Publisher's Note

  • Publisher’s Note

    Hello dear readers, It’s June and half of the year is almost gone. But we still have rain at times and it’s good for the grass and all the plants in our garden.  Although lately, it’s been getting to more sunny now, I’m sure that everyone is enjoying the outdoors. June is a very important month for [...]

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Page added on November 23, 2018

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The Power of a Good Example

By Consuelo (Chit) E. Munar

Each day you are leading by example. Whether you realize it or not, or whether it’s positive or negative, you are influencing those around you. – Ron Liano

Want to influence others? Example is not the main thing…it is the only thing. Want to be a leader? Leadership is not a position or a title. It is action and example.

One of the best books I’ve read in my lifetime is Lawrence Steinberg’s “The 10 Basic Principles of Good Parenting” an information-packed book intended to help parents apply the science of child development to their relationships with their children. Dr. Steinberg is one of the world’s most trusted psychologists that his book is recommended as a must-read for parents and parents-to-be. I got hold of the book when my period of child-rearing was already over. Nevertheless, upon seeing the book on sale for $1 at a local library branch, I immediately grabbed it, paid for it and left. My feeling was one of pride. I recognized and acknowledged that I own an excellent book. Someday I could pass this new-found treasure to any one of my children when they’re ready to raise their own families.

Family is the building block of society. Family is the single most important influence in a child’s life. Children depend on their parents and family to protect them and provide for their needs from their first moments in life.

Dr. Steinberg defines good parenting as one that fosters psychological adjustment-elements like honesty, empathy, self-reliance kindness, cooperation, self-control and cheerfulness. Good parenting is parenting that helps children succeed in school; it promotes the development of intellectual curiosity, motivation to learn, and desire to achieve. Good parenting is parenting that deters children from antisocial behaviour, delinquency, and drug and alcohol use. Good parenting is parenting that helps protect children against the development of anxiety, depression and other types of psychological distress.

What parents do greatly matters. Setting a good example to their children is a boon. There is a distinction between parenting that is mindful and parenting that is simply reactive. “Mindful parenting” is parenting that is intentional, where the consequences of your actions toward your child are the ones you’ve actually intended, rather than those that just happened by chance. Regardless of a child’s genetic make-up, what you do as a parent matters tremendously, because it is your influence that affects how those genes are expressed. We know that genes influence children’s intelligence, for example, but we also know all children benefit from having their parents read to them regularly.

Primarily, children learn by watching. Whether parents are aware or not, their child is acquiring their expressions, their opinions and their habits from them just as they did from their own parents. The capacity for children to imitate their parents is so strong. Setting a good example to children is the greatest legacy of all. No amount of material things could have greater value than good examples of honesty, discipline, responsibility, caring and empathy.

Albert Einstein, the great physicist, said, “setting an example is not the main means of influencing another. It is the only means.” That is an accurate observation of a great man with a great mind. Setting a good example is the only means of influencing another. However, a major cause of concern is the notion of changing someone. It’s hard enough to change oneself, hence, it’s virtually impossible to change someone else.

Setting a good example is never about the attempt to change someone. Rather, it’s showing by words and deeds what is possible. Some people will surely pick up a good example while others won’t. There is no control over how people react. Regardless of how others see it, setting a good example always works best. Besides the possibility of influencing others, it is the possibility of attracting positive people and situations by positive actions.

How can someone start setting a good example? Being courteous and polite to all those you come in contact with is a good start. Have respect for and show kindness to others. Maintain a positive attitude by keeping a gracious smile on your face. That makes you pleasant to be around. Don’t be deterred or discouraged by those who don’t believe in the importance of positive thinking. There are enough other people who will be positively influenced.

Be honourable, trustworthy, and dependable. Speak out against injustice. Be a beacon of integrity. Set an example of the importance of accountability by taking responsibility for your life and circumstances. Demonstrate the importance of a can do attitude by taking action. Exhibit the benefits of developing effective problem solving skills.

Admit when you are wrong and apologize. No one is perfect. Strive to improve continuously and set an example of humility. Take advantage of your strengths while endeavouring to overcome weaknesses. There’s no need to brag or show off, especially when it hurts others.

Maintain an attitude of gratitude for all of the good things in your life you should be thankful for. Never take things or people for granted.

In the Bible this verse reads: “neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead they set it on a lamp stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” Briefly, it means to create a life that will shine as an example to others. One does not have to be perfect but should always be striving to improve.


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