for the last one week, he stopped eating too much sugar so that he could give the same advice to the child as well.


The above story clearly indicates that hollow words, however well preached will fail to bring any change. One has to “Be the change that you wish to see in the world,” as aptly said Mahatma Gandhi.

About the author: Aditri Sahni is a student of class VI-B of The Air Force School. She enjoys drawing, telling stories and cooking.