"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 DISTRICT 5240 - 2016/17
“The 4-Way Test” Essay Contest
The 4-Way Test of Things We Think, Say or Do
Is it the truth?
Is it fair to all concerned?
Will it build good will and better friendships?
Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
To encourage students to consider how “The 4-Way Test” can be used in everyday decision-making. This can be done by expressing their thoughts in an essay that relates a case or story where they applied these principles in their daily life.
Essays should be at least: 150 words for grades 1-6; 200 words for grades 7-8; and 250 words for grades 9-12.
All grade school (1-6), middle school (7-8) and high school (9-12) students are eligible.
Awards: (1st, 2nd, and 3rd at each level: grade school, middle school, high school)
First Place $300
Second Place $200
Third Place $100
Winners (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) from each division will be selected by a district review team for the listed cash award. The cash awards will be distributed by the club president or by a representative from the District.
Each club should conduct its own contest to be completed by Mon-day April 10, 2017. Schools in the local area of the club should be invited to participate with students at each school level providing essays. The club team will then select one winning paper from each school level: one grade school winner, one middle school winner, and one high school winner.
These winning entries to be submitted via scanned email by Monday April 17, 2017 2014 to:
Please provide a contact name and phone number for reporting the results.
The district review team will conduct its review and announce the winners in each school level by May 1, 2017 to allow the clubs to announce to their schools before the end of the school year.
1-5 grades - up to 150 words
Middle school-200 words
High School-250 words
Email Scanned Essay and cover page to:
4Way Essay Contest
Vocational Service Chair 2016/17