The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach / Five Cites
Lily Li, First Place
Grade 8, Judkins Middle School
Teacher: Miss Christie Richards
The 4-Way Test of Things We Think, Say or Do
Sixty-one million children around the world are not enrolled in school. Youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai is known for advocating children’s education. The 4-way test is a worldwide method used to analyze your actions and actions of others. This technique is based on only four 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? Yousafzai applies the 4-way test to situations in her life, so she could make honest decisions, have equality, strengthen relationships, and help others that are involved.
Who is Malala Yousafzai? Malala Yousafzai was born in Mingora, Pakistan on July 12, 1997. She lived in northwest Pakistan, where the Taliban banned girls from attending school. From age 11, she began blogging about the Taliban’s terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As a result of her expressive writing, Yousafzai became an outspoken social activist and educator. In 2014, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for recognizing children’s rights and education. Yousafzai spoke out publicly against the Taliban’s prohibition of girls’ education. As she gained worldwide recognition, she began receiving more and more death threats. On the afternoon of October 9, 2012, a gunman shot Yousafzai through her forehead, but luckily Yousafzai survived the attack after numerous operations. In 2013, 2014, and 2015 Time magazine featured Yousafzai as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World“.
Is it the truth? Yousafzai speaks the truth about the Taliban’s destruction and cruelty towards girls’ education. “In many parts of the world, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan, terrorism, war and conflict stop children to go to their schools. We are really tired of these wars. Women and children are suffering” (Malala Yousafzai). The terrorists attacks and discrimination against children are true. Yousafzai believes that it is unfair that children are deprived of proper education. “In some parts of the world, students are going to school every day. It’s their normal life. But in other parts of the world, we are starving for education… it’s like a precious gift. It’s like a diamond” (Malala Yousafzai). In many countries, all children have the benefit of schooling, but other countries have children working all day instead of learning. Yousafzai wasn’t the only girl that yearned for knowledge. She is honest when it comes to the loss of education for children in her damaged country.
Is it fair to all concerned? Yousafzai makes it her priority that all children have equality, education, peace, and a voice. “We should all consider each other as human beings, and we should respect each other” (Malala Yousafzai). She feels that there should be equality throughout the world, and that girls in her country should have the rights as every single girl in other countries. Yousafzai wants each child to be treated with dignity and should be provided with the right resources. “I speak not for myself but for those without voice… those who have fought for their rights… their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated” (Malala Yousafzai). She speaks up for the girls in her country who are too scared to say what they want. Yousafzai wishes all children not to have their liberty and freedom taken away by the appalling Taliban. She goes out of her way to make sure children have the opportunities they deserve and that the world can be peaceful.
Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Malala Yousafzai desires each child to feel valuable and safe. “We must tell girls their voices are important” (Malala Yousafzai). She has a passion for helping girls feel precious and involved in affairs. Yousafzai wants girls to know that they can make a positive difference in society. “I believe in peace. I believe in mercy” (Malala Yousafzai). She feels that countries and friends can be peaceful by resolving issues. Friendships can be strengthened, and wars can be ended through forgiveness and agreement. Yousafzai believes that more good will happen if there is respect and unity.
Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Yousafzai wants what is best for everyone, and that is education and equality. “One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world.”(Malala Yousafzai). She believes that a single act of kindness can help multiple people in need. Because of her inspirational speeches and demanding blogs, Yousafzai has helped thousands of children get a decent education and influenced others to stand up for what they believe in. “There should be no discrimination against languages people speak, skin color, or religion” (Malala Yousafzai). In the future, she hopes that everybody will be treated fairly no matter what they look like or believe in. Yousafzai wants terrorism and destruction to stop in all countries. She wishes every person to be educated and treated with the same amount of respect.
Lebanon is home to at least a million refugees that have fled Syria’s war to neighboring countries, and for Yousafzai’s eighteenth birthday she built a school in the town to provide the children with twelve years of learning. Yousafzai is getting more popular and has many tough situations showing up everyday, so she uses the 4-way test to make truthful choices, have fairness, build up friendships, and benefit the people involved. If you apply the 4-way test to your life, you could help others in need and be like Malala Yousafzai. If eighteen-year-old Yousafzai can provide a million of children with education, what can you do to positively impact the world?