I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day.
I'd rather see one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye's a better pupil, and more willing than the ear.
Fine counsel is confusing, but example's always clear.
And the best of all preachers are the men who live their creed.
For to see good in action is what everbody needs.
I can learn to do it if you will let me see it done.
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lesson you deliver may be very wise and true.
But I'd rather get my lessons by watching what you do.
For I might misunderstand you, and the high advice you give.
But there's 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 know true friends to be.
And all the travellers 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, then they believe what they behold.
One deed of kindness is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with man of honour learns to hold his honour dear.
For right living speaks a language which to everyone is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say.
I'd rather see a sermon than hear one, any day.
- Edgar Guest