Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Sweet Advice

Before we give advice, it is necessary that we put ourselves in check first.
This reminds me of a story that y father once told me.
There was a little boy who loved sweets. He would eat sweets, drink sweet drinks and never fails to add sugar in his meal. His mother was concerned of this unhealthy lifestyle so she asked her husband to take the boy to meet the Sheikh in their town to advice the boy to stop taking too much sweet.
The father took his son to meet the Sheikh and told him of the story. Instead of advising the boy, the Sheikh told the father to return back after about a week.
The father had to oblige and went back. As he told the story to his wife, she got confused. But they decided to wait to the next week to see what the Sheikh had in mind.
After a week, the father brought his son to meet the Sheikh.
This time, the Sheikh had the boy sat in front of him and slowly advised the boy not to consume too much sweet and to be moderate in sugar consumption.
It was a very simple advice.
The father couldn’t understand why the Sheikh needed a whole week to render such common sense advice to his son.
The Sheikh replied:
Last week when you came, I myself like to take sweet stuff. So I had to give myself a week to discipline myself to reduce my sugar intake before I can render to your son a sincere advice.
I’d like to pick two points here.
1.    See how relevant the Sheikh is to this family? Even for a dietary advice, they go back to the Sheikh and not to dieticians. This approach goes two ways. One is that Sheikhs must be relevant to the society that they live in and two is that the society must understand the importance of the Sheikh.
2.    See the adab or the attitude of the Sheikh? Before he gave an advice to which he knows he himself practices contrary to that advice, he took time to correct himself so as not to make him a hypocrite. This to him will allow him to render a more sincere advice. Sometimes, what catches someone is not the content of the advice (as he may have already known about it but chooses to ignore it) but the sincerity of the advisor.
There are many more morals that we can derive from this story such as the manner in which the Sheikh chooses to advice the boy, how he allowed the boy’s father to be together when he advises, how the father feels it free and open to question the Sheikh why he needed a week to advice such simple advice and many more. You can start thinking about it yourself.
Blog adjourned.

1 obiter dictum:

Anonymous said...

love this story, adam. thanks for sharing. :)