All you have to do is read or listen to the daily news reports and you can’t escape the ugliness in the world. The violent acts and resulting tragedies caused by men and women send the wrong message — the wrong example — to our young people.

A missing link to having a wholesome society is setting an example. The importance of setting the right example has to come from the home, the family. With broken families, providing an example to follow can be more difficult. And a positive example can be provided but not heeded. Fathers and mothers are key people in setting an example for their children.

People, young and old in the limelight, often give a negative example due to their actions and lifestyles. Corrupt government officials, and others in seats of power, have used their offices for personal gain. They violate the public trust and set a terrible example.

We have many excellent role models while there are those who by their actions fail to live by society’s rules and are a disappointment. That occurs in all walks of life, especially in the sports and entertainment fields.

It takes discipline and a sense of responsibility to set positive examples. These values begin in the home and are lifelong. It take an inner strength to hold on to values.

A value that is embodied in setting the right example is honesty. Without that value, it’s impossible to set the right example.

An important environment for setting the right example is in our schools. Administrators, teachers and coaches have a profound influence on students. Certainly, the same can be said for members of the clergy. Their positions of influence are powerful.

People watch people in positions they consider higher than their state of life. Often they want to learn to improve their own image by following examples they observe. A work ethic value seen by others is priceless in setting an example.

Respect is earned by setting the right example. Respect can be lost by a single act that violates the basic values held by society.

Leaders in all fields of endeavor are judged by the values they hold. The successful leaders are those who forge ahead by giving an example that earns them the respect of their followers.

There are more “good” examples to follow in our society than “bad” ones. Unfortunately, we do have the poor examples also who gain some followers.

The importance of setting a good example is overlooked by many people. It is something we should be mindful of all the time.