In the 18th Century the streets of Philadelphia were dark at night. This made crime and stumbling over obstacles a serious problem. In his autobiography Franklin writes about his frustration with the people for not buying into his idea of placing some kind of lighting outside at night to dispel the problem. No one went to the trouble of trying out the idea. He just couldn’t mobilize the people to adopt the idea. Then he hatched a plan. He put a kerosene lantern on a pole outside his own house in such a place that it also cast light on the walkway. People walking by felt safer and didn’t stumble in the dark.
Soon another family did the same thing, then another and then still more lit up their own area. Eventually much of the city was lit up by lamps and the problem diminished. He hadn’t said a word to anybody, he just set the example.
The lesson is clear. We accomplish more by setting a good example than by exhorting, admonishing or complaining.