Id rather see a sermon than hear one any day;

Id rather one should walk with me than merely show the way.

The eyes a better pupil and more willing than the ear,

Fine council is confusing, but examples always clear;

And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,

For to see good put into action's what everybody needs.

I soon can learn to do it if youll let me see it done;

I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.

And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,

But Id rather get my lessons by observing what you do;

For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give,

But theres no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.

When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.

When a weaker brother stumbles and a strong man stays behind

Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me

To become as big and thoughtful as I knew that friend to be.

And all the travelers can witness that the best of guides today

Is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the way.

One good man teaches many, men believe what they behold;

One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told.

Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,

For right living speaks a language which to everyone is clear.

Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,

Id rather see a sermon than to hear one any day.

By Edgar Guest

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