English Proverbs – Example is better than precept

English Proverbs

Proverb Expansion

Examples here means a model deed or an action for others to follow, precept means a rule or a command, people advice others on any issue that comes up. But before we give advice, we should ask ourselves whether we practise what we preach. It is natural that young people look up to the old for guidance. Very often we find parents, teachers, preachers and political leaders speak on useful precepts, but themselves not living in accordance with those precepts. As a result, their advice goes unpractised. If we smoke and tell our children not to smoke, it won’t have any impression on the boys. They may not smoke in front of us, but will surely make an experiment when a chance comes. If a person advises others to be honest and sincere, but does not he practise these virtues, his words will have no effect on others. Today social workers and political leaders speak endlessly on principles. But they themselves do not set an example. They ask others not to give bribe when they themselves accept bribe. Modern political leaders exhort the youth to be patriotic when they themselves indulge in anti-national activities. A person should be extremely honest to set an example before he begins to advice others. Gandhiji’s life is an eye-opener in this connection. He won immense following because he practised what he preached. He never preached what he himself did not practise.

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