Rotary 4-Way Test
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“The 4-Way Test and Me” Essay Contest – 2014

Dear Teachers,

The Rotary Clubs of Pismo Beach-Five Cities and Grover Beach invite you and your students to participate in “The 4-Way Test and Me” Essay Contest, 2014. We encourage you to share this opportunity with your students. In the twelve years of sponsoring this event, we have been amazed at the creative and inspirational quality of the entries. Please refer to the attached page for specific contest guidelines. The Four Way Test was adopted by Rotary International in 1942 and continues to guide Rotarians in their actions and interactions with others.

THE 4-WAY TEST OF THINGS WE THINK, SAY OR DO 1. Is it the truth?
2. Is it fair to all concerned?
3. Will it build good will and better friendships? 4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

Due Date: Entries must be received by Friday, March 28, 2014. They may be e-mailed to: 4waytestessay@gmail.com
or mailed to:

Dr. Joel Conn
Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic
990 Price Street
Pismo Beach, CA 93449

Call Dr. Joel Conn at 773-0474 if you would like to have entries picked up at your school.

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Stalin’s Wall by Leila Assal

The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Leila Assal, First Place
Grade 10,  Arroyo Grande High School
Teacher: Mrs. Derbidge

Josef Stalin, a communist leader in the Russian Revolution of 1917, once said, “A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic”. This statement and its meaning are both misrepresentations of humanity and more specifically, The 4-Way Test. It fails all of the four components—the questions we must ask ourselves when analyzing quotes like this.

The first question is, “Is it the truth?”. The answer is both yes and no. Yes, it is true that when we look at World War I and the Russian Revolution, we see numbers; how many deaths, percentage of decrease in population, and cost of war, all we see are statistics. We do not individualize the soldier, we merely look at numbers, judging the war by the amount of deaths, not the loss of lives. In this way, Stalin’s quote holds truth. But the truth lies behind human flaw, an inevitable imperfection of our nature that causes men like Stalin to lose empathy for such deaths. In this way, this quote is not an honest representation of the reaction to the many people who suffered from a loss of a loved one, even the people who look back on these tragic events today. Each man killed, as a result of the events to which Stalin refers, is a human being, a soul, a beating heart. And so for every death, there were people to cry over that soul, to remember that heart. These deaths were not just a statistic, they were devastation.

Secondly, is it fair to all concerned? It can be assumed that when Stalin made this statement, he was referring to the revolution, although it was a general statement. From the view point of the Russians of 1917, it was an unjust representation of what had happened, and a completely heartless statement made about human worth. It was unfair to all the people who had just lost loved ones to Stalin’s party, the Bolsheviks, in the untimely revolution. Although Stalin was a great leader—whether good or bad, he modernized his nation virtually overnight—it was unfair for him to sacrifice the lives of others, and dismiss it as a trivial act for the good of the country. Every death is a tragedy.

The next question we ask ourselves is whether it will build good will and better friendships. In this case, friendship was not in question to begin with; it did not affect the outcome of this historic event. Yet, Stalin’s quote did cause a feeling of resentment among the Russians and made them feel insignificant, as if they ranked last in the success of Russia. Stalin caused generations of Russians that did not know the meaning of friendship, happiness, or good will. Every action was taken for survival, not for living. It was ‘every man for their own’; no one helped anyone else because of their state of hopelessness in human kind.

Lastly, was it beneficial to all concerned? Again, assuming that the statement was made regarding the unfortunate events of the early twentieth century, there were benefits, but not to all concerned. The benefits were that Stalin weakened the Russians—millions would die under his regime—enough to take advantage of them, giving him almost complete power over Russia. These were the only benefits as Stalin was not able to improve the state of Russia, or its people. Stalin’s statement was not beneficial to Russia, its government, its economy, or its people. All it did was drain the happiness and hope of every Russian citizen.

“A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic”. This quote failed the 4-Way Test because it was neither correct nor fair. It sucked the hope out of the future generations and left a cloud of indignation hanging over every single person to whom it applied. All in all, they were just another brick in the wall.

