There was a time when considerable emphasis was placed on setting an example for those people who are in one way or another under a person. Like so many other things, that virtue, such as in so many instances, is a lost value today.

There are countless parents who set positive examples for their children, but, let’s face it, there are wayward parents who do the opposite, and the fallout can be disastrous. Admiration must go to the children who emerge unscathed from such an unsavory environment.

In the news this week there have been stories about wealthy parents who “bought” their children’s way into colleges through bribes and schemes on entrance exams. About 50 individuals have been charged with crimes. At this writing, none of the students have been charged.

There is a general assumption that the children didn’t know anything about their parents’ cheating. What kind of an example did they set for their children? Corruption is not a virtue!

Didn’t those parents realize they were cheating, committing crimes? Didn’t the school officials, including coaches, who took bribes know that what they were doing was wrong?

An FBI special agent involved in the investigation described a “culture of corruption and greed that created an uneven playing field for students trying to get into these schools the right way, through hard work, good grades and community service.” Money can corrupt and these parents are an example of it.

The sad thing is undoubtedly some of the parents involved in this corruption didn’t see anything wrong in what they were doing. Maybe they felt “that’s what you have to do to gain an objective.” After all, as the FBI agent said, we have a “culture of corruption.”

How many other parents might have done the same thing if they had the money? After all, it’s this culture thing!

Why do we have this kind of a culture today? Right and wrong teaching begins in the home. There are too many parents who believe schools will do the morality teaching. It does happen in parochial and other private schools where there is a Christian environment and examples are set. Don’t blame the public schools where teaching of religious beliefs is banned by law. Many public school teachers do an excellent job in setting an example and who lead in value teaching.

The truth is too many people today have abandoned religion. Overall, church attendance is down.

If in a leadership role, it is vital to lead by example. That’s so true in the military and in other fields, including the workplace, in sports and in any endeavor, such as civic and charitable volunteerism.

It’s never too late to lead by example.