Gandhi famously said, ”Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
The backstory to this often-quoted and profound line concerns a Mother who brought her son to Gandhi. She was worried for her son’s health because he was overweight and would not stop eating sweets. She asked Gandhi to tell her son to stop eating sweets. Gandhi said to come back in two weeks. She was surprised but complied.
In two weeks’ time, the Mother returned and Gandhi spoke directly to her son, clearly and compellingly asking him to respect himself and his life enough to eat healthy foods and give up sweets and sugar. “Why did I need to come back?” She asked. “Well Madam,” he answered, “I love sugar, pastries and candy. Before I could ask your son to give these things up, I had to know that I could do so myself.”
How amazing that such a famous and inspiring philosophy came about from such a simple thing as a boy’s love of sweets. Yet perhaps that’s the way it is – as Bruce Barton said, “Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things. I am tempted to think there are no little things.”
Each of us can choose how to live – and how to die. Having been out of touch and overseas for some months due to a tragic family bereavement, I have learnt this powerful lesson at first hand.
If you had just a few short weeks left to you, would you choose to live and die with grace, serenity and dignity? Or would you “rage, rage, against the dying of the light”? I was privileged to witness a choice of acceptance, made serenely, gracefully, contentedly, demonstrating such faith and happiness that not a tear was shed.
Inspirational. Thank you, Mum.