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Encouragement

Challenging Ourselves Together

Life Lessons

Portrait of Mahatma Gandhi sitting cross-legged, 1947. Screen print. (Illustration by GraphicaArtis/Getty Images)
Portrait of Mahatma Gandhi sitting cross-legged, 1947. Screen print. Illustration by GraphicaArtis/Getty Images

The following story was adapted from Ikeda Sensei’s guidance in The Wisdom for Creating Happiness and Peace, part 3, p. 155–56.

One day, a woman went to see Mahatma Gandhi to urge him to speak to her son. The boy, around 7 years old, was very fond of sweets and consumed them in great quantities, causing a rash all over his body. No matter how much his parents nagged him, he wouldn’t stop eating sweets.

After hearing the mother’s story, Gandhi asked for her to return in 15 days with the boy and said he would speak to him then. When they returned as instructed, Gandhi spoke to the boy for less than a minute. From then on, he stopped eating sweets.

Puzzled, the mother returned a few days later to ask what sort of miracle Gandhi had performed on her son. He replied that it was no miracle.

The reason he had asked for them to return 15 days later was so that he could give up sweets himself before asking the child to follow suit. He not only relayed this to the boy but also said he wouldn’t touch any sweets until the boy’s rash healed.

The secret to Gandhi’s success: Living by the creed “I’ll challenge myself, so please do so too.”

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