 
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The Four Way Test and Me by Ryan Brennan

The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Ryan Brennan, Second Place
Grade 9,  Coastal Christian School
Teacher: Mrs. Limon

Throughout our daily lives a myriad of decisions, motivations, actions and thoughts write our story. Whether you choose to attend college or try out for the baseball team every choice that is made will contribute to the outcome of your life. Every person will face numerous unique obstacles and how they respond to them will affect their future. As one travels the treacherous journey of life it is difficult to hurdle problems without some sort of constructive guideline to illuminate situations and to pave a path with clarity. The Four Way Test is a constructive standard to analyze actions of yourself and others to gain a new perspective in light of these questions: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

The first question asks is it the truth? Many circumstances are diluted and blurred by opinions or false witnesses and it is difficult to untangle the situation honestly and with genuine truth at the core. When these circumstances come up one must look at it through the lens of truth which requires an unbiased mindset that will not be swayed by the majority or the most attractive option. Also, to gain this perspective it is vital to have a foundation in ethics and virtues in order so that when you are determining the verdict you will have morals to draw upon that will shed light on the correct choice. This mindset prepares you so when confronted by unclear incidents one is equipped with the tools necessary to clearly deduce the solution.

The next question asks is it fair to all concerned? Another way to say this is, is this other persons actions or mine impartial and unprejudiced to everyone concerned? Do my actions and words change for certain people? A different word for a person who treats people differently because of their abnormalities is a bully. This could include gossip, physical abuse, verbal abuse, or even cyber bullying. For  one in seven students, from kindergarten to high school seniors, is either a bully or a victim of bullying and 71% of students have witnessed bullying in their own schools. So is it fair to bully? Absolutely not! To downgrade another human being is wrong and unjust. This crooked practice is growing and although it is become popular to pick on certain students because they are different this should not be tolerated. Bullying can result in suicide, drop out of school and permanent emotional trauma. To avoid these attitudes people can talk fairly and respond to everyone fairly regardless of their color or if they need glasses or not, so when approaching possibly unfair situations ignore all appearance or background to avoid partiality and come out with fair outcomes.

Thirdly, the question is will it build good will and better friendships? Before taking risky actions see from the other persons point of view. Atticus Finch, from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, puts it this way, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Atticus is saying that you have to change how you look at the world in order to understand where the other person is coming from. If someone wants to build goodwill and better friendships they must first discard all selfishness and generously see through the others eyes. Building good will should be motivated for others benefit. A significant factor in relationships is words. Think of your entire life so far and who you have met, then think what did you said to them? Did it strengthen your friendship, or tear it down? Words are powerful and is a window into a persons heart and motives. With everyday conversing it is important to be aware of every idle word spoken out of your mouth. A conversation can change someone’s life for the better or the worst. Is what I am saying building goodwill and better friendships?

The last question is will it be beneficial to all concerned? Something beneficial is rarely what someone wants, it is what will benefit them most, not give them the most pleasure or entertainment. A beneficial decision for what someone needs will pay off in the end without a doubt. Also the question asks is it beneficial to all concerned? Meaning will it benefit everyone in the situation, not just the most important or the one that it will effect most. Benefiting someone means to pour opportunities on others for them to succeed  and shine. Ask this question when surrounded by others that have particular want, will it be beneficial for them to have it? This question resolves the issue of selfishness in that it will force a person the realize the best for everyone not just themselves.

The Four Way Test contains eye opening questions that support morals and result in a successful decision making. All the individual questions compliment each other forming a constructive guideline that provides a simple way of wise problem solving and can be utilized in every circumstance to light the right paths. Any hardship or drawback can be overcome by The Four Way Test that will aid you to get back on track.

