Example - Term Overview

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The term example refers to a fact or behavior that is taken as a model to follow or to be avoided, according to its 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 "is an example of a father", which means that the person taken as an example is a great father and should be imitated.

On the other hand, the harmful aspect of an example could lead to phrases such as "it is convenient for you not to follow their example", expressed so that someone becomes aware of how harmful certain behaviors or attitudes can be.

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's customary to include sentences such as "so that there are no doubts, I will cite some examples", so that the speaker begins to list cases that reinforce their statements or demonstrate them with other data.

Within the application of this term, the well-known expression "for example", a resource that is used to incorporate a test or clarification within a text, cannot be omitted. Likewise, "setting an example" 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 flag bearer, you have to set an example before your classmates" (so that a student selected to carry the flag understands the importance of her distinction and promotes good behavior among her classmates).

On the other hand, there is the expression "teaching by example", with its variants such as "educating by example", which means showing 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 others to do the things that we don't do or aren't willing to do.

This way of teaching is the most effective and, in many cases, the noblest. It's 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 doesn't show and the employers, the commitment with which they don't treat their employees.

The force that the existence of an example can have should not be allowed to go unnoticed, because it's 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 doesn't respect: if the other mentions a If a similar example has been successful, the discussion will no longer make sense.

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