Example Is Better Than Precept

8:53 AM Shivam Annapure 0 Comments

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. People generally like to give advice, but do not like to be advised. All of us are natural-born preachers. But when it comes to practicing what we preach, we make up excuses. Very often giving advance can become sheer nagging. It can become so irritating that it has no more or even the opposite effect on the hearer.

Though before we give advice, we should ask ourselves whether we practice 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 unpracticed. 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 practice 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. Our Holy Prophet’s (S.A.W.W) life is an eye-opener in this connection. He won immense following as history reveals because he practiced what he preached. He never preached what he himself did not practice.

To conclude, the best way to teach is not to preach but to set and example by actually putting the preaching into practice. This is because human beings and especially children, are imitative by nature. In fact, the instinct to copy is very powerful in human beings. We should make the fullest use of this instinct to teach children what we want them to learn. If a father wants his child to never start the habit of smoking, he should first give up smoking himself. If parents wants their children to pick up good manners, they should themselves be models of good behaviour. In short, we should ourselves do what we want others to do. This is because example is better than precept and deeds are more powerful than words. Actions speak louder than words likewise an ounce of practice is more than a ton of precept.

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