 
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The Leper Who Played With Fire by Raven Montgomery

The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Raven Montgomery, Third Place
Grade 10,  Coastal Christian School
Teacher: Mrs. Limon

Every day I woke up and I knew I was going to have to walk down those horrid hallways. The cold-hearted glares would inevitably come next and then my books would go soaring out of my hands. I used to be a straight A student, because of cruel rumors started through Facebook I am skipped classes and even entire days of school. When that first rumor was spoken it was like a spark separating itself from a dangerous fire. That spark, that tiny spark was alone, it had only short time to live, but people started feeding it, making it grow until it was uncontainable and the damage could not be controlled. Likewise as more people started to believe the rumors, their lives began to grow and so did the damage they caused. No one bothered to stop and ask themselves if the questionable knowledge they had obtained was true. The rumors spread like a wild fire throughout our large school, but the only person that was getting burned was me.

The effect of the rumors had me cast out like a leper; there was no actual physical pain that I could feel but the mental and emotional pain was lethal. The only thing that made me this way was the harsh words that tore me down, making me want to retreat so far inside myself that I could never be found again. As the rumors got worse people were forced to make a decision. Whether or not they showed me mercy or joined me as an outcast. The rumors were now affecting others and it wasn’t fair. But I still had to make a difficult decision of my own. My two closest friends only had so much time before their lives would fall apart if they stayed near me, and I could never ask them to do that. It isn’t fair for me to make them choose what I would never choose myself. Trying to save two of the best friendships I have ever had we agreed to never talk or be seen with each other at school. But at the time we had no idea that would only tear us apart even more.

Over the next couple of days I tried to get a hold of my friends but something always came up. They either had exams, a party, babysitting, or they were sick. The weeks grew longer and they eventually just stopped answering my texts. I still never tried approaching them at school. I knew as long as they weren’t talking to me they would be safe and could never be deemed a leper and that was worth giving them up. What I once thought would go away had just destroyed my friendships; it had now taken something valuable. It wasn’t just words or books flying from hands anymore, it had taken my two best friends and with them my will-power to fight against it.When the rumors started there was no goodwill behind the reasoning, they were started for one reason. To destroy a person.

They had done what was set out for them to do I ended up transferring from that school and having to go to a private school. I didn’t make the necessary grades to advance to the next grade because of all the days I had skipped, so I’m repeating my sophomore year. I never heard from my friends again and I assume they have found a replacement by now. Nothing beneficial for anyone came out of those rumors that were started .My parents are now having to work an extra job to pay for my schooling, my grades were forever ruined and colleges won’t even think about accepting me, and friendships were broken down that could have lasted a life time.

 
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The Rotary 4 Way test and Me by

The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Kimberly White, Second Place
Grade 7,  Paulding Middle School
Teacher: Mr. Vanderweide

Natalie always ate her lunch alone. She always walked to her classroom alone. She most definitely spent her break time alone. This is how she preferred it. She would rather be alone by herself than around kids that picked on her for what she wore, teased her for being so tall or made up stories about her because they never bothered to get to know her. She felt is was better that way. Well I do not! This kind of school life really makes me upset! I want everyone to feel special; to feel liked and treated fairly! The Rotary 4 way test is a tool that I can use and teach at my school to help make sure everyone gets the respect they deserve.

I am on the Student Council at my school this year and one of the reasons that I wanted to be a part of it is because I want everyone to love school as much as I do. While it’s true that teachers care about us all, I think that it is up to the students to make school feel like a safe place. It is our job to care about each other. The Rotary 4 way test is a perfect guideline to use to remember how to do just that everyday. The rules of the 4 way test are simple:  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? They can help make life extraordinary at school and beyond.

The first rule, Is it truthful?, is so very important! Rumors and lies can be very hurtful and even dangerous. They lead to misunderstandings and can ruin friendships and self esteem. Friendships are crucial in making us feel loved and safe. I feel really lucky to have the friends I have. I couldn’t imagine them not being in my life. Sure there are misunderstandings and little fights but if we remember to use the Rotary rule then we can talk to each other and work our problems out before any rumors can start. Truth makes it possible to go to school and not be afraid of what others are saying. Truth always wins!

