There's a story told about Mahatma Gandhi who had a visit from a woman who was at her wits end because of the bad behaviour of her young son. The final straw came when he started to smoke before his tenth birthday. "Please, Gandhi, tell him to stop his bad behaviour, be respectful to his mother and give up smoking." "Tell him to come back in two weeks and we'll see," said Gandhi. Disappointed the mother left with her son. Two weeks later they returned and Gandhi put his hand on the boy's head and gently said: "I want you to stop your bad behaviour, to be a good son to your mother and to stop smoking." "I will", said the boy, his eyes lighting up at being spoken to by his hero. The woman was delighted but couldn't resist taking Gandhi aside to ask, "Why did you not do that on our visit two weeks ago. Why did we have to wait?" "Because, two weeks ago, I myself was a smoker."
Are we over generous with advice and suggestions but do not practice what we preach?