When Gandhi was approached by a parent who was looking for advice on how to get her child to eat less sugar, he paused, thought... then recommended that the parent come back with the child at a later date so he could speak to him. (Depending on which version of the story you want to go with, it was anywhere from a week to a month before Gandhi saw the family again.) When the family next met with the Mahatma, he spoke gently with the child and told him to not eat too much sugar, since it was bad for him. When the mother later asked why he didn't share this with the child earlier, Gandhi simply replied that "A month ago, I too ate too much sugar."
I've been thinking about this story a bit lately and a few things occur to me...
1. The child already respected Gandhi because of how he lived his life before they had met, or he wouldn't have listened to his advice about sugar in the first place.
2. For Gandhi to relate to this child's particular struggle, he had to acknowledge that he also struggled.
3. For his advice to have any meaning, it was important for Gandhi to be able to live his advice.
What is the advice that I need to be living?
Eat locally, reduce my purchasing consumption,
and live as deliberately and greenly as possible.