Secondly, Is it fair to all concerned?, is a rule that can make or break a great school. Fairness is making sure no one feels left out or scared that they are not good enough. It means including everyone no matter how good they are at something. I am terrible at basketball. I mean REALLY terrible! But I know that it is okay because my friends don’t care. I can make them laugh. At the same time, I am really good at soccer and it makes me happy to teach kids the moves I know that they might not. I want to be a good example to my friends. I make sure I encourage others and not make fun of them. Partly because it is the right thing to do but mostly because it is the way that I want to be treated.  If everyone at school remembered that they have gifts to share and skills to learn then school would be so much more gratifying! We can all try new things and not worry about being perfect.  Because truth is, NO ONE is perfect!

Thirdly, Will it build goodwill and better friendships?  This is my favorite question out of all of the Rotary 4 way test questions because I like my surroundings to be easy going and comfortable. That can only happen in an atmosphere of goodwill towards each other. I want my school to be a place  to share positive experiences in an environment free from violence and hostility. It makes better sense and reinforces better friendships. Middle school should be a time when we come together and cheer on our sports teams (Go Patriots!). We should be applauding our academic teams like Mock Trial (who won first place this year for the first time in 10 years!) Goodwill toward my classmates is essential for a school year full of memories that we can all look back on with a smile. It makes everyone feel like their contributions matter because no contribution is too small. The 4 way test is perfect for building  goodwill with those around me. It helps me develop relationships that will make school life much more enjoyable. Even the boys are my friends because I think about what would make them comfortable around me. The answer I found was super easy: high fives!  It helps create good will. I have become friends with so many. I also always try to say hi to everyone, too. It’s amazing how remembering their name and simply saying hello can make someone feel appreciated!

Lastly, Will it be beneficial to all?. This rule is what makes our school more than just a place to learn. It makes our school a community. To be beneficial to all, school has to be a place where you respect others. It can be as simple as inviting someone that usually sits alone to eat with you and your friends at lunch or offering to help a classmate get their stubborn lock open on their locker. It means not gossiping or teasing someone for any reason. I try to make a difference in one person’s life everyday whether it is helping to carry something heavy, helping with a math problem or simply saying hello. Kindness is always beneficial! It makes a community one that I want to live in and a school one that I want to attend.  The Rotary 4 way test is a guide for me to use to help my school be the best school on the Central Coast and make sure no one feels like Natalie does – ever!

 
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Technology Consumes the Human by Julia Kasper

The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Julia Kasper, Second Place
Grade 8,  Judkins Middle School
Teacher: Ms. Richards

“When we finally slump down at the end of the day and wonder where the time went we scratch our heads wondering how checking a couple of emails ended up taking five hours.” (Freyda Tarak). The Four-Way Test is a way to determine if something you think, do, or say is the truth, fair to all concerned, will build good will and better friendship, and benefit all concerned. As technology grows, students decrease the amount of time they spend doing homework, and valuable technology begins to become a waste of time.

Is technology via the internet the truth? Technology contains gossip on famous celebrities that usually isn’t true.  People spend much of their personal time reading what they think is true in gossip articles or blogs. People believe what they read and they allow that to take over their time and minds. Instead of reading all the fake rumors in the media, people could spend time with the ones who love them or advance their own education. Technology does benefit us by sharing facts, such as history of wars and definitions of words. People read informational articles and look up definitions of words to help them with their homework. One should advance their education online, but must be wary of the articles that could be lying. As a result, technology grasps the truth but also the gossip, so one should balance their time using it.

Is technology fair to all concerned? Technology isn’t always fair to everyone it involves. People sometimes write mean things about others and it can damage that person through cyber bullying or online articles. In the media there are definitely things that are false and wound reputations. Some people’s reputations are even hurt from gossip that floats around in the media.  People write articles about things that are untrue, but the topics appeal to others reading it. People like to read embarrassing things about others for entertainment purposes. Therefore, technology isn’t always fair to all who is concerned.

