Of the things we think, say or do …
1.Is it the TRUTH?
2.Is it FAIR to all concerned?
3.Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
4.Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Matthew Jenkins, Winning Essay
These four questions make up the Rotary 4-way test. By
knowing and using this test, we could all become kinder
people, but first you must understand what each question
“Is it the TRUTH?”
When you ask yourself this question, you are asking
yourself if what you are about to say is honest. In many
instances, people stray from the truth in order to keep
themselves from getting into immediate trouble. I know
from experience that when you tell the truth, the
consequences are a lot better than if you lie. Sometimes,
the truth is not beneficial to others. In this case, it is best
to tell the person in private, or even write an anonomous
note. In any case, honesty is always the best policy.
“Is it FAIR to all concerned?”
When something is fair, it is free from bias, dishonesty,
or injustice. I always try to be fair to everyone because I
never know who I might see again in my future. I once
heard a quote that said, “People may not remember
exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will
always remember how you made them feel.” Even something
as small as not picking someone on a team
could make a difference in their lives. I still remember
recess in 5th grade. Whenever we played basketball, I
would either not be picked or be put on the losing team. I
would go home everyday and tell my mom how it wasn’t
fair. They never gave me a chance to prove that I could
play. Even though those kids and I are friends now, I will
never forget how they were unfair to me.
“Will it bring GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?”
Goodwill and better friendships are basically the same
thing. They both have to do with making friends and
improving your relationships with friends. My mom has
always explained to me that I don’t have to be BEST
friends with everyone, but I do have to be nice and
friendly to everyone. To be a friend with someone, you
don’t have to spend every minute with them. Sometimes,
just smiling is enough.
“Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”
When something is beneficial, it is helpful. The best
example of saying things that are beneficial to others is
to use the old phrase my kindergarten teachers would
say,” If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say
anything at all.”
This 4-way test is very helpful. By following it, you can
develop a life of high values and moral character, not
only professionally but also personally with friends and
family. I’d like to thank the Rotary Club for bringing this
test to my attention. I know it will change my life forever.