The term example derives from latin exemplum and refers to a fact or conduct that is taken as a model to follow or to be avoided, according to your positive or negative profile. In the case of being a circumstance or action worthy of imitation, the application of the word could occur in a sentence of the style “He is an example of a father”, which means that the person taken as an example is a great father and should be imitated.

Instead, the damaging aspect of an example could lead to phrases like “You should not follow their example”, expressed so that someone becomes aware of how harmful certain things can be behaviors or attitudes.


An attitude, a behavior or an action can become role models.

The example as backup or proof

On the other hand, the concept of example also refers to the fact, clause or text that is cited to support a certain statement or opinion. In these cases, it is customary to include sentences like “For the avoidance of doubt, I will cite some examples”, so that the speaker begins to list cases that reinforce his statements or demonstrate them with others data.

Within the application of this term, the well-known expression cannot be omitted. “for instance”, a resource that is used to incorporate a proof or clarification into a text. In addition, “give the example” It is used in cases in which a way of acting that encourages imitation is expected, as in the aforementioned case of the father. Another use of the notion of example in this sense would be: “As a standard bearer, you have to set an example before your peers” (so that a student selected to carry the flag understand the importance of her distinction and promote good behavior among her colleagues).

Teach by example

“Leading by example” is about developing positive behavior to serve as a guide.

A guide when educating

On the other hand there is the expression “Teach by example”, with its variants such as “Educate by example”, which means to show the set of attitudes that we hope to see in others to guide them in learning. The opposite is to demand achievements or objectives without giving proof that they are possible, or to ask the rest to do the things that we do not do or are not willing to do.

This mode of to teach it is the most effective and, in many cases, the noblest. It is applied by almost all animal species infallibly, ours being the only one that turns the statistics around: we almost never teach by example, but we demand that the smallest ones reach the goals that we cannot or want, the Government demands. to the people the honesty that it does not show and the employers, the commitment with which they do not treat their employees.

The force that the existence of an example can have should not be allowed to go unnoticed, because it is enough to justify statements that are impossible to demolish. This is a phenomenon or a trait that can be appreciated when two people argue about the validity or viability of an idea, an action plan or any other issue that one of them does not respect: if the other mentions a similar example you have had success, the discussion will no longer make sense.

Returning to the realm of teaching, the example is such a powerful tool that it can act on its own, without the help of a lesson. theoretical. Let’s think of the people who brazenly dump waste down the street: many of them will have seen their elders do it, and in this way this disrespectful attitude will have spread to other living beings. If a child always witnesses compassionate behavior, it is quite likely that in adulthood they will follow the same path.