Words of wisdom?

I have taken much inspiration in recent years from words attributed to Gandi:

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It speaks of being proactive, of not waiting for everyone and everything to somehow become the way you want, but getting on and living out what you want to see happen, embodying the desired way of life and demonstrating to others what is possible.

It turns out, though, that he never said it.

But he did say this, which is much more subtle but a thousand times more meaningful for it:

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him…. We need not wait to see what others do.”

It turns out the words of Thoreau have been similarly mangled into a catchy slogan – and the glib positivities of a self-help guru attributed to Mandela.

The lesson? Don’t believe every quote you see written on a coffee mug.

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