“Let each man direct himself first to what is proper, then let him teach others”
It isn’t such a far cry from ‘Lead by example’, in my view.
Or even: ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone’.
All are fitting expressions of mindfulness; of right conduct, right effort, right speech, right concentration.
If not one word is uttered or action undertaken without rigorous examination, total awareness and radical honesty, how can we go wrong?
Trouble is, that formula is deceptively simple. Anyone who has tried it will tell you that; and so we have a spiritual ‘practice’ rather than a spiritual ‘achievement’. After all, enlightenment is not as common as we might like. We’re all human. We all fall off the horse. And in those times our best practice is to show ourselves the same compassion we desire from or give to others.
Give yourself a break, get back on the horse…
… and keep practising.