Example, as any parent knows is everything. Children are far more likely to behave as their parents do than do what their parents tell them to do.
That simple lesson is as true in politics as it is in family life.
If a dishonesty used to undermine truth can pass muster in the White House press room, if analysis that exposes wishful thinking can be dismissed as project fear propaganda in London why not in Tel Aviv too?
Israeli police have recommended that prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted on bribery charges.
The recommendation led to calls for the bellicose hardliner’s resignation though only the most optimistic indulge that prospect.
Netanyahu’s response dripped with contempt and he attacked the messenger as forcefully as a Trump or a cornered Brexiteer.
“The police recommendations regarding me and my wife don’t surprise anyone,” he said.
“These recommendations were decided upon and leaked even before the investigation began.”
Some Israelis will no doubt swallow that guff giving Netanyahu a double dividend. He will have sidelined the core issue — his behaviour — and further undermined the media still determined to challenge his government.
One of the many admirable objectives of our Junior Certificate history syllabus is to help students distinguish fact from fiction.
Netanyahu’s latest feint is yet another example of why we must restore history learning as a mandatory builder of moral values in our secondary schools.