Will technology build good will and better friendships? Technology like smart phones contain apps that can cause people to become gaming addicts. Games distract people, drawing them to play and play for hours at a time. It doesn’t create good will because it causes a person to lose focus on the important things in life like family, friends, true happiness, and love. Playing on your phone from time to time is okay, if it doesn’t take one away from families or jobs. Sometimes I play on my IPod for hours at a time, but I regret it afterwards because I have wasted a couple of perfectly good hours I could have spent outside or doing homework. Technology can actually build a better friendship, but also has the potential to break one. With email, you can stay in touch with someone, but on other forms such as Facebook, someone could post something very mean or inappropriate and the whole world could find out about it. As a result, technology can break good will, and tear or mend friendships. Users should be careful how they use current technology.

Will technology be beneficial to all concerned? Technology is beneficial to those who use it wisely. Some people use technology to help them define complicated words, figure out challenging math, or look up some history. Others might use computers to look up the latest gossip about a celebrity. Technology can hurt some while benefit others. Technology will be beneficial to some while others will waste their time looking up useless gossip that hurts people or posting it.

Technology contains some truth, but also gossip that distracts some. It isn’t fair to all who are concerned; people spread rumors about others, which hurts the one being spoken of. Technology will not build good will with gossip sites. Friendships are often torn from gossiping. It can allow some friends to stay in touch. People can benefit from cautious use of communication sites or email, but it is not the same as talking on the phone or getting together in person. It won’t be beneficial to all who are concerned because some will be hurt. In conclusion, technology doesn’t pass the Four-Way Test. Technology consumes humans.

 
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To Write Love On Her Arms by Rosie Salitore

The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Rosie Salitore, Third Place
Grade 8,  Judkins Middle School
Teacher: Ms. Richards

Peer pressure, bullying, gossip are all subjects that we can all contrive the questions of the Four-Way test. The Four-Way test enables us to analyze our moral behavior. Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it help build good will and better friendship? Is it beneficial to all concerned? These four questions provide a path to a better, brighter future. The Four-Way test reflects on the four most important moral questions that will guide you to the truth in every situation. The Amanda Todd incident was a situation where the Four-Way test should have been applied; it also shows why us as people need to judge ourselves more based on using the Four-way test.

Amanda Todd was your average teenage girl who had dreams, feelings who cared and all she needed was someone to tell her they cared back but what made Amanda Todd stand out was her story. Young Amanda Todd was only 15 teen when her innocence was taken from her. The pressure of bullying, gossip and the struggle to be perceived as perfect in the eyes of her peers pushed her to a point of no return and on October 10, 2012 she committed suicide. The stress of the rumors and constant fear of not being excepted became too much for her to handle. Everyone makes mistakes why did she have to pay with hers with her life?

Was It The Truth?

Honestly, rumors and gossip only cause pain in the end someone always gets hurt and in this situation that was Amanda and all of the others who grieve her loss. In the end it didn’t really matter if her mistake was the truth or not. Yes, she did make mistakes but then again who doesn’t? Now, if the rumors of showing graphic images to these boys by accident were true it still wouldn’t change the fact that she is now gone.

Will It Build Good Will and Better Friendship?

This incident only caused heartbreak for not only Amanda but for everyone who loss this innocent life. One would hope that the people who bullied her to her breaking point would feel guilt for not stopping and for all the pain they caused her. For all of the lonely nights and lost tears and most of alL.for killing her. This predicament grabs my attention and slaps me in the face. It brings me to reality. I only wished I could have saved her, I only wished I could have showed her someone cared…l wish I could have showed her I cared. It makes me think how many people are out there exactly like her? They could be anywhere. It also makes me think I need to make sure I use the Four-way test to for everything that relates to rumors, gossip because I would never want to hurt someone the way they tortured her. I would never want to be responsible for causing someone to think the only way to save themselves is to kill themselves.

Is It Fair To All Concerned and Is It Beneficial To all Concerned?

Is it fair for a 15 year old girl to be bullied her breaking point? Was it beneficial for so many of our peers just like Amanda, to have to feel the pain hatred brought against them? In some cases most people don’t realize what they are really doing and how it’s affecting the other person. They never stop to think: how will what I am doing affect the other person? Is what I am saying the exact truth and nothing but the truth? Will this be beneficial to everyone and will it improve my friendships or will it have a negative outcome on the situation? These few questions seem very meaningless and are often overlooked and underappreciated, but people just don’t realize the true impact that these moral checks can have on any situation. I plan on making it my mission to encourage more peers to consider using the Four-Way test to improve friendships and prevent bullying and reduce gossip and rumors. If the bullies in Amanda’s situation used the Four-Way test Amanda would still be here today shining her bright smile to make this world a better place.

