“I’d Rather See a Sermon Than Hear One Any Day.”
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one, any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye is a better pupil, more willing than the ear;
Fine counsel is confusing, but example is always clear.
And the best of all the preachers are those who live their creeds.
For to see a good put in action is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn how to do it if you will let me see it done;
I can watch your hand in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do.
For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
But there is no misunderstanding how you act and live.
When I see an act of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker person stumbles, and a strong one stands behind
Just to see if she can help him, than the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful as I know 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 can teach many. Folks believe what they behold.
One deed of kindness noted is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with those of honor learn to hold that honor 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.