The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example.
Example prevails more than precept.
'Tis better to profit by a horrible example than to be one.
For most or even all forms of evil serve the Universe - much as the poisonous snake has it use - though in most cases their function is unknown. Vice itself has many useful sides: it brings about much that is beautiful, in artistic creations for example, and it stirs us to thoughtful living, not allowing us to drowse in security.
Example is contagious behavior.
Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.
It is a world of mischief that may be done by a single example of avarice or luxury. One voluptuous palate makes many more.
I bid him look into the lives of men as though into a mirror, and from others to take an example for himself.
Few things are harder put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
Too many follow example rather than precept; but it is safer to learn rather from precept than example. Man a wise teacher does not follow his own teaching; for it is easier to say, do this, than to do it. If then I see good doctrine with an evil life, though I pity the last, I will follow the first. Good sayings belong to all; evil actions only to their authors.
The noblest contribution which any man can make for the benefit of posterity, is that of character. The richest bequest which any man can leave to the youth of his native land, is that of a shining, spotless example.
Words but direct, example must allure.
You cannot take any performance (even an interior performance) as itself an act of intention; for if you describe a performance, the fact that it has taken place is not a proof of intention; words for example may occur in somebody’s mind without his meaning them. so intention is never a performance in the mind, though in some matters a performance in the mind which is seriously meant may make a difference to the correct account of the man’s action - e.g., in embracing someone. But the matters in question are necessarily ones in which outward acts are ‘significant’ in some way.
There in fact four very significant stumbling-blocks in the way of grasping the truth, which hinder every man however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to wisdom, namely, the example of weak and unworthy authority, long-standing custom, the feeling of the ignorant crowd, and the hiding of our own ignorance while making a display of our apparent knowledge... there are two modes of acquiring knowledge, namely by reasoning and experience.
It is the responsibility of free men to trust and to celebrate what is constant - birth, struggle, and death are constant - and so is love, though we may not always think so - and to apprehend the nature of change, to be able and willing to change. I speak of change not on the surface but in the depths - change in the sense of renewal. But renewal becomes impossible if one supposes things to be constant that are not - safety, for example, or money or power. One clings then to chimeras, but which one can only be betrayed, and the entire hope - the entire possibility - of freedom disappears.
Example has more followers than reason. We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and insensibly approximate to the characters we most admire. In this way, a generous habit of thought and of action carries with it an incalculable influence.
For historians ought to be precise, truthful, and quite unprejudiced, and neither interest nor fear, hatred nor affection, should cause them to swerve from the path of truth, whose mother is history, the rival of time, the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instruction of the present, the monitor of the future.
All history is but a romance unless it is studied as an example.
One watch set right will do to set many by; one that goes wrong may be the means of misleading a whole neighborhood; and the same may be said of example.
To strip the human being, for example, of all his attributes save his logical or calculating powers is an unwarrantable mutilation. Nature made him what he is. You cannot pick and choose. Nature is asserting herself in him, and you must take account not of one or two, but of all her assertions.