Gandhi Passes His Own Examination
Gandhinever told a lie. Once the inspector visited his school class and gave a few words of dictation. The third word was “kettle.” Gandhi’s friends were able to spell the word properly, but Gandhi didn’t know how.
The inspector began going around to check each student’s paper. While the inspector moved from student to student, the teacher saw that Gandhi’s spelling was wrong, so he touched Gandhi’s leg with his foot to get his attention. With his eyes he urged Gandhi to look at someone else’s paper. But Gandhi didn’t want to copy from anyone.
When the inspector came to Gandhi, he said, “Here’s a mistake. This boy doesn’t know how to spell ‘kettle.’ He has written it ‘ketle’.”
The inspector wasn’t angry, but he was disappointed that Gandhi didn’t know the answer.
The teacher was very angry with Gandhi. I told you to look at your friend’s paper, but you wouldn’t listen to me. You’re a disgrace to my class.”
Gandhi said, “I may be a disgrace, but I can’t tell a lie.”
Gandhi was sorry he’d made a mistake and had displeased his teacher, but he had pleased himself by being honest.
The teacher was silent.
from Garden of the Soul
by Sri Chinmoy
Published by Health Communications