The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Arely Soto, Third Place
Grade 8, Judkins Middle School
Teacher: Miss Christie Richards
The 4-way Test and My Life
When people think about the 4-way test, the first thing that comes to mind is a person that inspires them to do better or someone who follows the requirements to this test. I know this by experience and it was a really hard decision because a lot of people came up, but my mama stood out the most at the point. The 4-way test is in every single one of us whether we apply the questions to our lives or the way we present these questions to different people in different ways. This time I want to represent these questions with my life.
I believe that I’m truthful. I like to tell the truth because I want my younger siblings to follow my footsteps, and for them to be honest with what they do or say. I really enjoy when my parents are proud of me or when they show me off to people when it comes to being trustworthy. I feel valued when someone offers me their trust because they make me know that I’m doing my job by staying sincere to them. I like to tell the truth because I want others to do the same thing for me. A girl I know, used to lie about everything. One day she came up to me pouring in tears because her cousin was blaming her of something that she didn’t do. She was telling the truth but of course, no one believed her of all the lies she once told. When she realized what she got by lying, she decided to tell the truth from that day on. She slowly started to gain back the trust from her loved ones. That one girl taught me the importance of saying the truth. My mom always tells me that if trust is broken, things are not going to be the same any more. She always compares trust with a plate because if you break a plate and try to put the pieces back together, the plate might be complete again, but it wouldn’t end up the same way it was. I believe that telling the truth and being trustworthy are connected together because if you’re not honest, no one will trust you.
I enjoy being fair to everyone around me. When I have a candy and there’s more than one child in the room, I don’t take the candy out, because I know that I won’t have enough for everyone. I want everyone to get the same amount of a thing when it comes to sharing, because if I give to one person and the other is watching, the disconsolate glare of that person would tear my heart apart. A lot of people like to say that sharing is caring and it is true, because if you care about someone then you share what you have with them no matter how big or small your item is. My youngest brother, Israel, likes to share everything with everyone, including the tiniest things. He even likes to share with people who are not friendly with him at all. My little brother has not only taught my parents and I how to look beyond something that might not be as simple as being fair, but at the end, we all learn something new from him. I’m positive that my brother will not just teach my family how to be fair, because I will pass down what I learned from him.
Throughout life, we learn to build goodwill and better friendships. When I outgrow my clothes, I check to see if it’s in good condition. If it is, I like to give it to people who need it. My family gives away cans of food and toys that my siblings don’t play with anymore. I know how it feels to go through hunger. To not eat for days. When we had something to eat and to keep our empty stomachs full, it would be hard tortillas. I thank god for not letting me go to bed with an empty stomach anymore. The small things that we do for others can make their lives a little happier. I like to have friends wherever I go, whether they are as small as a second grader or as big as someone getting ready to graduate from college. I always thought that only older people could teach me something. I was very wrong. I never imagined how much I could learn from someone so small.
I believe that what I do to help my community is beneficial to all concerned. As an Avid student, I’m required to do community hours every semester. At the beginning, I just did my hours for a grade, but as time went by, I started to enjoy doing my hours. I could tell how much people appreciated my help every time I went. I first started my hours by helping catechism teachers. I had to make sure the kids were paying attention and would take them to the bathroom when they had to go. After class was over, I would stay an extra hour to help pick up the chairs and tables. During holidays, the teachers would give the children candy, and they would always make sure we would get some as well. I didn’t go there for the lovely gifts. I would go there to help the children learn and to take away stress from the teachers. I’m proud of myself for being able to accomplish so much just by helping my community. I might not help in an economic way, but by heart I do.
“People either inspire you to greatness or pull you down in the gutter, it’s that simple. No one fails alone and no one succeeds alone,”- Eric Thomas. If I wasn’t inspired by a lot of people in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Applying the 4-way questions to my life is something that I never really thought of. I would write about someone in my life and observe how they put these questions in their lives, and how well they did it. I might not be the best person to represent these questions, but I tried and that’s what counts. We can all become champions, but we have to be contenders that refuse to give up.