A while back, I started having doubts about the trendy slogan: Set a good example. It isn’t that I disagree with the catchphrase and I will keep trying to set a good example; but to rely on setting a good example as if it is something I “do” isn’t watertight. Sometimes, when I do set a good example of being happy at work or not eating too much, my example annoys people around me and they get crabbier or hungrier. Why bother? Because I can’t get away from being an example. I don’t “do” an example, I “am” an example.
We are always an example. We are surrounded by other examples. And, in order to be a good example or have good examples inspire us, it is important to remember the example is not a cause or an effect. They only exemplify a cause and effect.
Breaking this down into plain terms, examples are illustrations of cause and effect, of good or bad, life or death, happiness or depression, healthy or sickness. Human logic says, the way to happiness is by setting a good example. Divine Science turns this upright; We are examples of happiness when we know happiness.
Next time I catch myself doubting the worth of setting a good example, or more importantly, next time I start thinking about all the people who did set a good example in this world and got whacked for their hard work, peaceful protests against injustice, or whistle blowing, I will sit back, look away from the examples, and get to know better industriousness, justice, and honesty. I will strengthen my conviction in the totality and power of good and its many examples.
12 “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13, NIV)