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The Story Behind: You Must Be The Change You Wish To See In The World


Thursday, September 15, 2016 10.13AM / Lolly Daskal, Aug 13, 2014

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.- Mahatma Gandhi

So many of us have heard and been moved by Gandhi's quote. But even as we have quoted, cited, coached it and counseled with it, we don’t often hear the story behind it.

Among the hundreds of people were waiting to visit with Mahatma Gandhi were a mother and her young son. When it was their turn, the woman asked Gandhi to speak with her son about eating sugar.

Gandhi asked her to come back in two weeks and said he would talk to the boy then. She wondered why he didn’t just speak to her son when he was already there, but she complied with his request.

In two weeks they returned, and after waiting for a couple of hours, she was able to approach Gandhi once again.

Hearing her repeated request, Gandhi immediately spoke with the boy, who agreed to begin working to eliminate sweets. After thanking Gandhi for his wise and compassionate words, the mother asked him why he wanted them to return instead of offering his advice the first time.


Gandhi replied, “Upon your visit two weeks ago I too was eating sugar.” He explained that he could not speak of or teach her son to not eat sugar if he himself had not taken that journey.

Whatever changes you would like to effect in our society has to begin with you.

Let your every moment be an example of what you teach and counsel.

Let your every action be a reflection of your beliefs.

Let your every word be reflective of your own thoughts.

The best leaders the world has ever known are the reformers who were accountable and responsible for their own change.

The commitment for change has no days off, does not allow for excuses, does not allow for pardons.

It’s a true commitment—a commitment to lead with heart to add value to the world.

Changing our face can change nothing. But facing our change can change everything.

Each one of us can leave a stamp on this world by making our lives meaningful in a thousand ways and making the lives of others better than they ever thought possible.

If you want to see change you must first start within. It’s that simple and it’s that profound.

About the Author:
Lolly Daskal is the president and founder of Lead From Within a consulting firm specializing in executive coaching and customized leadership programs Connect with 
Lolly Daskal

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