As a result to learning about Amanda Todd’s story and feeling the heartbreak and compassion for this girl rea//y gfVes me a reality check. It makes me use the Four-Way test for every scenario that I am unsure about. The reason for this is the compassion that I feel for Amanda and her story and Amanda is only one soul, one angel out of the thousands of teenagers who commit suicide every year. The reason why I have so much compassion for Amanda Todd and this subject is because she reminds me of my best friend who tried to also take her life and right before she did she called me. we were fighting so I didn’t answer and because of that I almost lost my best friend luckily she was fortunate enough to be saved no thanks to me but I regret not answering the call. All this makes me want to show the world the Four-Way test can save so many lives and I just wished I could have saved Amanda’s too. If someone were to apply the Four-Way test to Amanda Todd’s situation maybe we would still have one more angel on earth today. Amanda was my angel who showed me that the Four-Way test does matter. I just wish I could have been hers.

 
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Stereotyping by Mustafa Assal

The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Mustafa Assal, First Place
Grade 4,  Shell Beach Elementary School
Teacher: Mr. Sharp

Stereotyping has hurt many people in different ways. For example some ethnic groups have been stereotyped for being in gangs or being dumb or being ignorant or in our case terrorists. Stereotyping is not the truth because it takes a bad quality of some people in a group and generalizes it to all the people in that group. It is not fair to the stereotyped group because it creates a barrier between them, and other members of society. It will not build good will and better friendship because the stereotyped group will feel alienated from society and the rest of the society will have fear of the stereotyped group. In this case it will not be beneficial to anyone in the society because if society alienates them they will have negative feelings towards everybody else.

One typical day the 7th grade kids were getting ready to learn about a new topic in history. They were going to learn about Islam. This is when one kid said “We don’t need to learn about them, they’re just a bunch of terrorists!” He made that statement without any consideration to my sister who happens to be a Muslim. This was the first time I experienced stereotyping even if it wasn’t first hand. My sister’s reaction was an assortment of being furious and upset. After class her friends tried to cheer her up and make her forget about it. But one of her friends decided to take action by telling her mom who told the principal the next day what happened. The principal thought it was mandatory for the kid to be punished.  But the teacher decided to do something else. He thought by not excluding the kid from the class he will learn more about Islam. This way he will respect and understand other people’s faith and beliefs. What happened back on 9/11 was an action of a small group, for which we should not blame the rest of the Muslims, particularly if the Muslims don’t agree with it.

September 11, 2001 was a day that affected all of America. Even though I had not been born yet it would affect me greatly as well. After that day Muslims were stereotyped as terrorists. They only called Muslims terrorists because the group who knocked the twin towers were Muslims but that doesn’t mean that all Muslims are terrorists. As a matter of fact, there were many Muslims who died in the attack. Some worked in one of the twin towers and some were firefighters and emergency responders. Most of the Muslims around the world were shocked by the event and did not agree with the terrorists. Just because the group who committed the crime were Muslims does not mean all Muslims accept their actions and should be stereotyped as terrorist.

Let’s go back to the four way test. Is it the truth? No, it is not the truth that all Muslims are terrorists because the majority of the Muslims are not terrorists and they stand against terrorism. Is it fair to all concerned? No, it is not fair for Muslims to be stereotyped as terrorists because that is a really hateful thing to call Muslims terrorists when they really are not. Will it build good will and better friendships? No, it won’t build good will and better friendships with my sister and the kid because the hateful comment created a barrier between her and the other kid. Is it beneficial to all concerned? No, it is not beneficial for anyone to call all Muslims terrorist because it disregards a section of society and makes it difficult for them to deal with the rest of society. People should really consider the 4-way test before they stereotype other groups. It would be much better for society and would strengthen our ties.

