A Gandhian Philosophy

It was a busy day. We all were engrossed in organizing a mega event which has to take place in the coming week. A great director and producer of bollywood were to come to attend the meeting. But, loads of work was yet to be done. There were piles of invitation cards lying all around in the room. My giant glass table was messed with files which required my approval; guest list was yet to be finalized. There was very less time and the heaps of work kept on increasing. I saw that people were lazing around and so the work load was increasing. If the work would have continued at this pace, then it would become impossible to pull off the event in the way we imagined it to be.

I sat pondering over what needs to be changed so that people work with zeal. I decided to be harsh on them, give strict guidelines and be a mediocre brutal boss who never thought about his employees. I reached my office the next day with a strong will to implement what I have decided. But just before the meeting I remembered a story of Gandhiji. It was a very simple but a very remarkable story which would leave a strong imprint on the mind of person who reads it.

It was of the time when Gandhiji used to travel from one village to another propagating the use of khadi and enlightening the fire for freedom in people’s heart. As he was always easily approachable to everybody, a lady came to him with a small complain about her son. She said, “My son, Ram is very fond of sugar. He keeps on eating it every now and then. Even after our million tries to explain him the harmful effects of sugar, he does not stop. He respects you a lot and takes you as his role model hence I request you to ask him to stop eating sugar.”

Gandhiji thought for a while and politely replied, “Sister, please come after one week with your son. I shall preach him.”

After one week the lady comes with her son. Gandhiji in a very interesting yet concrete way explained the child everything. The child promised him that he will not eat sugar from now.

The lady later inquired him, “Why did you ask me to come a week later. You could have told the same thing to him that day also.

Gandhiji smiled and told her, “Had I told Ram the harmful effects to sugar at that time, it would have been very wrong on my part. The reason was simple. Even I used to eat sugar before a week, so only after leaving that habit of mine I asked him to stop eating. He said, “Be the change you want to see”. This sentence left an ever lasting impression on that lady’s mind.

I immediately changed my mind. I refrained from implementing my decision and changed the course of action. It was a turning point for the entire organization. I called everybody and said, “From today every single person have direct access to me. All the doubts are to be solved at that very moment and work should run smoothly. Everybody has to plan their daily work which has to be completed by the end of the day. Even I decided that all the documents which required my approval should be signed that very day only. Even I started doing overtime if the work was pending. Within 3-4 days I saw a different gleam in everybody’s eyes. I could feel the enthusiasm to work in everybody’s attitude. All of them willingly started to do overtime if the work was pending. Slowly and gradually all the heaps of workload narrowed. My desk was now clean and tidy with rarely any papers flying around.

Finally, the day of the event came. Everybody was relaxed as all the work was done. All our hard work gave us our reward and the event proved to be a great success.

Through this incident, I learned a very important thing. We often grumble about the current social scenario but are never ready to change. Today if I want to see some change, I have to first be that change. Change my mind, change my thoughts and behaviour then and then only I can expect other people to change and at last the society to change because the society comprises of the individuals like me only.

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Author Amitabh shah Category Stories