The first day of spring was once the time for taking the young virgins into the fields, there in dalliance to set an example in fertility for Nature to follow. Now we just set the clock an hour ahead and change the oil in the crankcase.
How good a parent you were is determined by your grandchildren. If I have not taught my children how to be good parents – principally by example – then I have not fulfilled my responsibility.
The prime role of a leader is to offer an example of courage and sacrifice.
We learn by example and by direct experience because there are real limits to the adequacy of verbal instruction.
He who wants to set a good example must add a grain of foolishness to his virtue; then others can imitate and, at the same time, rise above the one being imitated – something which people love.
People never improve unless they look to some standard or example higher or better than themselves.
Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.
We live. We die. The best we can do is leave a worthwhile example for those who come after us.
No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.
We sometimes learn more from the sight of evil than from an example of good; and it is well to accustom ourselves to profit by the evil which is so common, while that which is good is so rare.
I am very doubtful whether history shows us one example of a man who, having stepped outside traditional morality and attained power, has used that power benevolently.
The rule of life is to be found within yourself. Ask yourself constantly, "What is the right thing to do?" Beware of ever doing that which you are likely, sooner or later, to repent of having done. It is better to live in peace than in bitterness and strife. It is better to believe in your neighbors than to fear and distrust them. The superior man does not wrangle. He is firm but not quarrelsome. He is sociable but not clannish. The superior man sets a good example to his neighbors. He is considerate of their feelings and property. Consideration for others is the basis of a good life, and a good society. Feel kindly toward everyone. Be friendly and pleasant among yourselves. Be generous and fair.
Nothing is so contagious as example; never was there any considerable good or ill done that does not produce its like. We imitate good actions through emulation, and bad ones though a malignity in our nature, which shame conceals, and example sets at liberty.
The principle of heredity succession is universal; but the order has been variously established by convenience or caprice, by the spirit of national institutions, or by some partial example which was originally decided by fraud or violence.
Every great example takes hold of us with the authority of a miracle, and says to us, "If ye had but faith, ye, also, could do the same things."
Life as a sum of ends has a right against abstract right. If for example it is only by stealing bread that the wolf can be kept from the door, the action is of course an encroachment on someone’s property, but it would be wrong to treat this action as an ordinary theft. To refuse to allow a man in jeopardy of his life to take such steps for self-preservation would be to stigmatize him as without rights, and since he would be deprived of his life, his freedom would be annulled altogether. Many diverse details have a bearing on the preservation of life, and when we have our eyes on the future we have to engage ourselves in these details. But the only thing that is necessary is to live now, the future is not absolute but ever exposed to accident. Hence it is only the necessity of the immediate present which can justify a wrong action, because not to do the action would in turn be to cause not to do the action would in turn be to commit an offense, indeed the most wrong of all offenses, namely the complete destruction of the embodiment of freedom.
The experience of the ages that are past, the hopes of the ages that are yet to come, unite their voices in an appeal to us; they implore us to think more of the character of our people than of its vast numbers; to look upon our vast natural resources, not as tempters to ostentation and pride, but as a means to be converted, by the refining alchemy of education, into mental and spiritual treasures - and thus give to the world the example of a nation whose wisdom increases with prosperity, and whose virtues are equal to its power.
We should take our example not from our political and military leaders shouting “Retaliate!” and “War!” but from the doctors and nurses and medical students and firefighters and police officers who have been saving lives in the midst of mayhem – whose first thoughts are not violence, but healing; not vengeance, but compassion.
If we attend to the experience of men’s conduct, we meet frequent and, as we ourselves allow, just complaints that one cannot find a single certain example of the disposition to act from pure duty. Although many things are done in conformity with what duty prescribes, it is nevertheless always doubtful whether they are done strictly from duty, so as to have moral worth.
Religion is fire which example keeps alive, and which goes out if not communicated.