A story is told of a woman who was upset that her son was eating too much candy. No matter how much she told him to stop, he continued to satisfy his sweet tooth. Totally frustrated, she decided to take her son to see a wise man whom he respected.
She approached him and said, “Sir, my son eats too much candy. Would you please tell him to stop eating it?”
He listened carefully then said to her son, “Go home and come back in two weeks.”
She took her son and went home, perplexed why he had not asked the boy to stop eating so much candy.
Two weeks later they returned. The wise man looked directly at the boy and said, “Boy, you should stop eating so much candy. It is not good for your health.”
The boy nodded and promised he would.
The boy’s mother asked, “Why didn’t you tell him that two weeks ago?”
The wise man smiled. “Two weeks ago I was still eating too much candy myself.”
This man lived with such integrity that he knew his advice would carry power only if he was following his own counsel.