Twenty years ago I memorized this inspiring poem and it means as much to me today. I feel that it’s an excellent example of the adage ‘walk our talk’. To put our beliefs into action through our behavior. With my gratitude to the memory of the wise poet himself, Mr. Guest. I am overjoyed to present it here today, and will be sharing more of my favorite poems in coming posts. I truly hope you enjoy.
Sermons We See
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’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear;
And the best of all the preachers are those who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I soon can learn to do it if you’ll 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 I’d rather get my lessons by observing 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 one 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 that friend to be.
And all 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 person teaches many, we believe what we behold;
One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with those of honor learns to hold their honor dear,
For right living speaks a language which to every one is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me with their eloquence, I say,
I’d rather see a sermon than to hear one, any day.
~ Edgar A. Guest
Edgar Allen Guest, also known as Eddie Guest, was a prolific English-born American poet who was highly popular in the first half of the 20th century. He was born in Birmingham, England in 1881, moving to Michigan USA as a child.
In 1895 Edgar Guest signed on with the Detroit Free Press as a thirteen year old office boy. He stayed for sixty years.
August 20, 1881 ~ August 5, 1959
More about Edgar Guest at Poets.org – http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/731