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‘QuotedStories #11’: ‘Good example’, the faulty line

This post is written as part of ‘QuotedStories #11’ hosted by Upasna and Rohan,  based on Mark Twain’s quote: ‘There is nothing so annoying as a good example.’


There is no such thing as a good example. Honestly speaking, it irks me to see people sorry society imposing on us to take X or Y as a shining example or model to build our respective social and moral life. Speak about the social control tool used by society to dampen the free-spirited soul.

The good example kinda standard is rampant all over the place, right from the extended family to the next door neighbor or even among friends, for that matter. Look at Bittu-ji’s beta or beti, he is a successful business entrepreneur and married a good ‘Khandani’ boy or girl who follow and adhere to all norms, serving babu-ji tea on bed and religiously attend Pravachan in the temple. Can’t you learn from him or her? At this age, you are still unmarried and God knows what you are looking for in life.

Or, if some of us want to follow Donald Trump’s example, ‘Let’s make America great again?’ I am unsure how many of us would be willing to follow this man’s example since he embodies everything that is wrong with mankind…dumb bull crap, failed businessman, a history of harassing and assaulting women sexually or spreading hatred. Trust the dim wits to take Trump as a good example. It makes me wonder what US was before that he wants to make it Great again. It intrigues me that there are people who are willingly treading on this ‘bad and horrible example’.

This whole issue of following the so-called ‘good example’ worries me to the hilt when our priority should be to let our children grow free and devoid of moral, social or religious prejudices. It seems that we are holding a stick to their faces and ordering, ‘Do this or that’ or you will be beaten black-and-blue. Be a scientist, engineer or doctor and don’t go for arts. Heard about this right?!

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The age-old textbooks graphics on Girls can cook and Boys can Eat reinforces the patriarchal roles in society that has permeated gender playing roles, albeit discriminatory practice in our society. Certainly, a wrong example to follow that has deepened discrimination in society. The bottom line lies in the fact that the reinforced ‘good example’ to follow has done society more harm than good which we are still coming to terms with.

Next time, when someone throws this so-called ‘Good example’ on your face, don’t take it at face value and be unafraid to question rules that fetter growth. The true purpose of education is not to reinforce rules but discuss untested hypothesis and discard them to make your own rules. It matters to young minds, unafraid to take on society.

The agency of controlling minds is toxic and something we have witnessed through the daughter-son, husband-wife or in-laws equations which suffocates the environment in which free thinkers live. Pollution destroys society and so are rules. Why do we need them to control people? It owes to fear raging in people endorsing rules or examples that have existed for decades. It’s the biggest fault line in our education system that needs a complete overhaul or throwing this ‘good example’ card which is not just annoying but brings in negativity. A fearful mind is unwilling to explore and take risks.  Bungee jumping may not be a good example but still serves as a good fodder to free the mind and emotions or for that matter, removing pent-up emotions.

With Love



Work-in-progress, seeker and bundle of contradictions. Stubborn and Refusal to grow up and constantly in search of myself, I blurt it out on my space. Drop in and share some love. Indian by choice.

14 thoughts on “‘QuotedStories #11’: ‘Good example’, the faulty line

  1. Nice quote and the examples you stated in support are apt. I see a lot of comparisons happening in Indian society – people want everyone to follow the her, those who don’t are chastised. Time to change this age old mentality and each person live on his/her own terms

    1. Thanks Akshata. We really need to stop such good examples at people and let everyone bloom without tying them with false boundary created in the mind. Live and let people live 🙂

  2. You know Vishal, I have always been rebel type- the one who questions every single disparity even after my Marriage and till date. I get resistance from in-laws, from my own Father, from my colleagues but it doesn’t matter. I am still standing as a rock and will always stand against inequality. There is nothing called “good example” and we should stop comparing and let the children grow into independent beings. Thanks for linkgin up with #quotedStories

    1. Upasna so happy to hear you are a rebel and I am to. In my conservative extended family, I keep getting this resistance and inequality is something we should all stand against. Respect. Good examples differ from people and high time to stop comparing. The biggest tragedy is imposing on children. It’s suffocating. A pleasure to link up Upasna and thanks for giving this opportunity.

    1. You did damn good for not taking things to your face and more power for that. I compromised just to avoid conflict but trying not to now. Thanks Alok for sharing you experiences and dropping.

  3. In Indian society, individuality is such an under-rated thing! We always keep on searching for examples. There’s hardly anyone who hasn’t heard in her/his childhood, “Look at XYZji’s beti/beta…” and the rant went on…. 😀

    1. Unforunately, the truth in our Indian society and several countries with a huge Indian population. It’s such a common song learned by heart that irritates and dunno why our parents need to compare. May this stupid status thing?!

  4. I loved your take on the prompt, Vishal. As you mentioned, there is no such thing as a good example. Each one of us has our own strengths and weaknesses. We are all neither black nor white, but different shades of grey. We can learn something from everyone and there’s always something negative in each one of us. Perfection is a myth. And so is a Good Example to lead. We all must get inspired by these various examples and carve our own path instead of blindly following them and ending up as nothing but a mirror image.

    1. Thanks so much Rekha. You have put it so well we have all varying shades of grey where we can learn from each other. We all have positive and negative. Why try to be perfect and take from someone else’s characters. Really appreciate your views Rekha and thanks for reading and sharing.

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