 
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The 4 Way Test by Jacob Crisp

The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Jacob Crisp, Second Place
Grade 5,  Ocean View Elementary School
Teacher: Mrs. Gordon

Jackie Robinson was the first black baseball player to play in the Major Leagues in 1947. Back then there were two leagues, a Negro League and a Professional league that did not allow African- Americans to play in it. His breaking of the color barrier ended sixty years of segregation in professional baseball. He should have been allowed to play in the league years earlier as should many other players from the Negro League because the TRUTH was that a lot of them were better players than the ones on teams in the professional leagues.

Jackie Robinson is honored and appreciated by many athletes today, it is because of his hardships that he endured and overcame that today’s players have the salaries and lifestyles that they have in pro sports. It was FAIR that he finally got to play in the pro league because his talent was better than other players that were already in the league. He played for ten years and made the All-Star team six times.

He was looked up to by many African-Americans. When he broke into the Major Leagues the fan support by African-Americans was huge. In his first game, 14,000 of the 26,000 fans were African-American. Many of the white players were against him playing and they treated him unfairly. Segregation was alive and well in the U.S. at this time, Martin Luther King did not deliver his “I have a dream” speech until 1963. He was fighting for equality for African-Americans. His sacrifices helped bring about the Civil Rights Act of 1968. He helped to BUILD GOOD WILL by helping to bring down segregation.

Jackie Robinson was BENEFICIAL TO ALL CONCERNED. Martin Luther King said,” He was a legend and symbol in his own time.” Without his sacrifices and others like Rosa Park and Martin Luther King America would not be what it is today. We have equality for all races in America. Jackie Robinson said it best when he said,” I’m not concerned with you liking or disliking me.. .all I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”

 
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4-Way Troop Support by Lisa Miller

The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Lisa Miller, Third Place
Grade 5,  Ocean View Elementary School
Teacher: Mr. Copley

For many years, my family and I have supported our troops by sending care packages to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. These care packages support the ideas of the 4-Way Test.

There are many opinions about whether it is right or wrong that people get sent to fight for our country. However, it is the truth that our soldiers need our support and they appreciate everything we send to them, so, every once in a while, we put together boxes full of toiletries or food. For example, the soldiers like to receive sunflower seeds, Otter Pops, Cracker Jack and jerky. Other things they like to get are shampoo, conditioner, razors and deodorant. Something you might not expect that they like getting are the extra Beanie Babies that people have. The soldiers like to get them because they give them to the children around them who are going through hard times too.

It might be hard to decide how it would be fair to evenly disperse these packages. First, I go on the computer to a website called Any Soldier and find the name of a soldier who hasn’t gotten very many packages sent to his or her unit. After they get the package, they evenly divide it up between the members of their unit to make it fair. The receiver of the package knows if someone doesn’t get very much from home, so he or she might give them something extra to make them feel appreciated and closer to home.

When I send packages, I feel that I have done something to help others and bring me closer to them. For me, it builds goodwill because I am helping someone through hard times and telling them that people do care about what they are doing for our country. The soldier who receives the package also spreads goodwill to his or her roommates by sharing with them. The soldiers can also send goodwill by donating the Beanie Babies, gum and candy to the children of Afghanistan and Iraq. Sending care packages also builds good friendships between the soldiers and me. Soldiers send thank you notes back to my brother and me because they appreciate us sending the things they need.

This project is beneficial to all concerned. It benefits the soldiers because they receive a gift from someone who cares about them. All the generous things I put in the package aren’t the things they like to get the most. The most important thing for the soldiers is when I write a letter telling who I am, what I like to do, and how much I appreciate them. The letters help them remember those at home who love and care about them. Doing this benefits me because I learn how hard the soldiers are fighting for me and my country. It reminds me that they don’t have everything that I have and that they are giving up their lives and sacrificing for me and other Americans.

These care packages make a big difference and take a small amount of time to do. They help me practice all the parts in the 4-Way test and make a big difference in my life and the soldiers’ lives too.

 
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