Monica. Liu March 1, 2013 Reading Summary: “Privacy” by Deborah G. Johnson This article is written by Deborah G. Johnson, on page 204-214, the author mainly talks about the following….
Practise What You Preach
Practice what you preach Any person in the world is an individual and it goes without saying that all people differ. Consequently, all of them have different mentality, ideology, behavior, thoughts, attitude to the same things and phenomena. Usually since childhood we stand on one path and follow it during all our life. Here the influence of parents, grandparents, teachers can be seen, when we try to copy their adult habits.
But it seems to be normal when a little child follows the ideas of a mother today, for example, and the other day he/she persuades everyone that a father says the truth, even though it contradicts a mother’s truth which was actual a day before. It can be understood that a child just explores the world and can’t decide whose ideas are worth following. Becoming a teenager, a young man or lady, we tend to make our own conclusions rather that listen to what adults say and think.
And since that moment when we generate our own ideas and persuade other people have the same beliefs, we are responsible for what we say. There is one proverb: “A word spoken is past recalling”. If you have said something once, don’t change your opinion in one hour or the next day, because in future people won’t know whether believe you or not, whether listen to or ignore you. Of course, it’s a usual thing when due to some experience, knowledge, evidence we can change our beliefs, it’s our personal thing.
But when you begin to spread your ideas among other people, you should stand by them till the very end, otherwise keep silence. If your ideas were introduced aloud, if other people heard them once, then you are expected to practice what you preach. Here can be said in general about teachers, because they are those who teach a lot of children. The last without their own experience, remember everything said at the classes. Surely, they believe their teachers, because they are older and wiser.
And if one day students see that a teacher doesn’t practice what he/she preaches, they won’t believe him/her anymore. Therefore the authority of a teacher won’t be stable. There is one more concrete example about Mr. Davidson from W. Somerset Maugham’s story “Rain”. Alfred Davidson, a self-righteous missionary, tried to make Miss Thompson a religious woman, to kill her lust and her desire to sell her body. But one day he succumbed to his lust and raped her, even though he was a missionary about 15 years and he was a married man.
The next morning, he was found dead on the ocean shore – a suicide. He couldn’t live anymore when he had done a thing which was against his religious teaching. Summing up my essay, I would like to emphasize that an advice “Practice what you preach” given in the title concerns not only people who have authority: teachers, politicians, priests, but any person in the world. If you want to be trusted, don’t speak at random waste words, because people will expect you to follow what you’ve said.