"Sometimes the line between right and wrong is blurred, and we have trouble making decisions that are both fair and perceptive of the people around us. The “Four Way Test” is a perfect solution to this classic problem. Following these four steps can help ensure my decisions are well thought-out and considerate of others."
Ruby Vargehese is this year's essay winner! In the photo left to right is Kit Whittington, essay committee chair presenting a $500 check to Ruby, and club president Scott Krejci. Click on More to read the essay.
Sometimes the line between right and wrong is blurred, and we have trouble making decisions that are both fair and perceptive of the people around us. The “Four Way Test” is a perfect solution to this classic problem. Following these four steps can help ensure my decisions are well thought-out and considerate of others.
The first step would be to ask “Is it the Truth”. Of the things we think, say, or do, we should always keep in mind the truth and preach only what is right. Additionally, we should think about the truthfulness in the words of others. As Thoreau once said, “Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it”. This piece of advice is especially helpful to a high school student, like me, because high school students tend to make rash, naïve choices. By understanding the truth in what others say we can make sure our decisions in the end are the right ones.
The second part of the test asks us the question if the action or saying “is fair to all concerned”. Fairness is an important factor to consider in proper decision making. We should always make sure our decisions result in justice and equality for everybody. In the future I will utilize this step to make sure the thoughts and concerns of my peers and coworkers are heard.
The third step is to ask “Will it build goodwill and better friendships”. Many times when we make a tough decision, it’s easy to forget that despite our differences, we are all similar. We are all working towards a common goal, some of us just trying to make it in this muddled world. It’s important to consider the feelings of others and build strong connections. Having a positive workplace that is rife with goodwill and camaraderie is more productive than one that is not. I always try to help build on my relationships with my peers by talking to them and most importantly, listening to their concerns. Helping my peers solve their problems helps make them feel better and also allows me feel well about myself too.
The fourth and last question is “Will it be beneficial to all concerned”. In the end, we want everyone to be happy. Happiness is key to running a workplace, a household, or even a classroom. I always like to keep the happiness of others in my mind as I make important decisions. I will particularly use this question in the future to ensure I am making the right choice for others as well as myself.
I hope these four questions will help me make better decisions in the future. By keeping the well-being of others and myself in mind, as well as the truth and fairness, I believe the “Four Way Test” can help me build stronger relationships with other people and allow me to make more informed, thought-out choices in life.
ROTARY 4-WAY TEST ESSAY CONTEST
The District 5580 4-Way Essay Contest materials are now available and ready for you to download and print. The essay contest is open to students in their final 2 years of high school, and the District winner will receive a $1,250 cash award (includes Regional Award of $150). Six Regional Winners will each receive a cash price of $150.
Clubs are encouraged to begin contacting their schools and distributing materials as soon as possible. Your club’s participation is a statement of interest in the ideas of our young people and demonstrates our belief that it is important to reward our youth for expressing their views in a constructive and meaningful way.
Students in their final 2 years of high school are eligible to participate, preparing an essay of 500 to 1,000 words in length, and using a topic of their choice that incorporates the use of the Rotary 4-Way Test:
Ø IS IT THE TRUTH?
Ø IS IT FAIR TO ALL CONCERNED?
Ø WILL IT BUILD GOODWILL AND BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
Ø WILL IT BE BENEFICIAL TO ALL CONCERNED?
Topics of recent winning essays can be found in the Student Guidelines.
TO DOWNLOAD the documents you will need, simply click on the documents located on the left side of this page. Essays are to be in the hands of the District Chair, Rozanne Casey, not later than December 31, 2017. It is suggested that clubs use a deadline of December 4, 2017 for receiving entries so that they can be judged locally and the winning essay sent to the District Chair by December 31, 2017. Rozanne's address and contact information are as follows:
District 5580 Youth Services
1502 1st Ave SW
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
ENCOURAGE YOUR LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS to promote this opportunity, and ENCOURAGE YOUR AREA YOUTH to participate as well. We look forward to receiving your club’s winning essay!