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Live by example

Posted by Fred on December 13, 2003

In Reply to: Live by example posted by ESC on December 13, 2003

: : "I find young people exciting. They have an air of freedom, and they have not a dreary commitment to mean ambitions or love of comfort. They are not anxious social climbers, and they have no devotion to material things. All this seems to me to link them with life, and the origins of things."

: : 1.Could you explain what is a dreary commitment?
: : 2.Is it right to say 'they have not a dreary commitment' instead of 'they don't have'?

: :
: : And dear folks, thanks for your kind posts, but it seems that none of you paid much attention to my confusion. We often say live by one's hands, by fishing, farming... but never by 'example'! 'Live by' means make a living using something - something that you depend on. Living by example, therefore, is incomprehensible! Can you give other examples in which 'live by' is used like this?

: : (I've heard of 'live by the book', but it's another matter altogether - 'live by' here means conduct one's life accroding to the Bible.)

: Live by Example

: Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.
: ---Edmund Burke

: Burke's advice is simple and sage. The gentlest way to teach is by example. Whenever you choose cosmetics and household products whose ingredients have not been tested on animals, whenever you refuse to dissect an animal, whenever you write a letter to the editor or wear a button, you set an example. Live your life in accordance with your principles-others will notice, and many may follow.

: 2003 The Humane Society of the United States.

One who says 'live by example' may be saying 'live your life so that
what you do provides a good example or model of how people in general
should behave.'