The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Kimi White, First Place
Grade 12, Arroyo Grande High School
Teacher: Mr. Michael Callaghan
The 4-Way Test and Me: Creating a Better Community
As little kids we are taught to be kind to others and follow the golden rule, but I believe that it isn’t until we reflect on how our choices affect others that we fully understand how to be a good person. A simple outline is shown in the Rotary Four Way test. Truthfulness, fairness, building goodwill and better friendships and making sure it’s beneficial to all concerned is a difficult, but smart way of thinking about the words that we say and actions we commit. As a high school student involved in leadership programs such as Student Leadership (ASB), interact and even, yes, cheerleading, I have learned that words matter and through the Four Way test we may begin to make others feel more accepted in society and make my community feel like a family.
Is it the truth and is it fair are questions that if we asked ourselves before we spoke, could save us a lot of trouble. If you lie about your work or spread rumors the trust is lost and it creates a hostile environment that no one wants to be a part of. It’s not just spreading rumors and gossip, it’s also about giving credit where credit is due. In ASB we are in charge of setting up assemblies for our school, this includes everything from theme selection to set-up. In these cases someone can come up with an amazing idea and then not be there for the end of it because they were pulled to another project. By just making sure that everyone knows that these projects aren’t done alone, but our team effort makes everyone feel that they are credited for their work and proud to be part of the team. This honesty also corresponds with the step of fairness. By being truthful fairness can follow. If everyone is honest with the work they put in hard work can be shared equally and can make people feel that they are being treated fairly. Making sure everyone feels appreciated and that no one takes all the credit of a team creation is a type of honesty that creates trust and bonds people and prevents resentment. Honesty is one step towards a place where everyone wants to be involved and feels comfortable. A place I want my school to be.
Two other steps in the rotary test are building goodwill, and better friendships and making sure what you say and do is beneficial to all. This can be apply to many events that take place at my school. A goal in my high school career is to make sure everyone feels involved in the activities we create. It can start from square dancing at lunch, leading a cheer to support our team, to having a kid dressed up as Waldo handing out candy for international “Where’s Waldo” day. These activities get kids talking and builds friendships and bonds. It helps kids find little things they can do to feel a part of my school and our community. These are also beneficial to all because making sure different groups of my school are involved also makes school more fun and enjoyable which in the end benefits all. Another example is the work I was able to take part of in my Interact club. We recently have had our annual bowl a thon to help the Malala fund, an international program to help students in third world countries receive educational opportunities.This event gave all students, not just leadership, a chance to help be part of something bigger than ourselves. Activities can be both in our community or global and still have great impact on our daily life. If the actions we do all build goodwill imagine the strong connected and helpful community we would have. These programs make everyone feel a part of something which builds a motivation for people to be nicer and to reach out to friends and create a community which we can share memories of high school and create bonds that can last a lifetime.
With the Four way Test I have learned many lessons. I am able to take these steps into my community and my school and recognize when they should be used. The Four way test is a program that can make a difference in our lives and help make a life I am proud of. It will help create a better me, a better community, and a better world.