Student News

Words to Live By: Walk the Walk

Mary Ellen Friends – May 22, 2014

The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.
Confucius, c. 551–479 BC

In this quote Confucius is saying that for people to truly be great they must not only succeed; they need to succeed with modesty. This simple idea is one that has become clichéd in our culture today. One often hears phrases like: walk the walk don’t talk the talk, actions speak louder than words, and many others. Although we are hit over the head with this message almost daily, very few people recognize the significance of this idea or take it to heart. We live in an age where because of social media and technology, it is extremely easy to show information to a large number of people in an instant. This ability is abused far too often. When I open Facebook I usually see someone bragging about getting into college or making a varsity team. Although these actions are not meant to come across as bragging, the simple fact that these statements are made indicate that in our society many people feel the need to be praised every time they succeed.

Deerfield students, in particular, should take Confucius’s words to heart. At Deerfield, constantly being surrounded by people who are excellent in almost every area of life adds pressure for students to excel and project the image of success. However, our attempts to project an image of success can hinder our ability to truly succeed. If Deerfield students transfer the energy they put into seeking gratification towards hard work they will be even more likely to exceed in their actions. We are all exceptional students, athletes, and people; we should not feel the need for recognition at every turn. Quietly being as exceptional as you can be will win you more respect than constant self-promoting. Working hard and succeeding without being a braggart is far more rewarding and respectable than the alternative.

–Hill Kelly ’16